Fall Potpourri Simmer Pot {+ Winter Variations!}

Today I’m going to share one of my favorite fall “crafts” with you. One of the things I love about fall (besides cute boots!) are the smells and flavors. I love pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon…you name it! So today I’m going to share a super easy way to bring those smells into your home with a potpourri simmer pot.

Holiday potpourri simmer pot recipes!

Holiday Potpourri Simmer Pot


  • 2 oranges
  • 3-6 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • water


Cut the oranges into eighths, leaving the peel on. Put everything into a big pot on your stove and fill with water, leaving about 1-2 inches of room at the top. Turn on the stove to a low setting and enjoy the wonderful smells!

The steam is what makes the house smell delicious, so make sure your water is just slightly simmering. Your entire house will smell like fall within about 20 minutes.

The water will boil away eventually, so refill it whenever you notice that it’s low. When you leave the house, go to bed, or just want the potpourri turned off, put a lid on it and leave it on your stove.

I leave this pot on pretty much the entire time I’m at home and I love it! The oranges never rot because the water is hot most of the time, but I have noticed it starts to lose its smell after about 3 days, and the oranges get a bit brown and icky. At that point, I usually empty the water, toss the ingredients, and make it again!


The best thing about this recipe (besides the delicious smells!) is how versatile it is.

  • If you’d rather a more “wintery” scent, use apples instead of oranges, skip the cloves, and add a 1/2 C of fresh cranberries.
  • You can cut open a tea bag and pour the contents into the water.
  • You can use allspice, or mint, or holly, or pine needles.

Pretty much any food, plant, or spice with a nice scent will work great. And you can customize your version with whatever scents you enjoy the most!

Have you guys tried a simmer pot before? If you’re looking for some other great fall crafts, recipes, and decor ideas, you can check out the rest of my fall posts here!


I link up at these awesome parties!

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Hi, I'm Jessi! Welcome to Practically Functional, a blog about simple, practical projects and ideas to help you love your home, no matter where you live! We just bought our first house, and I'm busy turning it into a home. I want to make sure we love every single square foot of our new home, so I decorate, I craft, I DIY, I build, I organize, I cook… I even garden! Practically Functional is about loving your home and turning it into the perfect place for you, your family, your pets, your hobbies, your work, and everything else you love! Make sure you follow along by RSS or subscribe by email so you don't miss anything!


  1. My mom always used cinnamon sticks & apple peels (left over from making pies) The house smelled just heavenly!
    Amy | Amy’s Cooking Adventures recently posted..Cinnamon Swirl French Toast with Pumpkin Pie Filling

    • Yum I bet! My dad and I used to make apple pies all the time with apples from the tree out back, wish I had known this back then so we wouldn’t have just tossed the peels! I did one with cinnamon sticks and fresh cranberries last winter and it was fabulous, but the next time I make an apple pie I’ll try it with apple peels.

  2. Oh yes. Sometimes I simmer water with a bunch of chai tea bags in the pot just for the fragrance!

  3. This is a wonderful idea. thank you

  4. Jessi I do this too, love it xo

  5. This is a great idea, thank you for sharing.
    sabine recently posted..The Sunday Social

  6. This looks great. I would love for you to share this and some of your other posts at Saturday Show and Tell (http://www.cheeriosandlattes.com/saturday-show-tell-32/). Have a great day!

  7. Yummmm…………… I love the smell of stove-top potpourri! Nothing says holidays quite like the welcoming scent of fresh fragrances on the stove….
    Crystelle recently posted..How to make a subway art sign on wood (black and white)

  8. Can;t wait to try this !
    JoAnn @ SweetPepperRose recently posted..Fall Decorated Metal Table Set

  9. Wow! This looks like something I can actually do! Thanks for coming to party with us at Whimsy Wednesday!

    Smart! School {House}
    Kelly at Smart! School {House} recently posted..Whimsy Wednesday Oct. 23rd

  10. My friends parents did something like this when I was younger. They kept theirs simmering in a pot on their wood burning stove. It always smelled amazing. Thanks for sharing on Tout It Tuesday! Hope to see you next week.
    K @ Claiming Our Space recently posted..Willow Wednesday

  11. Ooo – I like your winter-y recipe too!! Thanks for linking up at Romance on a dime!
    Betsy @ Romance on a Dime recently posted..Day 29: Cleaning Appliances

  12. I have never tried this and I have no idea why……I should do this right now. Congrats on your Snap feature!
    Christine recently posted..How to Dress Rich Without Breaking The Bank

  13. Love doing this! Stopping by from Freedom Fridays.

  14. I can only imagine how good your apartment smelled after simmering this concoction. I am going to try this one weekend this fall! Thanks for sharing at this week’s Throwback Thursday Party.
    Paula@SweetPea recently posted..Throwback Thursday #4

  15. I am wanting to burn stuff like this on my wood stove, but want to be sure it’s insomething safe that isn’t going to scorch. What’s a safe suggestion or how do I keep it up off the actual stove?

    • Does your stove have a flat spot on top? If so, just toss everything into a cast iron pan and set the pan on top of your stove. The pan will get incredibly hot, but cast iron can handle the heat as long as you don’t let it boil dry.

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