Holiday Simmer Pot (Stovetop Potpourri)

March 2, 2023 / by
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There is nothing better than having your whole house smell like the holidays. With this Holiday Simmer Pot recipe, you can experience the aromatic blend of cinnamon, apple, oranges, cranberries, and more to create a magical scent for your home.

Are you hosting for the holiday season or want your home to really capture that holly jolly mood you’re in? This Holiday Simmer Pot is going to make your entire home feel and smell cozy. 

Christmas is my favorite holiday and the end of the year is such a beautiful time. I’ve always loved finding ways to make the holiday season extra special and extra cheerful – and this is one of them.

A simmer pot is the perfect way to get everyone in the mood for the holidays and it’s completely natural and super easy. Not only does this simmer pot – also called stovetop potpourri – smell amazing, but it also looks incredible just sitting on your stove! 

I love simmer pots because they’re such an inexpensive alternative to store-bought air fresheners or candles, which often don’t last very long in the first place. Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover fruits and herbs.

Additionally, it’s a great way to add moisutrer to the dry, indoor air during winter months. If you don’t have a humidifier or just feel like your home needs a pick-me-up, stovetop potpourri is the quick and cozy thing that you have been looking for.

What is a holiday simmer pot?

A simmer pot is a pot of water mixed with spices, fruits, and herbs that simmers and emanates beautiful aromatics throughout your space. In other words, it takes place of a scented candle! 

With 35% of candle sales occurring during the holiday season, it’s better to save your bank account from that Yankee Candle haul and instead go for this completely natural and free stovetop potpourri method. 

Plus, isn’t it more fun to create your own fragrance every time you want it to smell like the holidays?

There are plenty of different simmer pot recipes, but this Holiday Simmer Pot recipe uses orange and apple slices, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, star anises, vanilla extract, and, pine twigs/needles for a wonderful holiday fragrance.


Why I Love This Holiday Simmer Pot Recipe

What’s great about this is you can add or subtract ingredients as you please! Whether you want a different holiday mix or a simmer pot recipe to use throughout the year, there are endless options.

Other herbs, spices, or fruits you could add to this recipe include:

  • Fresh or dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme, lavender, and sage
  • Spices like allspice, nutmeg, and more
  • Fruits like lemons or limes
  • Berries like raspberries and blueberries
  • Essential oils like peppermint, lavender, and orange
  • Pods like vanilla or cardamom
  • Flowers like rose petals, jasmine, or chamomile
  • Cones, such as pine cones or cedar cones
  • Herbal teas or tea bags
  • Spices blends like pumpkin spice or apple pie spice (be sure they’re heat resistant!)
  • And more!

So, the next time you’re having a holiday or winter gathering, you can whip this recipe up and have everyone feeling the spirit of the season. It’s also a great way to combat other odors, such as if your home smells like fish or garlic after cooking certain recipes.

Additionally, simmer pots can last up to 4 days, depending on what you are simmering. If you are using fruit like in this holiday simmer pot recipe, I would only recommend using it for one day. However, if you chose to stick only herbs and spices, you could simply cover the pot when not in use and reheat as needed for a few days, adding water as needed.

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Holiday Simmer Pot (Stovetop Potpourri)

  • Author: Garianne Gagliardi
  • Total Time: 5 mins


  • water
  • cranberries
  • orange, sliced
  • apple, sliced
  • cinnamon sticks
  • cloves
  • star anise
  • vanilla extract
  • if you have a real tree, throw in some pine!


Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let sit for hours! Enjoy.


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Hi, I’m Garianne

A content creator, food lover, and mom. I’m so glad you’re here! This is where you can find all my healthy recipes and kitchen products I love.

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Holiday Simmer Pot (Stovetop Potpourri)