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Easy Simmering Homemade Potpourri: All Natural Ingredients

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This homemade potpourri is less sweet than you’d expect, more complex in scent, easy to make and won’t cost you much. Find out how to make your own here.

DIY homemade potpourri with fruits, cloves and cinnamon sticks

**If you’d rather watch a short recipe video here it is!

When you walk into your home what do you see?

Is it cluttered or clean? Messy or orderly?

What sounds do you hear?

Is it the pitter patter of your beloved pets welcoming you home or the laughter (or bickering) of children?

What do you smell?

Pet odors or air freshener? Your spicy garlicky dinner or the scent of flowers?

A bowl of fruit, with Potpourri and Holiday

I almost always notice the smells as I engage with my surroundings. (It can  often be annoying!)

A pleasant scent immediately makes me feel welcome while an overpowering odor grabs my attention.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

We’ve owned pets for years and I always wonder if someone might sniff out a bad odor when they visit me. (Plus I’ve always had dogs who tend to pass gas at the most inopportune times!)

With this easy homemade potpourri the worry is gone!

A bowl of food, with Party and Fruit

I love to make this recipe because it’s easy, smells amazing and adds to the festive party atmosphere when I’m entertaining.

What is potpourri?

Potpourri can be a mixture of flowers, fruit, oils and other natural scents.

Made with four ingredients, this potpourri will have your home smelling like the holidays in no time! 

A bowl of fruit on a table, with Holiday and Party

How to make homemade potpourri

The cinnamon and cloves together create such a rich fragrance that I also enjoy simmering this homemade potpourri during the day to get us in the holiday spirit.

I’m a huge fan of cloves (have you seen my Instant Russian Tea recipe?)

(Money saving tip: buy bags of cranberries before Christmas when they’re on sale. Freeze and enjoy in recipes in months to come!)

Can you use essential oils in this mixture?

Of course you can! If you have a favorite oil just add a few drops while it’s simmering.

Can you leave this on the stove?

Turn the stove off before all the liquid is drained and add a bit more water and freshen with oils and you’re good to go the next day!

I love to find easy ways to make entertaining easy. In the past I was the “hostess with the mostest” but everything had to be perfect.

Every year I would host a Christmas party for my church choir and I did all the things. All the food. All the decorating. Invitations. You name it!

But what I’ve realized as I’ve matured is perfection is highly overrated. With that tendency came the stress of making everything just right. And whew, that takes a lot of work!

Now I’m more concerned with making sure my guests are comfortable and happy! Relationships are my number one priority and I hope friends and family who spend time in my home know they are well loved.

Next month, put on some Christmas music, take the initiative by whipping out the baking supplies and make some memories with your family!

I promise you won’t regret it!

A bowl of soup and a spoon, with Potpourri and Holiday

Simmering Homemade Potpourri Instructions

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1 whole orange or orange peel
1/2 cup cranberries
1 tbs whole cloves
3 Cinnamon sticks

A bowl of fruit, with Potpourri

Simmering Homemade Potpourri

Make this easy homemade potpourri for a delightful holiday home!
Course Essential Oil
Keyword Homemade Potpourri
Calories 52kcal
Author Marty's Musings


  • 1 whole orange or orange peel
  • ½ cup cranberries
  • 1 tbs whole cloves
  • 3 sticks of cinnamon


  • Quarter the orange and add to a small saucepan (or just use the orange peel).
  • Add cranberries, cloves and cinnamon sticks.
  • Fill pan with water and and set on lowest burner setting.
  • As the potpourri simmers, add water as necessary.



I used frozen cranberries. Money saving tip: buy extra bags around Christmastime to save for later.
Do not allow the water to evaporate. I check the water and refill as necessary every time I use it.
Potpourri will last several weeks, but you can add more ingredients to freshen the scent as necessary.
This mixture will fill your house with the warmth of the holiday season!

Have you seen all my favorite drinks for entertaining?

 Instant Russian Tea with Tang

A close up of a beverage on a table

Frozen Jello Punch

Punch and Blue

Blue Frozen Punch



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  1. Hey friend.
    What do you do to with this in order to keep it for several weeks? I have made mixtures like this but throw them out at the end of the day. Thanks.

    1. Hey, gal. I just leave it on top of the stove and simmer when I want to. Now it won’t look pretty but it will still smell good. You can always add some fresh peel or cinnamon sticks to replace the old ones.

      1. I use cinnamon sticks, allspice whole, nutmeg whole,ginger,add Al little water in a tin foil pan,put on burner on high until starts to simmer ,turn off and enjoy the aroma,this will last a week,just add Al little water each day. Enjoy?

  2. I just pinned this and shared it on my facebook page. Can’t wait to try it! All the great smells melding together. What a wonderful aroma!

  3. Natural scents are the way to go. My mother died of cancer, and I really try to eliminate chemicals as much as possible. And really who can beat cinnamon sticks 🙂

    1. I’m so sorry about your loss, Deborah. I have not lost anyone in my immediate family to cancer, but my sister died of a heart attack in 2000 and both my parents are gone, with my mom’s death due to nursing home neglect. Losing a loved one, especially during the holidays as everyone is celebrating, is so hard. (((hugs)))

  4. Made this potpourri today and radio station here is already playing Christmas music, so it just made me feel happy ! I do the same as you, leave the pot on the stove ( no heat on ) and use it until it looks too gross and then I toss it and start a new batch

    1. Hi, Angel. I just leave it in a pan on the stove and add some water the next time I use it. It doesn’t stay pretty for very long, but that’s okay. It’s the scent of Christmas! I just throw it out when it looks really bad and start another batch. Hope that helps!


  5. I make a very similar mix. As I use oranges, I set out the peels and dry them completely and then store in an airtight juar. I have kept them for months with no problem and as soon as you open the jar, the wonderful orange aroma greets you. I also use a simmering size or dip size crock pot for mine. I continue to add water as necessary and have added ground cinnamon as needed. It lasts for at least a couple of weeks.

  6. Pingback: Holiday Party Planning Ideas | Blue Mountain Blog
  7. I love to simmer potpourri on the stove top or in my dip crockpot. It’s so easy to adjust the flavour to suit your mood. Love the addition of the cranberries.

  8. What a great idea! I need this in my life. With 4 kids running around sometimes I can’t always pin point smells, so this would help until I could! Lol. Thank you for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday.

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