It’s beginning to look a lot like autumn. There’s a chill in the air, the leaves are changing, and pumpkins are appearing on your neighbors’ doorsteps. You’re enjoying the sights and sounds of fall outside — why not bring the season’s trademark scents inside your home with a simple stovetop potpourri? The best part about this yummy-smelling, all-natural fall DIY is that you probably have everything you need already, so you can stay cozy inside without heading out to spend extra money.
Stovetop potpourri presents endless possibilities. If you have aromatic spices (ground or whole), fruit, and a simmering pot of water, you can easily make your home smell delicious within a matter of minutes. Check out these two fall-themed versions to get some inspiration.
Apple Pie Potpourri
Owner of the blog A Pretty Life in the Suburbs shares her favorite recipe for fall stovetop potpourri (or simmer pot).
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine:
- ½ lemon, thinly sliced
- ½ apple, sliced
- 4 cinnamon sticks (or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon)
- 2 tablespoons whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cover the ingredients with water and simmer on the lowest setting. “[Let} this mixture simmer on the back burner of your stove … for a couple of hours,” advises the blog, adding more water when it gets low. You can also make this potpourri with just the apple and lemon peels, which, as the blog points out, “makes it a great way to repurpose food waste.” Better still, “when it simmers, it smells like you have an apple pie in the oven.” Yummy, seasonal scents with no waste? Talk about a win-win!
Pumpkin Spice Potpourri
Certain smells and flavors are hallmarks of fall, and pumpkin spice is undoubtedly one of them. Though this scent is considered seasonal, the creator of the Clean and Scentsible blog shares a Pumpkin Spice-scented stovetop potpourri that’s good enough to use year-round.
In a saucepan, combine:
- 2 cups apple cider, apple juice, or water
- 1 half cup canned pumpkin
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 half apple or dried apple slices
Per the blog’s instructions, “bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat to low. Continuously add more liquid … and do not allow [it] to dry up.” Re-use the stovetop potpourri until it loses smell or doesn’t look good anymore, and keep the ingredients in an air-tight container in the refrigerator between uses.
As with any project involving the stove, you should keep an eye on your potpourri to ensure it doesn’t burn. Once it has made your house smell sufficiently homey and you’re ready to get rid of it, make sure you let the ingredients cool completely before you dispose of them.
So, put on your comfiest sweater, a pair of warm socks, and even some holiday music if you’re so inclined (we know it’s early — but we won’t judge!) and get simmering.