HOMEMADE SIMMERING POTPOURRI- Make a delicious smelling potpourri for your home!

I’m almost obsessed with how my home smells. I have a very very good nose. I can pick up all kinds of aromas that most people can’t. So keeping my home not only smelling clean but smelling scrumptious is important to me. The best way, without a doubt, to have a wonderful smelling home is with homemade simmering potpourri! I’ve make lots and lots of them but my favorite is the one’s that I make with things like orange peels and apple cores and used lemons. Today is PRACTICALLY SPEAKING and we are talking about the easiest, most cost effective and practical way to a delicious smelling home!

HOMEMADE SIMMERING POTPOURRI- Make a delicious smelling potpourri for your home!

Don’t you love when you can do something that is great for your home and makes all who are in it happy! This potpourri uses no chemicals, has nothing artificial and smells like no spray or even oil (and I love oils) can!

I keep a pot on my stove and when I use a lemon or eat an orange or an apple I throw the peels, cores, and seeds in the pot. It does not have to look pretty, it just has to smell that way! The parts we discard have the natural oils in it and that is where the lovely aromas are!

Added to the fruit in the pot, I throw in a few cinnamon sticks and star anise, all spice, and cloves. If I am feeling generous I add a nutmeg. The contents of the pot is covered with water and I let it gently simmer! 

Right now I am ravenous for clementines so my simmering potpourri smells of orange citrus and warm spices. Over the summer I was whipping up oodles of batches of Caesar salad dressing to keep up with the lettuce in the garden so I had quite a lot of spent lemons. My summer simmering potpourri was lemony with rosemary from the herb garden.

HOMEMADE SIMMERING POTPOURRI- Make a delicious smelling potpourri for your home!


The idea is to use what you have on hand and throw it in a pot of simmering water! 

I make sure to set my timer and check the water level every 30 minutes. Be careful our pot does not simmer away all the water.


The result of this simmering pot of peels and cores and seeds is an amazing, soft, real-smelling, mixture of fruit and spices wafting through your home! And there is nothing quite like it. 

Inexpensive, easy, practical, useful and beautiful! Get out a pot and start filling your home with luscious fragrances today!

You might like to follow me on Pinterest and see what I’m finding to pin every day HERE!


HOMEMADE SIMMERING POTPOURRI- Make a delicious smelling potpourri for your home!

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  1. Your posts always make me want to act and do something straight away, of course now I want to add some delicious smells to the house! I haven’t seen any clementines in the supermarket here yet, still a bit too early in the year, probably in another couple of weeks. Once they arrive I know autumn is here!

  2. Carol Davis says:

    The light bulb finally came on. Had never given a thought to simmering potpourri in the summer, only in the cooler months with the mix you post for gift giving. Will go out into the garden today and bring in some of the rosemary that is abundant and apples are in the fridge so that is an easy mix.

  3. I love this one, Yvonne. (I even pinned it to my Freshen Air Naturally board). I can’t wait to get my own pot going on the stove. I’m wondering, can I compost this once it’s used up. Oh! and when do you know to begin a fresh pot?

    1. Thanks for pinning Jen! I love my pinners! I bet you can compost the contents when you are done simmering them. And you will know when it’s time to replace what’s in the pot… it gets so mushy. I can usually use the cinnamon sticks again and agian.

  4. I am also a bit obsessed with making sure my home smells good . I like the idea of apple cores added to the simmering potpourri. I have plenty of rosemaey growing too ! Thank you!

  5. Annette, I have a tiny inexpensive “crockpot” that I use for homemade potpourri. It came with a lid so I can cover it at the end of the day. Because it simmers at such a low heat, I only add water once a day at the most. It adds a lovely fragrance to our house.

  6. I love making my own potpourri.

  7. I’m with you Yvonne – I love simmering scents in my home. This is a wonderful idea. What’s better to say “Fall” than cinnamon and spices? Get the pot out! 🙂

  8. I used to do this, but for some reason have forgotten it over the years. So much better than anything else.
    Thanks for this reminder!

  9. Dale Vitto says:

    What a great idea! I love the idea of using everything up, even peels and skins of fruit. Very resourceful and creative! Thank you, Yvonne.

  10. Never tried this before – thanks for the new idea on how to turn produce scrapes into something useful & pleasant for our home.

  11. Great post! I also have a sensitive nose and especially like my home to smell nice. I have never tried simmering potpourri but I sure will now!

  12. Beverly Giles says:

    Great way to make use of sweet smelling things I’ve been throwing away. No more waste.

  13. This is a first-rate idea! Love the idea of using peels and apple cores for potpourri. I have a very small crock pot that I use for simmering scents (because I can’t remember to check a pot on the stove). Thanks for this great idea!

  14. Yum, smells like home. Will definitely make this.Thanks for posting.

  15. Sheila Gunderson says:

    You are amazing Yvonne, what a great way to use “scraps” and reuse and recycle!

  16. Carol Elkins says:

    I am going to try this. I’m not crazy about most store bought potpourri, so this sounds like it smells amazing.

  17. Love the idea of using a small crock pot.

  18. Your simmering potpourri is a great idea. I started making my own this fall, but I never thought of a small crock pot for the simmering! Good smells are always inviting.

  19. Linda Schmidt says:

    Will use rosemary from our garden to start smelling good for fall and apples that fallen from the tree. Thank you for this great idea.

  20. This is a brilliant idea Yvonne! I have a friend who always has a simmer pot on her stove, and her home always smells delicious. I love the idea of the little crockpot, too.

  21. That sounds so wonderful. I have forgotten how easy this was as I’ve done this before but I got out of the habit of doing it. You’ve imspired me, once again, to fire up the pot for fall. Thanks Yvonne!

  22. How long do you keep your potpourri ingredients going? When do you throw away and start over?

  23. The natural oils in the citrus fruits are awesome along with the fragrant spices. Now just to remember to keep checking on the water level in the pan on the stove! Thanks again, Yvonne!

  24. Thanks Yvonne! I was wondering if you would be able to use a crock pot in place of the stove. I have a small one that would be perfect for such a thing!

    Once again, thank you for your ideas!

    1. Some of my readers are going to use a small crock pot. I’m running out to buy one too!

  25. Sounds wonderful, what spices do you use in the mixture? You have such great ideas Yvonne!

  26. How frugal of you! It didn’t occur to me to use the orange peels I’m tossing in the trash. This is one of those times that I’m wondering why didn’t I think of this on my own. Thank you for your inspiration.

  27. What a fun idea! I’ve never used my small crockpot. I now have a reason to use it. The idea of using all the “refuse” of fruits is amazing. I do love the smell of cinnamon and cloves. Is there a way I can get the Pumpkin fragrance?? Then I would have that pumpkin delicious scent in the house.

  28. I think the reason I love fall so much is because of the wonderful smells from baking, candles and simmering spices on the stove.
    Can’ wait to try your version.

  29. Ohhh my , I can smell it already! We’re having a typical fall day here in Ontario, a bit of rain , cool and windy. This would be a lovely, comforting scent to come home to . I’m going to make it in my miniature cock-pot and let it simmer all day. Thanks for the idea Yvonne.

  30. Terri Zondervan says:

    I do this, then pour it in my compost when it’s been used enough and I ready for something different.

  31. To all of the above I always add vanilla.

  32. I am going to do this! I have a small crock pot that is hardly ever used! Perfect suggestion!!

  33. Sherry Pelle says:

    I’m gonna try this in a little crock pot I have Yvonne! I might even add vanilla to it!

  34. Your blog has become a daily ritual for me. Love the practical use of items we would tend to throw away. And I agree with you, I love the smell of the natural potpourri in my home.

  35. Love, love, love a good smelling house. I also use my small crockpot so I don’t have to watch it as close.

  36. Love love love this idea!

  37. I love the idea of an all natural scent for my home. Most store bought fragrances are a little too overpowering. I guess I have to start eating more fruit!

  38. GwenCondit says:

    I read through all the comments and we all agree we are doing this. I don’t feel great but I’ve not had my apple yet and I do believe I have an orange. So off to the kitchen to gather my spices and I’m trying this –going to talk to Seri first to set those alarms!! Gotta go. Then must lie down.
    Thank you so much.
    I’m not sure if I’ll like rosemary so I’ll try that later.
    I love all the variety of your posts.

    1. Sorry to hear you are not feeling well, Gwen. Don’t fall asleep with the stove on.

  39. This would make the home smell so fresh. I love candles but sometimes they are just too strong.

  40. I seem to have the nose of a bloodhound too, and I cannot stand funky smells in my house. This is a great idea for a natural smell without introducing chemical-laden air freshener so into the air. You have the best ideas!

  41. I love doing this ,I do this in the fall and winter, but in summer I use rosemary mint and lavendar , that is also totally beautiful in my home. I,too love beautiful fragrances you put together a nice fall line up though and I’ll try it.

  42. Teresa Alexander says:

    I can smell it now! thank you for your lovely post!

  43. andrea bayot says:

    I love using what is normally thrown away for something awesome! Can’t wait to have this simmering on the stove and the smells throughout our home.

  44. Yvonne,

    I’ve never thought of summer pop potpourri, love the lemon, rosemary blend, two great smells together, yum!
    It’s a bit cool here today and I just got through telling my husband that it’s about time to get the pop potpourri
    simmering on the stove!!
    Great minds! ?

  45. I am so in love with your website. I cannot wait to see what you post next. Please keep the ideas coming!

  46. Thanks for the how two’s, will definitely using this in the house thank you.

  47. Bernadette says:

    What a great idea. Can’t wait to try this!!

  48. This is great. I have never tried making my own potpourri! I will definitely have to try this ASAP!

  49. As soon as we get a nip in the air i start the potpourri on the stove! Quick tip is I save all of the orange peels throughout the summer and let them air dry and then put them in jars to save up for my potpourri for the fall and winter. I put them on top of a screen that i have setup in the unfinished side of my basement and they dry out nicely. All you need is a 1/4 of a peel and you can really smell the orange! I bet you could do the same with lemons … never thought of that. And we go through a lot of lemons in the summer!
    Thank you Yvonne … your site is one of my FAVORITES! (also … i am a Realtor and i give this tip to all of my clients. Fresh potpourri smells so much better than candles! I tell them to keep a pot on the stove … turn it on for 30 minutes before the showing and then turn off … the homes smell heavenly!)

  50. Yum, I’m going to do some lemons today. I understand that a citrus spray also keeps kitty’s from scratching furniture.

  51. I’m getting my pot and putting it on the stove when I get home from work tonight. What a great idea in using scraps. Thanks. You are so clever and imaginative. 🙂

  52. Carol Ann says:

    Yvonne: HOW do you find the time and energy to do everything you do and accomplish it all so beautifully? And then bake pies?? My hat is off to you! Thanks for the wonderful potpourri idea.

  53. FernTrudeau says:

    There are such wonderful ideas here and I can’t wait to try them. I may need a crock pot too. I love the thought of drying orange and lemon peels to use later.

  54. Carolyn Lendenski says:

    I love your website and great ideas!

  55. One of my favorite things about fall is the smells ! Thanks for reminding me.

  56. The smells of Fall reminding me if Thanksgiving and my many blessings.

  57. If you really want to pick up the scent, in your home, on a busy day, add some leaves of fresh mint to your potpourri simmer.
    Another great spice to add, one tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice. Smells like Thanksgiving!!!