It’s amazing how scents just whisk you away to another world: a memory or place that is recognizable by how it smells. Even during those days that I haven’t had my oven working overtime, it’s nice to fill my house with the welcoming aromas of the holidays so I made up a few jars of stovetop potpourri to have on hand for the occasion.
Stovetop potpouri, also known as simmering spices, are easy to make by combining any fragrant botanicals, spices, and herbs and adding them to boiling water. This releases an all-natural fragrant steam that in turn scents the air in your home.
You can simmer them on the stovetop or even use a crockpot, and the possible scent combinations are endless. You could make comforting, cozy scents to bring cheer to a cold, dreary day, decongestants to help with a cold or flu, or festive fragrances that will have your house smelling like the holidays in a jiffy.
This post will cover…
- What Scents Smell Like Christmas?
- 6 Stovetop Potpourri Recipes
- It’s Like Snowflakes Melting on Your Nose
- Sleepy Time
- Pumpkin Spice
- Apple Chai
- Cold Virus Relief
- It’s Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas
- More Ways to Make it Smell Like Christmas
What Scents Smell Like Christmas?
Christmas has a smell for sure, perhaps like hot apple cider mixed with pine trees, oranges, and clove? At least that is what it smells like for me.
You can use fresh or dried ingredients to make these simmering spices. Here are some ideas for ingredients for Christmas potpourri that are probably already in your spice rack, refrigerator, or pantry:
- Cinnamon sticks
- Fresh or dried apple slices
- Vanilla extract
- Fresh or dried mint
- Chai tea
- Fresh pumpkin
- Fresh citrus slices
- Evergreen leaves
- Vanilla beans
6 Stovetop Potpourri Recipes
To make the stovetop potpourri, mix all of your chosen ingredients together and add them into a pot of boiling water. Simmer on low heat and enjoy the scent! You can leave the mixture simmering all day long if you add more water now and then as it evaporates.
Here are some of my tried-and-true Christmas stovetop potpourri recipes.
It’s Like Snowflakes Melting on Your Nose
This blend is cool, crisp, and fresh, like a woodland stroll in a winter wonderland. This is great for those who enjoy the crisp smell of fresh Christmas trees.
- Star anise
- Fresh evergreen leaves (cypress, cedar, and pine all have nice scents)
These soothing scents will help you relax and get ready for bed. Make a pot of this Christmas potpourri while you and your guests are winding down for the night.
Make the whole house smell like yummy pumpkin spice with this blend. Fair warning, guests will think you have a pumpkin pie baking in the oven!
Hot apple cider and Chai tea both have the coziest, most comforting scents. This blend combines the two spices to honour the cozy winter drinks.
Cold Virus Relief
Perfect for when you’re feeling stuffy and congested. Simmer this spice blend on the stove and pop a eucalyptus shower steamer in your morning shower. You’ll be feeling better in no time!
It’s Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas
Last but not least, this is my go-to blend to put on the stove for Christmas day before everyone comes over. This comforting blend of spices and savoury herbs smells just like Christmas!
- Fresh pine leaves
- Fresh or dried bay leaves
- Dried orange peel
Frequently Asked Questions About Stovetop Potpourri
Yes! You can make this Christmas potpourri on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Add boiling water and let the potpourri simmer on low heat. The smell will quickly waft through the house and turn it into a festive wonderland.
Add water as needed when you notice the levels getting low. And never leave it plugged in and unattended.
In the jar, you’ll need to use dried ingredients rather than fresh ones. When done this way, your stovetop potpourri will last as long as your dried spices and herbs are good for. Generally, ground spices last 1-2 years and dried herbs last up to 3. The date of your oldest spice in the blend is how long it will be good for.
But because you won’t be consuming the spices, it’s also okay to use old spices. The younger the spices, however, the more fragrant it will be.
Once boiled, your potpourri can last 3-4 days as long as you keep topping up the water. Never leave it unattended!
Thank you so very much – this is the perfect gift for people at work – I’m 70 and started working at the YMCA 2 months ago. You are one amazing young woman. Have a joy filled and blessed Christmas.
I love your simmering spices for gifts. I want to use them for thank you gifts for people who volunteer in the Book Alcove at my church.
Do you have the wonderful labels for us to download?
Thank you, Rhonda
I don’t have those labels but I do have plenty of labels you could customize here: https://gardentherapy.ca/freebie-canning-labels/
I always look forward to your ideas. I am going to try all of these. Thank you.
I can’t wait to try these. Thank you for sharing.