08 December 2012

D-I-Y Simmering Potpourri

I love to burn candles and simmer potpourri - especially when the scents fill the entire house.

One of my favorite scent combos is orange, cinnamon, and cloves. To me, it's a warm, inviting scent that smells like a house should smell at Christmastime. I bought a candle with this combo from Whole Foods once, and it had a tremendous scent throw - the whole house smelled delicious! So I decided to try to recreate this scent with a simmering potpourri.


Here's what I used:
  • 1 whole orange, cut into eight pieces
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon, broken into 3 pieces each
  • 1 TBSP. whole cloves
  • water

To use:
Add orange, cinnamon, and cloves to simmering pot, then add water until pot is full. Monitor water level frequently, adding more water as needed.

I had read on Pinterest that a lot of people didn't bother to refrigerate their potpourri at night. Since I'm a skeptic, and really didn't want green fuzzy stuff growing on my potpourri, I refrigerate mine at night. I just let it cool down a bit and transfer it to a Ziploc container and pop it in the fridge. The next morning, I just pour it back into the mini crockpot.

Now I also read on Pinterest that a lot of people just simmer in a pan on their stovetop. I suppose this is okay - but only if you're willing to watch it constantly or set a timer to check it. Yes, I learned this the hard way. Simmering on the stove gives you a stronger scent, but it also gives you a strong scent of burnt potpourri when then pan boils dry. I now simmer mine in a small crockpot. :-)

One person on Pinterest swore that she was able to reuse her potpourri for an entire month by refrigerating it at night. She never added anything to it but water and said the scent lasted all that time. Well, she must have some pretty potent oranges and spices because mine lasts about a week. By that time, the oranges are dark brown, the water tends to stay muddy, and the scent weakens a lot. I make a new batch every week - reusing the cinnamon sticks because they last a long time.


You can add other things to the brew as well. Sometimes, I throw in a couple of slices of lemon. You could also add cranberries, nutmeg, pine needles (I'm going to try this!), or whatever you like.

Experiment with it and let me know what you try!
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