5 Simmer Pot Recipes To Use Year-Round (+ how to make them)

Not only do these potpourri crock pot and simmer pot recipes smell way better than traditional potpourri, air fresheners, or candles, but they’re also cheaper and 100% natural!

If you’re like me and love filling your home with natural and fresh scents, grab your slow cooker or a simmering pot to easily get started. You’ll also find my favorite all-season recipes. Let’s get to it! 

How to make a simmer pot + 5 simple all-season recipes!

Short on time? Skip to the year-round recipes below.

What are simmer pot recipes or crock pot potpourri?

Simmer pots are simply pots filled with water and various aromatic ingredients that you simmer gently on the stovetop, instant pot, or crockpot to release amazing scents into your home. 

Simmer pots are also known as crock pot potpourri, stove-top potpourri, crockpot air fresheners, or simmering pots.

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What are the benefits of simmer pot recipes?

Simmer pots are a great way to naturally scent your home and add humidity to the air all at once.

How to make a simmer pot recipe

There are many different methods you can use with simmer pot recipes. The most traditional and most potent of the methods is using a regular pot on the stove. You can also use a crockpot, instant pot, or a fondue set with your favorite simmer pot recipe. 

Different potpourri simmer pot methods and their pros and cons:

  • Stove top potpourri gets the most powerful scent, but can only be used in a kitchen.
  • Potpourri in Crockpots or instant pots are portable and can be used anywhere with an outlet, but are more difficult to clean afterward.
  • Simmer pot recipes in a fondue set can be most aesthetically pleasing and can be used unplugged, but requires simmering your potpourri recipe prior to transferring to the fondue set.
  • Mug warmers are great for enhancing a desk space, but provide a much more subtle scent and require simmering the simmer pot recipe beforehand.
  • Potpourri refresher sprays are great for the most range as you can spray them throughout your entire home, but requires simmering prior to transferring to a spray bottle.

Read on to see how exactly to use each of these methods!

How to make stovetop potpourri

  1. Add the ingredients of your choice (recipes below), then add water until your pot is about 3/4 full.
  2. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. 
  3. Let it simmer for as long as you’d like. Be sure to watch the water level, adding more water when water levels appear low.

Make crock pot potpourri or crockpot air freshener recipes

  1. Add simmer pot recipe ingredients to your crock pot then add water until it is about 3/4 full. To speed things up, you can bring your water to a boil in a pot or kettle before transferring it to your crockpot.
  2. Turn the temperature setting to high and set it for 3 to four hours. Make sure to leave the lid off.
  3. Let it simmer for as long as you’d like. Check every hour or so to adjust the water level. 

How to make instant pot potpourri 

  1. Pour about 10 cups of water along with your simmer pot recipe ingredients into the instant pot.
  2. Pressure cook on high for 2 minutes. 
  3. Release pressure with quick release. Once all pressure is released remove the lid.
  4. Leave the pot on the “keep warm” setting and leave it out for up to 5 hours. 

Other methods

You can transfer your simmer pot to other, more portable methods to help distribute the scent around other parts of your home. Simply follow one of the above methods and once your ingredients are simmering, transfer to a fondue set with a lit candle, a jar on a mug warmer, or into a spray bottle to mist around your home. The spray bottle method has the added benefit of being able to refresh carpets, pillows, and curtains!

These methods are 100% natural, frugal, and smell amazing.

What can I boil to make my house smell good?

You can make stovetop potpourri by boiling almost any combination of foods, spices, flowers, and herbs with a pleasant aroma when simmering to make your house smell good. Apples, flowers, orange peels, lemon peels, vanilla, cloves, cinnamon sticks, mint leaves, and so much more. 

Warmer and cozier scents:

  • Apples
  • Cloves
  • Pine
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice
  • Cranberries
  • Vanilla

Fresh and rejuvenating scents:

  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Grapefruit
  • Mint
  • Ginger
  • Basil
  • Rosemary 
  • Lavender

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How long can stovetop or crock pot potpourri last?

Simmer pot potpourri will last about 3-4 uses depending on the recipe. Each use is considered 3-5 hours long.

Can I store and reuse stovetop potpourri?

You can reuse your homemade simmer pot mixture. When finished simmering for the day, save the mixture in a glass jar or container in the refrigerator. Simply reheat to re-scent your home! You can save the liquid as well, but replacing the water with each use will make your simmer pot recipe last longer. Renew your mixture after 3-4 uses.

You could even use your simmer pot for a few days in a row without storing it away. Just add water throughout the day as water levels get low, and turn off the burner at night when you go to bed. Just turn it back on the next day when you’re ready to re-scent your home.

Simmer pot simmering on stove top

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Simmer pot recipe cost-saving tips & tricks

Use scraps.
Though not as pretty, it’s a great way to minimize waste and cost while gaining the benefits of naturally scenting your home. Simply freeze scraps to prevent them from spoiling until you’re ready to use them in a mixture. Think of leftover ginger or its peel, peels from citrus and fruits, and leftover or wilting herbs/fruits. You can even use expiring juices! The juice adds both color and fragrance. 

Get resourceful.
You can forage outdoors for particular scents like pine, cedar, elderflowers, chestnuts, and pinecone. Use teabags you have for scents like chamomile, or purchase essential oils to elevate your blend! One of my favorite ways is to dry out all of the flower petals you get from various flowers throughout the year to later throw into a simmer pot. 

Simple simmer pot recipes to use all year round

The simmer pot recipes listed below are more like guidelines or inspiration. You can always change the ratios or the ingredients to your liking or simply adjust them to suit whatever you have on hand in the pantry!

Simmer pot recipes pin

Year-round simmer pot recipes

Not only do these simmer pot recipes smell way better than traditional potpourri, air fresheners, or candles, but they’re also cheaper and 100% natural! 

Have you tried this recipe? Leave us a review!

Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Cost: $2


  • 1 Pot, crockpot, or instant pot



  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried or fresh mint leaves (peppermint, spearmint, etc.)


  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 orange, sliced (or just the peels)
  • 1 handful of fresh or dried rose petals, or 2 drops of rose essential oil


  • 1 lemon, sliced (or just the peels)
  • 1-2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1-2 sprigs of mint


  • 1 orange, sliced (or just the peels)
  • 1 cup fresh or dried lavender, or a few drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1 small handful of fresh thyme


  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh lavender, or a few drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract, or 2 vanilla bean pods


  • Add the ingredients then add water until your pot is about 3/4 full.
  • For stovetop: bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for as long as you'd like, remembering to top up with more water as needed.
  • For crock pot: turn the temperature setting to high and set it for 3 to four hours. Make sure to leave the lid off and top up with more water when/if needed.
  • For instant pot: pressure cook on high for 2 minutes. Release pressure with quick release. Once all pressure is released remove the lid. Leave the pot on the “keep warm” setting and leave it out for up to 5 hours. 
Course: Simmer Pot
Keywords: crock pot potpourri, how to make a simmer pot, simmer pot recipes, year-round simmer pot recipe

Simmer pots can be a great homemade gift!

You can give simmer pot recipe bundles as gifts for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or even birthdays! 

If you’re looking for a cozy homemade gift idea, consider filling little mason jars or bags (or even a pot!) filled with the ingredients you would need for a particular simmer pot recipe. You can use fresh ingredients for immediate use, or go the extra mile and dehydrate certain ingredients in an oven or dehydrator. Don’t forget to add a cute label, ribbon, or gift tag for the perfect finishing touch.

Have you tried making your own simmer pot yet? Doesn’t it just make your house feel so cozy and smell so amazing?

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