Make Your Home Smell Like Fall: Simmering Stovetop Potpourri

To me, fall is about coziness. It’s about bundling up in warm scarves and lacing up your favorite boots. It’s the warmth of natural wood and burnt orange hues. It’s the tastes and scents of pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, and all the spices that go along with them. Scent plays a huge role in giving your home that cozy factor – and fall scents are some of the coziest out there.  There are lots of ways to get your home to smell like fall. You can burn pumpkin-scented candles… you can bake fresh apple pies… and you can make simmering stovetop potpourri.

When the weather cools down, I become smitten with simmering stovetop potpourri. There are so many different combinations and it’s so fun to play around with your favorite ingredients until you reach that perfect scent. All you have to do is fill a saucepan with water (or in this case, cider), add your favorite spices, bring to a boil, and then let simmer as scents of apple, cinnamon, and pumpkin swirl through your home, filling up every room. The recipe below is how I make my absolute favorite fall simmering stovetop potpourri. Bursting with the sweet and spicy scents of fall fall, this recipe will make your home feel like fall in an instant… the mixture is even full of fall colors!

Pumpkin Spice Simmering Stovetop Potpourri


Fall Simmering Stovetop Potpourri
½ gallon apple cider
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whole cloves


Fill a saucepan ¾ full with apple cider. Mix in pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and whole cloves. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to low heat. When the mixture gets low, add more apple cider (or water if necessary). Be sure not to let the mixture scorch.

There are lots of other simmering stovetop potpourri combinations for a delicious-smelling home.   Aside from those listed above, some of the most popular ingredients are orange, lemon, bay leaves, anise, rosemary, and dried lavender.  So mix up your favorites and see what you like best! What’s your favorite simmering stovetop recipe for fall?

Photos by Brigette.

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11 years ago

This was such a good idea. This is one of those home smells that builds up nostalgia and lovely warm memories.

11 years ago

Great! Such a brilliant idea.=D

10 years ago

When I was growing up my mom would always put our orange peels in a pot with water, cinnamon and cloves to simmer.

9 years ago

just wondering if this could be put in a scentsy burner?? I have a gas stove an not sure if I want to run that for a long time to get a good smell….. ???

5 years ago

Lovely, I love the smell of fall.