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Cold weather has finally hit D.C. and it is here to stay, at least for awhile. To make your home feel extra cozy and warm, try a simmering stove top potpourri. (Image: Ashley Hafstead)
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How to DIY your own stove top potpourri at home

Cold weather has finally hit D.C. and it is here to stay, at least for awhile. To make your home feel extra cozy and warm, try a simmering stove top potpourri. A basic stove top potpourri is made up of a combination of spices, dried and fresh fruits (or peels), and extracts. There are an infinite number of combinations to try, and it is so fun to experiment.

Simmering pots are a great replacement for air fresheners. This simple DIY project will fill your entire home with the most wonderful aroma, and the smell will last long after you have turned the burner off on your stove. Not only will these fragrant mixtures smell way better than dried potpourri and seasonal candles, but they are also cheaper. Additionally, simmering pots are a wonderful way to add moisture to the air. I often leave mine on all day long.

TIP: Don’t use simmering pots when you are not at home. Remember to always keep an eye on your stove, keep children away from the burners, and replace the water as needed.

Start by simply grabbing a big pot (the bigger the pot, the less you have to replenish with water), fill it with water and add your chosen combination of ingredients. At the beginning, I usually turn the stove top burner on high and allow the pot to come to a rolling boil to jump start all the scents. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer.

A great alternative to doing this on the stove top is to use your trusty slow cooker. Just set your slow cooker to low and let it do all the work!

Below are several of my favorite recipes and combinations to try:

Holiday Scent:

  • Cranberries
  • Orange Slices
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla
  • Cloves
  • Evergreen

Apple Rose Scent:

  • Apple Slices
  • Vanilla
  • Rose Water
  • Dried Roses

Spring Citrus Scent:

  • 1.) Orange slices
  • 2.) Grapefruit Slices
  • 3.) Tangerine Slices
  • 4.) Lemon Slices
  • 5.) Thyme springs
  • 6.) Rosemary sprigs
  • 7.) Vanilla

Citrus Eucalyptus Scent:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemon Slices
  • Vanilla

Bright Fresh Scent:

  • Lime Slices
  • Mint sprigs
  • Fresh Pine Needles
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Vanilla

Apple Pie Scent:

  • Apple Slices
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Lemon Slices
  • All Spice

If you'd like to play around and make your own signature scent, these are a few things I'd recommend keeping on hand

Spices

  • Cloves
  • Juniper Berries
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Anise (whole)
  • Ginger
  • Allspice

Herbs

  • Lavender petals
  • Rose petals
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Sage
  • Mint
  • Bay leaves

Fruit Peels

  • Grapefruit
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Apple

Extracts

  • Orange
  • Vanilla
  • Lemon
  • Almond

Have fun and just experiment with different combinations of fruit, extracts and spices to figure out your favorite combination!

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