DIY Simmering Scent: Potpourri for the Stovetop

Make your own DIY Simmering Scent (Potpourri) to give as a homemade gift for the holidays. Easy and budget friendly Christmas gift idea!

jars of stovetop potpourri with tags

*This post was originally published in 2017. It’s been updated with new images, fresh links, and more information. Enjoy!

Everyone has their own way of celebrating the holidays…especially Christmas. However, there are a few things that are universal, and that families all over the world incorporate into their own traditions. A Christmas tree, pine boughs, Christmas music, baked goods, and candy. In addition to the sights and sounds of Christmas, there are also smells. That’s where this DIY Simmering Scent (or Potpourri) comes in. What if you could package up those smells and give them away as a wonderful, made-from-the-heart gift? Well…you can.

*Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement.

simmering scent potpourri ingredients

DIY Simmering Scent: Potpourri for the Stovetop

Making your own DIY simmering scent (or potpourri) is not only easy, it’s a budget-friendly and fun project. It’s an all-natural way to make your home smell good without candles, sprays, or other chemicals. Combine your favorite natural elements, add water, simmer on the stove, and breathe in the lovely smell of Christmas. Here is a list of possible natural elements that can be used:

Combine any of the elements listed above for your very own personal simmering scent. For one “serving,” measure enough scent mixture to fill one to two cups. Note: if you are making the potpourri for yourself, and plan to use it immediately, fresh citrus, cranberries, and apples work beautifully. If you plan to package it, it’s best to use dried fruit. 

jars of stovetop potpourri

Directions for simmering

Place the scent mixture in a pan or tea kettle on the stove. Add enough water to cover the scent mixture. (Some items will float. That’s what you want.) Heat on medium until it begins to slightly boil and then turn the burner as low as it can go. Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it, and if the water begins to evaporate, just add more. Make sure the water never evaporates completely.

handcrafted christmas simmering scent potpourri

If you want to give your simmering scent as a gift, it can be packaged in canning jars, cellophane bags tied with ribbon, or kraft coffee bags. For a lovely, custom touch to your packaging, tie on a tag with festive red and white twine. Get the printable tag featured in this post by filling out the form below. I recommend that you print the tags on good quality white cardstock. If you are already an OSP email subscriber, please fill out the form to get your tags. (Don’t worry…you will not have duplicate subscriptions.)

This project is not only a gift to give away, it’s a gift for yourself. Sometimes all it takes is a very small thing to trigger a wonderful memory. By using simmering holiday scents in your home during the Christmas season, you can begin a family tradition that will last for years. Someday, perhaps one of your children or grandchildren will smell cinnamon or citrus, and be instantly transported back to your home during the holidays. What a perfectly lovely thought.