Stovetop Potpourri

By Callie Leahy

This September, bring the smells of the season into your home with a fresh pot of homemade stovetop potpourri. Lavish your home with these fine fall fragrances rich with cinnamon spice, fresh oranges, crisp cranberries and even a touch of mint to make your home smell as wonderful as the clean fall air.

Jana Uselton, owner of professional home staging company Model My Home says adding a fresh fragrance to your home is key to making your space warm and inviting.

“People have to get that good feeling whenever they are looking at a home or entering a home,” Uselton says.


Here are some of our favorite DIY stovetop potpourri recipes to get you started.

  • Spiced cider simmering spices: Just like your favorite fall drink, this spiced cider recipe adorns your home with the fresh smell of sweet apples, cinnamon sticks and cloves. This recipe will smell so good, your neighbors will be stopping by for the “hot toddy” you’re cooking up!
  • Ginger Citrus simmering spices: This recipe calls for dried fruits and spices straight from your local farmers market. Slice up a fresh orange in quarter inch sections, and pop them into the oven at about 150 degrees. Once dried, let them continue to air dry until cooled. Then, add your dried orange slices, ginger, cinnamon, clove and allspice to a pot and cover with water for a zesty, all-natural home fragrance.
  • From the shaker potpourri: Your guests are about to arrive and your home needs a dash of pizazz. Before you light a bunch of mix matched candles, check out your spice rack. All you’ll need are three cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1 tablespoon of whole cloves, and voila; your home is entertaining ready!
  • Pumpkin Spice simmering potpourri: Can’t wait for pumpkin season? This pumpkin spice simmer recipe is the perfect cure for your fall veggie fever. Combine apple cider, canned pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, clove and nutmeg in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce to low heat and add cider as needed. If the smell is too strong, try adding water to the mixture instead of cider.
  • Lavender Citrus potpourri simmer: If traditional fall smells aren’t your cup of tea, try this stovetop potpourri that will make your home smell like clean linens. For an added touch, simmer the lavender and orange, then add a few fresh mint or basil leaves from your garden. Adding fresh leaves will pack a sensory punch with a distinguished fresh-from-the-garden smell.

Stovetop potpourri makes a great housewarming or party gift. This fall, check out these fun ways to package your homemade scents.

Uselton says that using more classic scents, like the ones found in most stovetop potpourri recipes, is preferable when entertaining, but be sure to not overdo it.

“You don’t want an odor that is so powerful that someone could walk in and say, ‘what are they covering up?’ ” Uselton says. “That is the reality in staging homes as well as if you’re just having people over; a fresh smell associates (your guests) with a clean home.”

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