Natural Simmering Stove Top Potpourri

Freshen up Your Stuffy Winter House with Simmering Stove Top Potpourri Recipes

My house smells amazing today and I didn’t even clean it! I wish you could join me here right now for a sniff and a cup of something warm. But since you might not be able to make it, I’m gonna share my fresh little tip to make your house smell like Martha Stewart’s been there and it doesn’t involve any crafting or carcinogens. This fresh winter simmering stovetop potpourri is only 3 ingredients and you just might already have them in your kitchen.

Actually I’m sharing two great natural simmering potpourri blends, so pour yourself a cuppa and join me.

grapefruit rosemary simmering potpourri  ||  air freshener alternative  || alternative to scented candles

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When the “Funk” Ain’t Cool

I can’t stand a stinky house. And here are so many “stanks” that bother me. Cooking odors, like onions, fish and even my beloved bacon after the fact create an aroma that I no longer find appetizing. Animal odors, yuck. If you’ve raised a son you know that smell well. And, bathroom odors need no explanation.

Speaking of bathrooms, did you see my master bath before and after?

What about a bedroom with a week’s worth of lingering sickness morning breath? Don’t worry, that funk doesn’t mean we’re disgusting slobs. In the winter a stinky house might only mean that your space has been closed up too long without an injection of fresh air. 

Good Smells Can Come with a Price

Air freshener sprays and scented candles smell great but they come with risks from aerosols and chemicals that can cause respiratory issues and possibly even cancer. Diffusing essential oils is a pleasant and safer option, but it requires a (sometimes expensive) diffuser and essential oils and a place to keep the diffuser in your room. 

I love using what I already have on hand (a.k.a. what I’m seasonally eating) to create a natural fresh simmering potpourri. It’s old school and environmentally friendly. Just don’t leave the pot simmering when you leave the house! 

A Safer Scented Alternative

safer alternative to a scented candle  ||  simmering stovetop potpourri

The Fresh Simmering Potpourri Recipe Currently on my Stove

You don’t need anything special to simmer potpourri on your stove. A small saucepan will do. Yeah, that one in your set that’s too small for most things is perfect. However, at the bottom of this post, I’ve linked to a couple of cute steam pots that can be placed atop a woodstove or your range.

Grapefruit Peels + Rosemary + Vanilla

A blend of grapefruit, rosemary, and vanilla is pure decadence and you probably already have the rosemary and vanilla in your pantry.

So get yourself a grapefruit or an entire bag of them, and peel one. Actually, cutting the peel off citrus fruit allows you to get more of the aromatic pith. Add the grapefruit peels to the pot along with a heaping tablespoon of dried rosemary (you can use fresh if you have it) and a couple of teaspoons of vanilla. For a therapeutic sea-air effect, you can add some sea salt as it’s supposed to be good for the sinuses according to a lady who was giving me tech help one day. 😉

Then I just cover the fragrant potpourri with water, place it on my simmer burner (it’s the smallest burner on your stove) or even atop a woodstove and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, I immediately turn it all the way down to simmer.

Keep checking on it throughout the day and add water as necessary. 

This is one of my favorite aromatic blends because it is unique, fresh and warm at the same time and much like walking into a Williams-Sonoma store. But I use what I’m currently using/eating. For instance, if I peel an apple for one of the Littles, I use the peel for my second favorite natural simmering potpourri blends.

Citrus and Apples Create an Old Fashioned, House Warming Aroma

Apple peels, orange peels, cloves, and cinnamon sticks simmering on the back of your stovetop make your home smell like a cup of warm apple cider. This is the delicious blend you’ll find simmering on the back of my stove most of the time. It’s to die for! 

Refreshing Fresh Simmering Potpourri

A pot of natural simmering stovetop potpourri can be used for several days to a week. I often just put a lid on the pot and leave it on the stove or in the refrigerator until the next day when I’ll add more water and sometimes extra ingredients. 

You can also refresh it with essential of complementary scents. But I most often try to keep the blend as organic and basic as I can with on-hand ingredients. 

don’t leave the pot simmering when you leave the house! 

What Does Your House Smell Like these Days?

What scents do you like to fill your winter home with? Have you tried a fresh simmering potpourri? 

If you try the grapefruit, rosemary, and vanilla blend let me know what you think. I’ve had friends walk in and immediately say, “mmm”. 

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  1. J'Laine Bradley

    I haven’t done an old fashioned simmering pot in a long time. I think I will do it! I have wax burners, diffusers, etc. but they still don’t smell natural.
    Love your blog. I would say we think and live a similar lifestyle. I’m sure we would be besties if we lived in the same area. Lol!

    • Paula

      Thanks for stopping by J’Laine. (BTW-I love your name.) I love those wax melts and stuff too but your right, they don’t smell natural. And an old fashioned simmer pot is a bit “little house on the prairie”, so I feel about as close to homesteading as I will ever get. 😉

      I’m always glad to add a bestie to my tribe so WELCOME!


  2. Mary

    I’ll have to try that one!

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