How To Use Simmering Potpourri

Often given as a gift for housewarmings or for people who are moving houses, simmering potpourri often never gets used because a lot of people don’t really know what it’s for. They often confuse simmering potpourri with common, everyday, garden variety potpourri and just leave it in a bowl in the living room where it doesn’t add fragrance to the room and just collects dust until someone gifts a new batch of potpourri and the old one is discarded.

Like its name implies, simmering potpourri needs to be boiled to release the fragrances.

Below are basic instructions on how to use simmering potpourri as well as a few recipes you may want to try.

Wooden spoon
Cups of water (you’ll need to refer to your simmering potpourri pack for ratio)

  • Bring to a simmer. Put the water in the saucepan and put it above your stove burners. Bring the water to a simmer or until light steam comes from the uncovered pan. Depending on how much potpourri you have, you can also use a cooking pot.
  • Pour in the potpourri. As the water simmers, add in the potpourri, stirring it while turning the heat to low.
  • Let the scent waft. Since your burner is on low, you can allow the scent of the potpourri to gently fill the room. You can move it to a different room while the water is still steaming so you can fill that room with wonderful scents as well.
  • Keep it wet. Never allow the simmering potpourri to dry up. Pour in a cup of water each time it comes close to drying. Do not let the scent fade as you simmer the potpourri! Add in small increments of the potpourri if you can smell the scent fading.

Potpourri is also great for clearing nasal passages for cold or flu sufferers!

Below are a few potpourri recipes that will add a panoply of wonderful scents to your home.

  • Spicy simmering potpourri
    • 3 ½ cups anise star
    • 1 ¾ cup allspice
    • 1 ¾ cup each orange peel, juniper berries, nutmeg, cloves and lemon peel
    • 3 ½ cups cinnamon chips and rosehips
    • 3 handfuls of bay leaves

You can put in oil fragrances like French vanilla or vanilla fragrance as you simmer this potpourri recipe.

  • Citrus simmering potpourri
    • 1 cup cinnamon sticks
    • 1 cup chrysanthemum flowers
    • 3 cups lemon verbena leaves
    • 2 cups lemongrass
    • 1 cup orange petals
    • 1/8 cup cloves
    • 1/8 cup allspice
    • ½ cup lemon peel (grapefruit peels as an alternative)

You can use 1/8 oz each of lemon, tangerine, and cinnamon bark essential oil, ½ oz sweet orange essential oil

  • Floral simmering potpourri
    • 1 cup each of red and pink rosebuds and petals
    • 1 vanilla bean
    • 16 nutmegs
    • 2 cups cinnamon chips
    • 1 cup oak moss
    • 1 cup balm of Gilead buds
    • 1 ½ cups orange peel
    • 1 cup allspice
    • ¼ cup fenugreek seeds
    • ¼ cup cloves

Use ¾ oz of a floral fragrance of your preference in the simmering water.


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