Having this Christmas potpourri recipe simmering in a pot of hot water on the stovetop will make your house smell delicious and festive! Make it fresh or dried to give as gifts!
There is nothing quite so cozy as a pot of potpourri simmering on the stove during the holiday season. The smell is so much more fresh and real than anything you can get in a candle!
I’ve had friends stop by when I’ve had potpourri going on my woodstove this time of year and ask what I’ve been baking. Because it makes the entire house smell like all the wonderful Christmas cookies rolled into one!
Just get a pot of water simmering on the stove, and add in all of the ingredients to it to instantly put your whole home in the Christmas spirit. I mean, it can’t get much easier, right?
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why you’ll like making Stovetop christmas potpourri:
it smells amazing
If this is your first time making stovetop potpourri, I think you’re going to be really surprised by just how wonderful it smells! This combination of fruits and warm spices smells like the best Christmas baking day you can imagine.
a natural alternative to holiday candles
As much as I love (and miss) the coziness that a flickering Christmas candle brings, I don’t miss the headaches the artificial scents brought on.
If you are looking for a natural alternative to scented candles, try making beeswax candles made with essential oils.
Using a homemade stovetop potpourri is not only not bad for you, it’s actually good for you physically and emotionally to smell fresh, natural scents.
Another benefit to simmering stovetop potpourri is that it works as a humidifier putting moisture into the air when it’s dry in the Winter.
easy to make
Just get a pot of water simmering on the stove, add the ingredients to it and enjoy! So simple!
If you’re missing any of the ingredients, don’t overthink it. Just use what you have on hand! Stovetop potpourri recipes are always open to tweaking. Obviously, don’t use anything stinky like onions or garlic and you’ll be good…
makes a great gift!
Stovetop potpourri makes such a sweet and simple homemade Christmas gift idea! Follow the tips for making a dried version of this potpourri to give to your family and friends.
Try these 10 dried potpourri recipes for more holiday scent combinations!
what you need for This christmas Stovetop potpourri recipe:
Cranberries – fresh cranberries add a bright, but mild scent. Since cranberries don’t smell very strong, they are mostly to add a festive color to Christmas potpourri.
Orange – the combination of fresh oranges with all of the holiday spices is just so delicious!
Cinnamon – a couple of cinnamon sticks are the real stars of this mix. They are the first smell that you notice when the potpourri starts to simmer. Ground cinnamon works, it’s just a little messy.
Cloves – whole cloves add a warmth and extra spicy scent to this recipe. Ground cloves can be used instead, but again, whole spices are less messy.
Rosemary – adding a sprig of fresh rosemary not only makes Christmas potpourri look extra beautiful along side the cranberries in the pot, but it adds a nice mild pine scent too.
Star Anise (optional) – star anise add an extra Christmassy look to this potpourri and a beautifully sweet, spiced smell. Since star anise isn’t usually something we have on hand and this potpourri is still wonderful without it, I’m listing it as an optional ingredient.
Dutch oven, Saucepan or Crockpot – while potpourri is typically simmered in a large pot on the stove, you can use this recipe in a crockpot instead.
how to make Christmas potpourri:
Prep The Ingredients – Slice the orange, and add all of the ingredients to a pot filled with between 4 and 8 cups of water.
Heat The Water – Place the pot on the stove over low heat.
Simmer – Let the potpourri simmer as long as you like, adding more water as needed.
tips for success:
How To Make a Dried Christmas Potpourri – Use dried orange slices and omit the cranberries. Combine the ingredients together in a loosely sealed container. (dried fruits can start to mold in airtight containers) and store to use later or give as gifts.
To Use In The Crockpot – Simmer potpourri in a slow cooker with lid on and the temperature set to high.
Substitutions and Variations – Swap out the oranges for any other citrus you have on hand. Lemons and grapefruits also smell amazing in potpourri!
Ground spices can be used instead of whole, but the potpourri will be messier and less pretty to look at.
The cranberries can be left out if you prefer since they are mostly included to add a pop of festive color.
Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract or a whole vanilla bean for an extra yummy scent.
FAQ about making christmas potpourri:
What is stovetop potpourri?
Stovetop potpourri (or a stovetop simmer pot) is basically a combination of fresh or dry fruits, herbs and spices left to simmer in a pot of water to make your whole home smell delicious and festive!
How long can you simmer Christmas potpourri on the stove?
As long as you keep an eye on the water levels in the pot to make sure the water level doesn’t get too low to where it completely evaporates, a stovetop potpourri can last up to 3 days.
What temperature should the stove be at for potpourri?
The stove should always be set to a low temperature for potpourri that way the water doesn’t ever fully evaporate and the potpourri doesn’t burn.
how do you make dry holiday potpourri for gifts?
To make potpourri for gifting, make sure to use dried ingredients that way your gift doesn’t turn to a moldy mush within a few days.
Place all of the ingredients in a plastic baggie, or loosely sealed mason jar with a cute little label explaining how to use a stovetop potpourri. And of course, add festive a ribbon for fun.
Any holiday potpourri recipes can easily be adapted for gifting by swapping any fresh fruits and herbs for dried versions.
For this Christmas potpourri recipe, I just leave out the cranberries and use a handful of dried orange slices in place of the fresh orange the instructions call for.
Can I make stovetop potpourri in a slow cooker?
Using a slow cooker to simmer potpourri is a great option if you don’t want to have your stovetop on all day.
Just simmer the potpourri in a slow cooker or crock pot with the lid on and the temperature set to high.
To take homemade potpourri to your next Christmas party, use a mini crock-pot and half the ingredients in this recipe.
Can I make stovetop potpourri in advance?
You can prep and combine the potpourri ingredients in advance but the fresh ingredients have a very short shelf life.
Place all of the ingredients in a sealed baggie or Tupperware in the fridge for up to 4 days.
more handmade ideas for Christmas:
If you enjoyed making homemade Christmas potpourri, I think you’ll love making these other DIY ideas on the blog!
I hope you love this recipe for Christmas stovetop potpourri! If you make it, I’d love for you to come back and leave a comment and rating so that I know how it turned out!
Pin these steps to try later. Tag @athomeontheprairie on Instagram to share what you’ve made with us!