Every season has its definitive, nostalgia-inducing scent. For me, the holidays mean the sweetness of apple cider, and the warmth of cinnamon from freshly baked cookies. But you don’t have to start baking to make your home or business smell inviting. Instead, use simmering spices: A blend of fruit, spices and simmering water that acts as a natural aromatic air freshener.
During the holidays in our house and shop, there will inevitably be a pot warming on the stove, bubbling away and bringing a smile to everyone’s face as they walked through our front door. And during the spring, when we’re trying to air out the house, we open the windows and pop on a pot of water with some simmering spices – and the air smells clean and fresh, without any chemicals.
Making up packages of our favorite simmering spice blends has become our go-to hostess and business thank-you gifts over the years. The best part: the mixture can be used over and over, until the scent has faded.
Here’s what you’ll need: saucepan, wooden spoon, water and simmering spices pack.
Put the water in the saucepan and put it on your stovetop. Bring the water to a simmer or until light steam comes from the uncovered pan. Depending on how much potpourri you have, you can also use a cooking pot or a crock pot.
As the water simmers, add in your spices, stirring them while turning the heat to low. Once you can smell the spices, you’re done! Sit back and enjoy.
Need inspiration? Create a citrus-spicy scent by combining whole cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, one sliced apple and a sliced orange. (I would also add a half-cup of fresh cranberries!) Prefer a more Christmas scent? Combine 3 springs of evergreen, 2 whole cinnamon sticks, 2 T whole cloves, 2 bay leaves, and a couple of pieces of orange and lemon rind. Want something more fresh for spring? Try mixing 5 bay leaves, 4 whole cinnamon sticks and two sliced up lemons.
Prefer to use something already blended, just for you? We make limited supplies of spice blends that were Patricia’s great-grandmother’s recipe:
Please note: These are made in very small batches, using organic ingredients. The orange and lemons can be in short supply during certain times of the year, so if we’re sold out, send us a note and we’ll let you know when we should have the ingredients back in stock.
IMPORTANT: Never allow the simmering potpourri to dry up and never leave a boiling pot unattended. Check on your simmering pot every 30 minutes or so, and add water if the pot’s water level looks low – or more spices if the scent is fading.