Make Your Home Smell like Christmas with this Cheap Stovetop Simmer Pot

Winter self-care: make your house smell like christmas. Picture of spices on a table.

Welcome to the fifth day of Blogmas with Sara Laughed, where I’m blogging every day ’til Christmas Day. Head over to my Blogmas calendar to see the full collection, or click on the gift tag below!

Here in the Netherlands, fall is rolling into winter and clementines are everywhere. Our supermarket is having them on sale all season long, which means that, between these and the lemons I squeeze into my water, Ken’s and my fruit bowl is almost entirely filled with citrus. I’m not complaining — I love the taste of clementines, and even the smell that peeling one leaves on your fingers. But after seeing a Pinterest pin a few days ago, I’ve found a new potential use for clementine peels: making our house smell like Christmas.

The trick I’m showing you today is nothing new. If your mother didn’t do it when you were growing up, then you’ve probably seen it around the internet: throw a bunch of wintery ingredients into a pot of boiling water, and simmer, uncovered, for a few hours to make your house smell like heaven.

There are lots of ingredients you could use for this, but I recommend using things that you already having in your home — no need to go out to buy a bunch of things just to boil them! Here are a few you might find in your pantry (or outside) that you could use in your stovetop potpourri:

  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Star anise
  • Whole cloves
  • Bay leaves
  • Slices of orange or lemon
  • Clementine peels
  • Pine twigs
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Bay leaves
  • Fresh ginger
  • Sage
  • Chai tea bags
  • Vanilla extract
  • Vanilla beans
  • Almond extract

My personal favorite combination is cranberries, clementine peels, cinnamon, and cloves. It’s a great air freshener for the house and we often get comments from our guests about it. The one downside is that Ken sometimes thinks I’m baking something delicious and is disappointed when it turns out there’s nothing new for him to eat!

Choose your ingredients and combine them in a large pot of water. Put the pot on the stove, uncovered, and let it boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce so that it simmers, and let it sit for a few hours. Your house will smell heavenly!

Make your home smell like Christmas with this easy stovetop recipe!

Sara Laughed

Hey hey! I'm Sara, an American writer living in the Netherlands and working as a product manager.

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