Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stovetop Potpourri

If you're anything like me, hearing the word potpourri conjures up images of that dried, nasty stuff that used to sit in china bowls on the end tables in my grandma's house. This is not that kind of potpourri.

I'm always burning some kind of candle or trying a new scent of Wallflower from Bath and Body. With two toddlers (one still in diapers) I need all the help I can get.

I've ordered some yummy smelling holiday candles from a friend's catalog party she had recently. But I'm sort of impatient (sort of) and I wanted my house to smell yummy NOW. I remember seeing this idea linked up to somebody somewhere's link party and decided to give it a shot. (If you have seen this idea posted somewhere in blogland recently, let me know and I'll give credit!)

All you do is fill a saucepan with water (maybe 2 cups?) - I added a little apple cider to mine. Then just add dashes of your favorite yummy spices from your spice cabinet. Here's what I added:
I added vanilla extract, a cinnamon stick, some pumpkin pie spice, some orange peel and almond extract which is quite possibly my most favorite smell ever. Then just let it simmer on LOW. The water will eventually evaporate, so just keep an eye on the water level and add more when necessary.

This is my water level getting a little low - you can see the bits of spice on the side of the pan where the water once was.

I love this idea so much and can now wait patiently for my fall/winter candles to arrive in the mail.

Have you done this before? What spice combinations do you love?

P.S. Is anybody else's kids getting up with the sun now with the time change? YIKES! I saw this post on making your own black-out curtains a while back and may be tackling it in the near future....


  1. Great idea! And yes, my 7 month old has decided that 4:45 is a great time to get up these days. The time change does not agree with babies, that's for sure!

  2. I've done this before and added orange or lemon slices to the pot with cinnamon sticks. Now I need to go buy some fruit!

  3. Ya, after peeling an orange I will sometimes stick the peels on the stove and toss in some cinnamon. Mmmmm

  4. We do it all the time but sometimes I just use water with cinnamon or add in some vanilla. If the little ones want an apple pealed I will throw those in


  5. Love the smell of potpourri...i am definitely gonna try this.

  6. Natalie, I've done this for years. In fact, it makes a great little gift to take to a friend, teacher, lady you visit teach, etc.. Here's what I do. Wrap these ingredients in pretty cellophane wrap and tie with a pretty ribbon. Then I set it in a cute little clay pot like 3 inches at most in diameter.You can get these at Michael's for like a dollar at the most. Sometimes I dab a little gold paint on it with a sponge to make it a little more festive. Then I attach a tag that reads:
    Made of Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
    1/2 orange (sliced but not peeled)
    1/2 lemon (sliced but not peeled)
    2 bay leaves
    1 tsp. Whole cloves
    2 cinnamon sticks
    Cover with water and simmer on stove.
    Renew by adding water
    It's a nice thing to bring someone around the holidays instead of another plate of cookies.

  7. Hi Natalie - I just saw your blog and I, too, have been doing the boiling pot of water trick for many years. I use basically the same sents -we live in Florida and this time of year my orange and grapefruit trees are loaded so I will cut slices and put them in with Cloves and Cinnamon. I have also used some flavored loose tea before but it has to be a pretty strong one! I also do the ole' "cloves stuck in the orange" pomanders too! Thanks for sharing - I'm loving your blog:)

  8. Another idea if you don't want to take up a burner and dirty a pot is to put it in a mug on an electric mug warmer. It works great, too. I just found an old mug that I really didn't care what happenend to it and I just keep refilling it with water.

  9. I just tried this after finding your post on Pinterest. I was wanting to give my kitchen a good scrub, but don't like spending time in the kitchen unless I am cooking because it just has a stuffy smell (much like the rest of my apartment). I started it on the stove with some apple cider I had in the fridge, vanilla, and ground cinnamon. Smells delicious. I ended up transferring it into an old jar I had laying around, Think it was a pickle jar, or salsa. One of those. Put it on my candle warmer like @Sweetsmilz suggested and it is working wonders. This looks like something I can put the lid on when I am done. Put it aside, and then use it again at a later date. But I am worried about the cider. Do you think the little bit of cider I used will spoil if sat out? My other thought would be cider vinegar, and the vinegar when evaporates would be good for my house, I am sure, but not sure how the smell would be when mixed with all the rest. Suppose I can try, but any suggestions?