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 real projects that real people can actually do! You don't have to be a pro in order to craft or do DIY projects; Practically Functional is full of projects for everyday life that anyone can do, regardless of skill or experience! Whether you're looking for fun crafts, DIY projects both big and small, gardening advice, cleaning tips, or quick and easy recipes, you'll find them here! Follow the step by step instructions in every tutorial, and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions! Make sure you subscribe to free weekly emails so you don't miss a single tutorial!

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    • says

      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.

  1. Crystelle says

    Yummmm…………… I love the smell of stove-top potpourri! Nothing says holidays quite like the welcoming scent of fresh fragrances on the stove….

  2. says

    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.

  3. says

    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.

  4. chris says

    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?

    • says

      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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