by erin stewart sm (48 of 85)

Stove-top Potpourri Recipes

I’m really drawn to the forested, woodsy scents this season. Last year I was more drawn to the rich, spicy scents of cinnamon and clove and cardamom, but these past few weeks I just want to breathe in that conifer forest aroma all day long. It helps me to feel grounded, clear-headed, and like I can take a deep breath and settle in to my day with strength. Do woodsy aromas have that effect on you too?

One of the ways I like to make my home smell good during the winter months is through stovetop potpourri blends. You don’t even have to use your stovetop – you could use a crock pot instead. They’re so easy to mix together and allowing them to simmer at the back of the stove for 10 minutes or so in the morning will keep my home smelling lovely throughout most of the day. When I need a refresh, I’ll just heat the mix back up and let it simmer for a few minutes. The first combination below has been one of my favorite blends this season, but I’ve included a couple of other ideas for you too.

Recipe Options

  • A handful of pine needles (or fir or spruce)
  • A couple of slices of orange (or lemon)
  • A sprig or two of fresh rosemary
  • One cinnamon stick (optional)
  • A couple of star anise pods (optional)
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Peppermint leaves
  • Lemon peels
  • Lemon balm or lemon verbena (optional – they enhance the fresh, lemony scent)
  • Lavender buds
  • Rosemary sprigs
    *This combination is one of my favorite aroma profiles of all time!
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamom pods
  • Orange peels or cranberries


  • Cardamom pods
  • Rose petals
  • a dash of vanilla extract
  • Cacao powder / beans
  • Cardamom pods
  • Eucalyptus leaves
  • Lavender buds
  • a pinch of peppermint or rosemary leaves

Instructions for Simmering

  1. Toss your chosen ingredients into a saucepan and cover with pure water.
  2. Simmer uncovered over low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until you can smell the aroma of the plant material throughout the house, then turn off the heat.
  3. Repeat throughout the day as needed to keep everything smelling fresh and lovely.

Tip: If you want to “set it and forget it,” place the mix in the slow cooker and cover with water instead of using the stove-top. If you use the stove, don’t walk away from the kitchen. Remember to turn off the heat and don’t let the water run dry in the pan.

Do you ever make stove-top potpourri? When you do, do you like to heat it over the stove or use a slow cooker? If you decide to make this recipe, leave a comment below to let me know how it goes or share a photo on Instagram and use the hashtag #floranellarecipe so I can find it. =)

Much love,

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Erin Stewart is an herbalist, NAHA certified aromatherapist, organic gardener and urban homesteader. She grows over 150 kinds of aromatic and medicinal plants for her own apothecary and distills essential oils and hydrosols in her PNW garden. Erin is the founder of Floranella and of AromaCulture’s herbalism + aromatherapy magazine.

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4 thoughts on “Stove-top Potpourri Recipes”

  1. Good morning, Erin. Great timing with this post. I woke up today thinking about putting orange peel and rosemary sprigs in a pot to simmer and scent my home. Thanks for all the other options.

    Have a Blessed, Merry, and healthy Christmas!

    1. Erin Stewart

      I can already imagine how lovely that will smell! You have a happy Christmas too! <3

  2. Hi Erin,
    My Mom was born and raised in the country, when she moved to the city she brought with her, her “natural” life style and costumes. One of those were stove-top potpourri recipes, using oranges and oranges and lemons peel and even eucalyptus leaves which she used mostly on winter months to desinfect and clear the air in the house to prevent colds. Your combinations are lovely! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to both of you! May the Lord bless you, your family and your home.

    1. Erin Stewart

      What a lovely memory, Lilia! Thank you for sharing and a happy Christmas to you too! <3

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