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Christmas stovetop potpourri will have your house smelling amazing without any harmful or synthetic fragrances. Best part, you can mix and match items you likely already have in your pantry and homestead to customize and make it frugal.
I love Christmas, in no small part because I love how warm and cozy it is. I love the candles and wood fires and twinkly lights. I love the comfort food and cuddling up under a blanket. And I love the warm, delicious scents of the season wafting from the kitchen throughout the holidays.
I honestly don’t know why we don’t celebrate all winter like we do at Christmas time. It really does make the cold, dark season more enjoyable!
One of my favourite ways to create a warm and cozy atmosphere is to simmer some seasonal potpourri on my stove. I use a mixture of items that I either grow myself, find in nature, already have in my pantry or buy in season from my local grocery store to create a frugal, all-natural stovetop potpourri that makes it smell like Christmas in our home all season long.
While I love diffusing essential oils and burning scented candles, I love the old-timey feeling I get from simmering some hand-picked potpourri on the stovetop or wood stove. And unlike a scented candle or a diffuser (which either burns out or should only be run for an hour or so at a time), I just continue to add ingredients and top it up with water as it cooks down.
This creates a rich, layered, warm scent that fills our home and simmers all day long. At night I turn the heat off and in the morning I turn it back on, top it off and continue to simmer so the house literally always smells good!
Some of my favourite seasonal ingredients to simmer include citrus fruits (especially oranges and lemons), apples, cranberries, pine needles (fir needles in particular), woody herbs like rosemary and thyme, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, ginger, vanilla and even pinecones that still have sap on them. These all add an all-natural fragrance to your home that evokes memories of Christmas without the danger of synthetic fragrances or even the expense of essential oils.
You can always add a drop or two of essential oils to your potpourri to enhance the scent if you like. Add similar essential oils to the ingredients your using, or ones that compliment them.
Orange, lemon, fir needle, clove bud, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom are all good essential oil choices to enhance your holiday stovetop potpourri, but they’re completely optional (for purity and low cost, the only essential oil company I use is Plant Therapy). That’s because what you’re really doing when you simmer those ingredients is helping them to release their own essential oils, so adding extra just helps to enhance the scent, but it’s not really necessary.
I also like to gently crush any fir needles or herbs before adding them to the pot to help release some of their oils before I even turn the heat on. Likewise, I add peels from my oranges and lemons to the pot as I eat/use them because the essential oils are actually found in the peels rather than the fruit itself, making this a great way to reduce waste and make ingredients (and money) stretch over the holidays.
To make your homemade potpourri, start by deciding what ingredients you want to use, then go collect them. Some nice combos for simmering potpourri recipes include:
Use whatever you have on hand. Go out and clip a few herbs from your garden or take a walk in the woods or a park (or even your backyard) and collect some pine needles. Gather spices from your pantry and fruits from your fridge, freezer or cold storage or hit your grocery store for items you don’t have at home.
Add all of your items to a small to medium-sized pot and cover with water. Then simmer over medium-low heat for as long as you like! (I like to keep this on the back burner so I can still use the other burners for cooking throughout the day).
That’s it! It’s really that simple.
You can also dry your ingredients in a dehydrator (or if you don’t have a dehydrator you can air dry herbs and pine needles and dry fruits on the lowest setting in your oven), and then layer ingredients in a Mason jar for Christmas potpourri in a jar and give them as gifts over the holidays.
Plus, since you can make Christmas simmering stovetop potpourri for just pennies a pot, at that price you can afford keep the feeling of Christmas wafting through the air in your home all season long!
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 sliced orange
1/2 sliced lemon
1 pine branch tip
1 inch chunk of ginger
Place all of the items in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a light simmer.
This also works great on top of a wood stove!
What about you? Have you tried making stovetop potpourri before? Have you tried any other ingredients or combinations that weren’t mentioned here? Add to the list in the comments below!
My name is Anna and I'm a modern homesteader. I began homesteading a few years ago when I still lived in a condo in the city. It changed my life! I now live on just over an acre and am following my dreams of living a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life. I love to help and inspire others to do the same & prove that the simple life doesn't have to be complicated!