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Simmering Christmas Potpourri

recipe winter Dec 10, 2019

I recently shared the effect of fragrance and what it can do to a social gathering. This simmering Christmas potpourri is an ideal example of how a venue transforms as it exudes the scent of Christmas. With notes of citrus, warmth of vanilla, spice of whole cloves and sweet cinnamon, it is sure to resonate with your holiday party guests.

It is a simple mixture that takes minutes to create but fills the home with an undeniable scent for hours. You can prepare it quickly just before attendees begin to arrive, let it simmer in the background creating a palpable aroma of spiced oranges and sweet nutmeg. This is my go-to for a cozy holiday house party or even just a night spent alone wrapping presents and watching a Christmas movie.

For one batch of Simmering Christmas Potpourri, use:

  • 1/2 an orange, cut or sliced
  • 1/2 a lemon, cut or sliced
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 Tbsp. whole cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla or 2 vanilla beans

Combine all of the ingredients with water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  (Alternatively, you can add cranberry juice or apple juice for a little variation of scent. Or dash in some peppermint extract, fresh pine or fresh cranberries. Whatever may remind you of the holidays, try a combination with that). Reduce the heat and simmer for up to 4 hours.  Add additional water as needed to prevent the mixture from drying up. When done, this can cool overnight and be reused the next day.

This potpourri also makes a wonderful Christmas gift for teachers, friends and neighbors as they are thoughtfully homemade, easy to assemble and unique. Each year, I make them for my kid’s teachers as holiday gifts. Using scrap cotton fabric, I sew bags about 6″ x 11″, tie them with ribbon and tags and slip the recipe on a card inside the bag.

I hope you can enjoy this fragrance recipe and create a memorable atmosphere filled with Christmas aroma.

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