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Christmas Stovetop Potpourri: Simmer Pot Recipe

With this Christmas Stovetop Potpourri, you are 5 minutes away from your home smelling like Christmas!

It’s time to kick off the holiday season, and what better way than to make your home smell just like Christmas without the fuss of actually having to bake something.   I mean, obviously I love to bake, but sometimes you just want your home to smell like you’ve been busy in the kitchen all day.  This easy Christmas Stovetop Potpourri will fill your home with the nostalgic smell of the season.  You’ll have the spicy smell of cinnamon and cloves, mixed with citrus filling up your home.  The only danger with this potpourri is it’s going to make you hungry, and you’ll likely get asked where the delicious dessert is hiding, but the smell really is worth the potential disappointment haha!

Christmas Stovetop Potpourri

Simmer Pots are so simple to make!

A nice thing about making a stovetop potpourri (also called a simmer pot) is that the ingredients are easily accessible, and chances are you have them in your home already.  In fact, stovetop potpourri’s are a great way to use up old oranges and apples that no one wants to eat…you know the ones…they’re a little (or a lot) hard and shrivelled, but they’re perfect for simmering.

Christmas Stovetop Potpourri 6{A Pretty Life}

The ingredient amounts I use are really very casual, but I’ll give you a basic recipe to start with.  As you make potpourris, you’ll just get more comfortable with adding what you like to get the smells you want. Play with them and enjoy!

Christmas Stovetop Potpourri 5{A Pretty Life}

Just put it on the back burner and let it simmer on the lowest setting while enjoying the smell.  Oh, and these are great to make about a half hour before you have guests come over…your home will smell amazing.

Christmas Stovetop Potpourri

Christmas Potpourri Recipe Tips:

  • Simmer not boil! Simmering is heat just below boiling…so the mixture should lightly rumble (gently bubble), not boil
  • What kind of pot to use? I just use a medium sized saucepan.
  • Lid on or off? Keep the lid off…simmer pots need to release their lovely scent into the room.
  • Stovetop: Let this mixture simmer on the back burner of your stove on the LOWEST setting, for a couple of hours.
  • Slow Cooker: Feel free to let this mixture simmer in a slow cooker on low.
  • Spices: I like to use cinnamon and cloves, but you can also add a pinch of ginger (or a small chunk of fresh ginger)!
  • Food Waste Tip: You can also make this simmer pot with only the peels of the apples and oranges, making it a great way to repurpose food waste.
  • Water Level: When the water level gets low, just top it up with fresh water.
  • Make one before guest arrive! Start your simmer pot about 30 minutes before your guest arrive.
  • How long will the simmer pot last? I will use the same simmer pot for 1 or 2 days, just topping it up with fresh water when it gets low. But I like to make a brand new one after about 2 days.


Christmas Stovetop Potpourri

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5 from 4 reviews

With this Christmas Stovetop Potpourri, you are 5 minutes away from your home smelling like Christmas!


  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 navel orange (sliced)
  • 1/2 an apple (sliced)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon bark or 34 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp whole cloves
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pieces few small of evergreen tree
  • water


  1. Put all of the ingredients into a medium sized saucepan and top up with water.
  2. Simmer on the lowest setting and enjoy!

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If you love this, you might enjoy this recipe for a Fall Stovetop Potpourri!

Stovetop Fall Potpourri

Have an inspired day!

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  1. This is the perfect scent to add to any home! I added a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and it smells great!! Thanks so much for this recipe. 🙂

  2. So it only last two days then I have to make a fresh batch? If that’s the case it’s a pretty expensive air freshener, right or wrong? I tried to post this , came back I already did, I didn’t!!

    1. Catherine, don’t worry, I received both of your comments. This doesn’t have to be expensive. You can add the rinds of citrus fruits like lemons and oranges after you’ve eaten the fruit…the rinds work perfectly for this simmer pot. You can take snips of greenery from outdoors, and you can reuse the cinnamon stick (just rinse it).