Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Simmering Potpourri

on October 19, 2015

This time of year, when we Minnesotans are forced inside for the winter, the house seems to smell bad. Not bad, really, but just stale. I’m used to being outside A LOT during the summer, and when I’m stuck inside all winter, I need something to help freshen up the indoor air. I have done a simmering potpourri for years, but when perusing Pinterest, I saw a blog that had such a beautiful photo of a pot of simmering potpourri, that I had to read on and see what else they added. There were a couple of new things that I hadn’t thought of adding, and I like it. You can find that original post here. This is the ultimate scent of fall: spicy and citrusy and wonderful.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Simmering Potpourri

Peel of 1 orange

2 apples, cut in chunks

2 sticks of cinnamon

2 tablespoons whole cloves

2 tablespoons whole allspice

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon almond extract

2 cups water

Simmer over low heat on stove top. I have used a very small crock pot that I have for this.

Keep an eye on it – you’ll have to replenish the water so it doesn’t burn! I also have to occasionally replenish the water in the small crock pot.


I’m putting this into the cast iron pan we bought on our honeymoon to Yellowstone National Park. Believe it or not, we actually bought this pan at Wall Drug on the way there!!


This is just so pretty and smells SOOOOOO good! I really enjoyed making it as much as smelling it later.


You can add any spices and/or fruit you like in this, but I used the most fall-ish scents I could think of. Lemon and rosemary are also a great combination that I like because it reminds me of those Saturday house-cleaning sessions when I was a kid – all that lemon furniture polish.


Full disclosure – it wasn’t a great idea to do this in the cast iron pan. It took the “seasoning” off of the pan and turned the potpourri totally black! It still smelled wonderful, but didn’t look so good! Try this potpourri in a sauce pan or crock pot. It smells like fall and you can use this all the way through to Thanksgiving and beyond! I know I will be using a simmering potpourri to freshen the air in my house – at least until I get used to being indoors again for the winter.




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