4 Simple Stovetop Scents That Will Make Your Home Smell Amazing

Skip chemical-filled air fresheners and candles in favor of these DIY potpourri blends.

December 5, 2016
oranges and cinnamon

It’s no secret that a happy, inviting home is one that smells great. After all, why else would real estate agents make all those houses for sale smell like freshly baked cookies?

Of course, churning out baked goods on a daily basis would be a little crazy. And traditional air fresheners, aside from smelling fake, are usually loaded with hormone-disrupting phthalates. Natural options aren’t always better: The whole business of essential oils and diffusers can get messy. And incense—in addition to sometimes being overpowering—might not be so great for your health.  

Your space doesn’t have to be doomed to scentless existence, though. Just head for your pantry! By simmering fragrant ingredients like fruit, herbs, and spices on your stovetop, you can make your home smell warm, cozy, and all around awesome for hours. Yup, it’s that easy.

Just about any ingredient combo that tastes good would probably smell good, too. But if you’re looking for some scentspiration, we’ve got you covered. Here are four combos to try. 

(Find seasonal recipes, inspiring imagery, and gardening tips every day inside the Rodale’s Organic Life 2017 Calendar!)

christmas spice stovetop potpourri
Photograph courtesy of Yellow Bliss Road
Christmas Stovetop Potpourri

There’s no place like home for the holidays, especially when your space is filled with the aroma of cranberries, orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Whip up a batch for yourself, then make a few extras to give as gifts by placing the dry ingredients in glass jars, like Yellow Bliss Road

Related: 53 Kitchen Hacks That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier

lemon and rosemary stovetop potpourri
Photograph courtesy of Rachel Schultz
Lemon and Rosemary Stovetop Potpourri

Stovetop scents don’t have to be sweet. Rachel Schultz’s simple blend of fresh rosemary, lemon slices, and vanilla extract is fresh, clean, and not the least bit cloying. In other words, perfect for when you need a break from all the peppermint mocha and gingerbread.

fall spice stovetop potpourri
Photograph courtesy of Make Life Lovely
Fall Stovetop Potpourri

Not ready to say good-bye to fall quite yet? Even though the red and orange leaves are long gone outside, you can keep the autumnal vibes going inside with Make Life Lovely’s simple stovetop mix of fall fruit and warm spices. It’ll remind you of that perfectly crisp day in October when you went apple picking—and bought a bag of still-warm apple cider doughnuts instead. 

grapefruit stovetop potpourri
Photograph courtesy of Hello Luvvy
Grapefruit Simmer

Come January 1, you might be itching for a fresh start. Once the decorations come down, put a pot of Hello Luvvy’s refreshing simmer on the stove. With red grapefruit, shredded coconut, eucalyptus leaves, rosemary, and vanilla, it’ll be the exact opposite of everything you’ve been smelling since the middle of November.