No other season is as tethered to our sense of smell as the holiday season, which so many of us associate with kitchen scents of spiced pumpkin and cinnamon apple cider and vanilla bean, of crisp pine and blue spruce.
Though these are warm and comforting smells, most of the candles and air fresheners you’ll find in supermarkets are made of artificial ingredients and can be crammed with potentially hazardous chemicals. At Native Trails, we like to keep things natural, right down to our air fresheners, and we love this seasonal olfactory masterpiece to replace our standard homemade lavender room freshener. There’s nothing quite as delicious-smelling as potpourri that’s simmered on the kitchen stove—whether it’s put on for a special occasion or just because. Plus, it’s what your grandmother did, and tradition is tops this time of year.
The below recipe is guaranteed to make your house smell like a fall wonderland.
Holiday Simmer Pot Recipe
2 oranges cut into halves or quarters (or just save your orange rinds to use)
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole allspice
1-2 whole nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
*Alternately, ground versions of these common spices may be used. It just doesn’t make for quite such a picturesque presentation.
To keep your house smelling delicious, keep the potpourri simmering; you must continue to add water as it gets low or it can burn.Combine all ingredients in a small to medium-sized saucepan or mini crockpot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a very low simmer.
And while we’re in this season of giving, it’s worth mentioning that packaging up this recipe and its ingredients in a baggie or jar makes a wonderful last-minute hostess gift.