DIY Mulled Wine Simmering Stove Top Potpourri

Christmas simmering potpourri recipe

Edit: This post originally ran on December 8th, 2015. However, certain restrictions have prevented me from creating a new Christmas themed post, so I have decided to run this one again! Merry Christmas!

There is nothing like a good smelling home and I’ve recently decided it’s time to start to working home aromas into my weekly routine. You see, I’m a person of very few details. I get the outlines of things right (think clean home, things put away, counters wiped off), but it’s the little details that slip by me. Art might have been knocked crooked and there might be a little dust here and there. However, how a home smells is so often one of the first things someone notices about a space, so I am going to try to be a little more detail oriented, starting today with this easy simmering stovetop potpourri.



I threw this together for a few reasons… Firstly, I keep seeing these stovetop potpourri tutorials on Pinterest and it seemed like a fun way to make my home smell good. Secondly, I received a whole bunch of cranberries in my co-op basket around Thanksgiving, and guess who doesn’t care to make cranberry relish? Well, I am glad I don’t! This was absolutely worth the use of cranberries. Oh, how they bring a wine-like aroma drifting down the hall and I swear the spices dance into my nostrils to bring together a marriage that can only be reminiscent of mulled wine. You know, the kind you lightly warm on the stove to sip while watching the soft glow of Christmas lights and listen to cars drive by on their rush to varying destinations. Oh yes, this simmering potpourri smells so good I can taste it. Create a room full of everything to be treasured about the holiday season by making this recipe. Now.
What you need:
  • Cranberries
  • Star anise
  • Whole cloves
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • A few sprigs of rosemary
  • Sliced oranges
Fill a pot halfway with water. Don’t measure the ingredients too much – have fun instead! I used a handful of cranberries, two cinnamon sticks, a few star anise, a pinch of cloves, two slices of orange, and a few rosemary sprigs. Experiment. See if you like yours with more cinnamon.
Maybe you only need one star anise, or maybe you need half a dozen. Once you have your desired amounts, put the pot on the stove on medium/low heat and let the magic begin. Enjoy the bond between the cranberries and spices – it turned so heavenly. The orange added just a touch of sweetness while the rosemary kept that slightly savory experience alive. Take a sip of red wine and enjoy life.
How do you like to freshen up your home for the holidays? Does it involve certain scents? Please share your thoughts in the comment section!


  • I have tried this before, except I believe I only boiled orange peels and cinnamon sticks. I honestly didn't really have any high expectations before trying this, but I was surprised that it actually works better than any candle or incense that I can find. It just fills my entire apartment with gorgeous aromas — I just wish that the smell lingered a little longer.
    I have all of these ingredients at home — I'll have to try it again with a few extras.

    A Northern Light

    • Oh yes, do experiment with a few things. I do find it more cost efficient than a candle, though perhaps not incense. I do hope you find something you love!

  • This is such a wonderful idea, Liz; thanks for sharing! I've never tried to make a stovetop potpourri before, but I would assume it would be more fragrant than a store bought one because of the fresh ingredients and heat. I'll definitely need to try this out!

    I hope you have a lovely day!



    • It's so wonderful – you won't regret trying. Have a wonderful week. 🙂

  • Dear Elizabeth,
    This is a wonderful way to spend a day! I love potpourri's and scents made from natural ingredients. Sometimes bottled sprays and perfumes make my nose itchy and then I proceed to sneeze more than sing. I'd love to follow your recipe and plan a Saturday where my mum could help me out. I love the idea of baking & crafting with family during the holiday season.

    Beautiful photographs of the process too! xo

    • Thank you! I think a Saturday of baking and crafting is great way to celebrate the season. I also hadn't considered the idea of using this as a "cleaner" way of making my home smell nice… it's good to remember that a good many people have issues with bottled sprays and even candles! Have a wonderful Christmas!

  • I never thought to do this! I usually just light a candle, but candles are expensive and if you already have things like cranberry and cinnamon I could totally see this working! Beautiful pics!
    Sincerely, Sara

    • Right?! I always have a ton of spices hanging out so this is definitely less expensive than a candle.

  • Mmm I bet this smells amazing! Great post!

  • great post
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  • wonderful pictures

  • I must try this! -Maireem

    My Fair Autumn | Instagram

  • Fantastic pictures 🙂

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  • This sounds so lovely, I love to "stick" a bunch of whole cloves in fresh oranges for a DIY home refresher. It's something my grandma always does for the holidays 🙂

    Thirteen Thoughts

    • Oh, I used to do that with my mom too. So much fun!

  • I had no idea you could make potpourri this way! The smell of a house is definitely the first thing I notice, and this sounds like a much better and "warmer" way to add an aroma without making it feel like too much of an effort.

    Angelina Is | Bloglovin'

    • Yeah, that is something I liked – this recipe is super easy to swing together last minute.

  • Wow I've really been into lighting candles lately especially for this holiday season, but have never thought about trying making my own potpourri! Will definitely have to give this a try thanks for the post!

    Stephanie ● Sartorial Diner

    • You are welcome. I hope you love it!

  • Oh my god! It looks super cool. I have never tried these before,but I've always loved the Pinterest-y look of it.
    I love floral scents so much. I usually use room sprays (very creative, I know) and my room often smells like an orchard.

    Noor | Noor's Place

    • Oh, that sounds heavenly! I do love to make my room smell wonderful right before bed – so helpful for going to sleep.

  • Your photography, Elizabeth! It has improved (not that it was bad before) so much! These photographs are gorgeous. I've also seen these simmer pot DIYs on Pinterest too & yours looks great!


    • Aww, thank you! I'll be the first to admit there is some BAD photography on this blog from many moons ago, so it is so helpful to hear other people say that it has improved too!

  • This look good and it's amazing that it smell good too, saving the money from buying scented candles! It's so tumblr and instagram-worthy. x

    • Thank you thank you! Yes, it saves money for sure. 🙂

  • I would have never thought of doing something like this, but I bet it smells delicious!

    Raindrops of Sapphire

    • It does, I promise! Let me know if you ever try it. 🙂

  • Gorgeous post! I've been wanting to try a homemade mulled wine.. this one looks amazing!

  • rae

    I love this idea so much! i remember hearing a lot about making these simmering stovetop potpourris pop up all over the internet a few years back and thought it was absolute genius! I have not made one myself yet, but I def. should give it a go. Yours looks and sounds as if it smells amazing!

    Rae | Love from Berlin

  • Great photos! I can’t wait to try this!

  • Ahh, I wanted to try this DIY for so long! I bet it smells divine! I am now only creating festive atmosphere with candles, haha 🙂

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

  • This looks gorgeous, I bet it smells even better!