Christmas Potpourri featured image
Christmas Potpourri is an easy way to create the scents of the season in your home or bottled up in a jar. This quick and simple recipe uses only 5 ingredients that simmer on the stovetop or in a Slow Cooker.
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Table of Contents
  1. Perfect Christmas Potpourri On The Stove or Slow Cooker
  2. Why We Love This Christmas Potpourri Recipe
  3. Ingredients
  4. Substitutions and Additions
  5. Recommended Tools
  6. How to Make the Homemade Christmas Potpourri
  7. Tips
  8. Storage Tips
  9. Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Other Easy DIY Gift Recipes
  11. Christmas Potpourri Recipe

Making Christmas Potpourri is like bottling up the scents of the season and an easy way to create the holiday smell inside your home. This is a quick and simple recipe using only 5 ingredients that you can simmer on the stovetop or in a Slow Cooker–savor it for yourself or give it as a homemade gift.

Christmas Potpourri hero image

Perfect Christmas Potpourri On The Stove or Slow Cooker

This Christmas Potpourri smells like Christmas and is the easiest way to instantly fill your house with an amazing aroma. There is no better combination than citrus and cranberry mixed with cinnamon and spices; they all simmer together on your stovetop or in a crockpot for hours to infuse your home with the warm and inviting scents of the holiday season.

Why spend a fortune on fancy scented candles when you can cook a few simple ingredients low and slow to create the perfect blend of cozy and comforting smells?

Christmas Potpourri is a unique DIY gift idea that makes a pretty and practical Christmas present–it’s a perfect way to bottle up the holiday scent and give a jar full of something other than food. I love to tie on a homemade gift tag with festive ribbon or twine, let it double as the instructions, and you’ve given a Christmas smell on demand!

Of course, these pleasant smells will prompt hunger pangs in your tummy. Check out my delicious Christmas desserts that make a perfect accompaniment to this heavenly holiday aroma.

Why We Love This Christmas Potpourri Recipe

  • Quick and easy to make and bottle up the scents of the season.
  • Only uses 5 simple ingredients that simmer low and slow.
  • Flexible recipe that smells better than a scented Christmas candle.
  • You can make potpourri on the stovetop or in the slow cooker.
  • A great homemade holiday gift for family, friends, neighbors, and teachers.
Christmas Potpourri inside a mason jar

Ingredients

  • Clementines or small oranges: Any small oranges will work and can usually be purchased in 3 or 5 pound bags in the produce section.
  • Fresh cranberries
  • Rosemary sprigs: If you live in an area with pine trees you can do a freshly cut pine sprig instead.
  • Cinnamon sticks: You can substitute cinnamon bark if you prefer.
  • Whole cloves: You can replace this with an extra 2-3 cinnamon sticks.

Substitutions and Additions

  • Rearrange Your Ratios: You can change the ratios of ingredients to get more of the scent that you want. If you are a citrus person, add more clementine. For a spicier note, double the cinnamon and cloves. Adding more Rosemary will add a stronger pine/minty smell. 
  • Pick Your Produce: Any citrus fruit will smell great in this potpourri. Feel free to try grapefruit, mandarins, tangerines, lemons, and oranges.
  • Add Some Spices: Try mixing in some cardamom pods, a bit of freshly grated nutmeg, ginger, allspice, or even a splash of vanilla.
Christmas Potpourri ingredients

SEE FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD BELOW

How to Make the Homemade Christmas Potpourri

It is so easy to make a Christmas Potpourri that smells like the holiday season. Use this recipe to give the gift of Christmas scent in a bottle or simply simmer it at home.

To Prepare The Potpourri:

  1. Cut the clementines into 4 pieces and place one in each glass jar.
    PRO-TIP: If you are not planning on using the potpourri within 1-2 days, leave the clementines whole and use a larger 32 ounce wide mouth mason jar. When you are ready to use the potpourri, you will cut the clementines into quarters and add to the pot)
  2. Add cranberries to each jar on top of the clementines.
  3. Slide two rosemary sprigs into the side of each jar, next to the fruit.
  4. Add 2 cinnamon sticks to each jar, either on top or alongside the fruit.
  5. Sprinkle 8 cloves into each jar.
    Christmas Potpourri inside mason jar
  6. Screw a lid onto each jar and attach the instructions card with a holiday ribbon, optional.

How to Use the Dried Potpourri

  1. Pour the contents of one jar into a pot or crockpot. (Quarter the clemintines if they are not already cut)
  2. Fill the empty jar with warm water twice and pour it into the pot.
  3. Heat the pot over low heat (either in a pot or crockpot), uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 4-6 hours or until the scent has evaporated. 
    Pro Tip: Check the water level frequently and add water as needed. You should have enough water that the ingredients float at all times so that they don’t stick to the bottom and burn.
  4. When finished using your potpourri, cool the pot completely, drain, and discard the ingredients.

Tips

  • Make sure you use wide mouth mason jars so that it is easy to insert and remove the contents.
  • It is important to simmer not boil the potpourri. Simmering is heat just below boiling, so the mixture should gently bubble, not boil
  • Once you have added the water and begun to heat the potpourri, it should be used within 72 hours and discarded after that. 
  • If you don’t have cloves or cinnamon you can add more of the other or even add some freshly cut ginger instead. The ginger will add that spicy scent and complements the rest of the ingredients.
  • You can use orange or apple juice instead of water for the liquid. It will add a bit of scent to the potpourri but may not keep as long.
  • If you are entertaining guests, it is always fun to make your home smell like the holidays before your they arrive! Start your simmer pot about 30 minutes before your guests arrive.
Christmas Potpourri

Storage Tips

  • To Store: The prepared Christmas Potpourri jars should be stored in the refrigerator for maximum freshness. The ingredients will last 1-2 weeks (with uncut clemintines) if kept in the refrigerator and 3-5 days when kept at room temperature.
  • To Freeze: This potpourri does not freeze well.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is potpourri?

Potpourri is a mixture of spices and fruit that is used for scent or as a natural room freshener. It can be in dry form, which typically includes dried flowers, herbs and spices. It can also be made by simmering the mixture on the stove or in a crockpot, like this recipe.

Do I have to gift my potpourri?

If you want to make this just for you, instead of using it as gifts, you can put all the ingredients in a large pot and fill it with water until everything is floating. Be sure to cut the clementines in quarters. Heat over medium heat and you will be able to put the smell of Christmas into a large area for hours. 

What else can I add to my Christmas Potpourri?

You can add in some of your other favorite Christmas flavors such as chopped apple, pine sprigs (be sure to use fresh ones if you can), sliced lemons, sliced grapefruit, star anise, or any other favorite Christmas ingredient that can be heated.

Christmas Potpourri

Other Easy DIY Gift Recipes

5 from 1 vote
Christmas Potpourri featured image

Christmas Potpourri

Serves — 4
Christmas Potpourri is an easy way to create the scents of the season in your home or bottled up in a jar. This quick and simple recipe uses only 5 ingredients that simmer on the stovetop or in a Slow Cooker.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 10 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 4 clementines or small oranges divided
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries divided
  • 8 rosemary sprigs divided
  • 8 cinnamon sticks, divided
  • 32 whole cloves, divided

Instructions
 

Preparing the Potpourri:

  • Cut clementines into quarters and place one in each 16 ounce, wide mouth glass jar.
    PRO-TIP: If you are not planning on using the potpurri within 1-2 days, leave the clementines whole and use a larger 32 ounce wide mouth mason jar. When you are ready to use the potpurri, you will cut the clementines into quarters and add to the pot)
  • Pour ¾ cup fresh cranberries into each jar, on top of the clementines.
  • Gently tilt each jar and slide two rosemary sprigs into the side of the jar, next to the fruit.
  • Place 2 cinnamon sticks in each jar, either on top or alongside the fruit.
  • Sprinkle 8 whole cloves into each jar.
  • Screw a lid onto each jar and attach the instructions card with a holiday ribbon, optional.

Instructions for Use:

  • Open the jar and pour all the contents into a medium sized pot or a small crockpot.
  • Fill the empty jar twice with warm water and pour it into the pot.
  • Heat the pot over low heat (either in a pot or crockpot), uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 4-6 hours or until the scent has evaporated.
  • Check the water level frequently and add water as needed. You should have enough water that the ingredients float at all times so that they don’t stick to the bottom and burn.
  • When finished using, cool the pot completely. Drain it using a wire colander and discard the ingredients.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: The prepared Christmas Potpourri jars should be stored in the refrigerator for maximum freshness. The ingredients will last 1-2 weeks if kept in the refrigerator and 3-5 days when kept at room temperature.
  • To Freeze: This potpourri does not freeze well.
Tips:
  • Make sure you use wide mouth mason jars so that it is easy to insert and remove the contents.
  • It is important to simmer not boil the potpourri. Simmering is heat just below boiling, so the mixture should gently bubble, not boil
  • Once you have added the water and begun to heat the potpourri, it should be used within 72 hours and discarded after that.
  • If you don’t have cloves or cinnamon you can add more of the other or even add some freshly cut ginger instead. The ginger will add that spicy scent and complements the rest of the ingredients.
  • You can use orange or apple juice instead of water for the liquid. It will add a bit of scent to the potpourri but may not keep as long.
  • If you are entertaining guests, it is always fun to make your home smell like the holidays before your they arrive! Start your simmer pot about 30 minutes before your guests arrive.
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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Comments

  1. Do u have a really good fresh lemon 🍋 scent we can leave in the crock pot to have the house smell like lemons all day or crock pot recipe don’t like spices.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank You FOR Sharing JENNIFER 👏🏼👍🏼♥️ SOUNDS GREAT ❗️This WILL SMELL WONDERFUL 👏🏼👍🏼😊♥️G-d♥️Bless