What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. —Agnes M. Pahro

One of my favorite things to do to kick off the magical holiday season is making stovetop Christmas potpourri. And it’s super easy to make!

And there’s nothing like walking into your home and smelling like the holidays are staying for several weeks.

For those who are incredibly busy, it takes no time at all to make. To boot, it leaves the whole house smelling like Christmas came to visit and decided to stay.

There are hundreds of recipes out there, but today, I wanted to share a simple Christmas potpourri recipe that I’ve used for the last several years that you can recreate in your home.

Holiday Memories- Stovetop Christmas Potpourri - She Sweats Diamonds - Huong Vo

Try scenting your home this way in case burning candles isn’t an option for you. Feel free to share this post as I created a printable “recipe” below that you can pass along to your friends and family!

Christmas Memories: Holiday Stovetop Potpourri Recipe | SheSweatsDiamonds.com

A recipe for a home scent without needing to burn candles or using room sprays!

Prep Time 3 minutes


  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange or blood orange - sliced
  • 1 apple - sliced
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp whole cloves
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Evergreen tree sprigs (optional)
  • Water


  1. Slice apple and orange/blood orange.

  2. Fill your pot halfway or 3/4 of the way with water.

  3. Put all ingredients into the pot.

  4. Simmer on low (do NOT boil).

  5. Add water when needed.

  6. Can reheat up to three days. Just refill the pot with water.

  7. Enjoy the smell of Christmas!

Recipe Notes

Tip: Use a rolling pin to crush the rosemary sprigs to release the oils/scent even more before putting them into the pot!

If you want to be extra creative, you can also use star anise, grapefruit slices, lemon slices and/or pomegranates...depending on the scent/look you're going for in your home.

Note: After the third use, I remove the cinnamon sticks (this is very important because you don’t want to clog your disposal/drain; remove star anise as well if you plan on using those), dump the entire pot into the kitchen sink (a little bit at a time, of course), and turn on the garbage disposal while running some water. I do this to get rid of any extra kitchen odors while making sure nothing is wasted. Just make sure your pot is cooled off entirely as you don’t want to dump hot water into your sink and have the possibility of getting burned/injured.

If you’re a DIY’er like myself, here’s the same recipe, packaged as gifts that I made several years ago. Keep scrolling for quick instructions on how to make these potpourri gifts!

Holiday Memories: Stovetop Christmas Potpourri Recipe - quick DIY Christmas gift - She Sweats Diamonds


When I filled a treat bag, I wanted to make it visually appealing. I started with cinnamon powder at the bottom, then added cloves. From there, add rosemary/evergreen tree sprigs to the side, then fill with cranberries, and top with fruit. Twist and tie!

This Christmas potpourri gift was almost a failure because the bags with apples in them were very hard to tie. Learn from me. Pay attention to fruit sizes and pick smaller oranges and apples. In hindsight, I should’ve brought one of the cellophane bags with me to the grocery store. That way, I could make sure the apples and oranges I selected fit through the opening as I needed room to tie off the bag.

As you can see from the photo above, each person was gifted a set.

The left had evergreen tree sprigs with an apple and a recipe tag while the right had rosemary sprigs with an orange and a gift tag. I remember my boss asking if I bought these when I made them several years ago. Nope. Just some hustle and adding a creative twist from an idea I saw on Pinterest, ha!

During a busy time of the year, all I wanted for my colleagues to do was go home, slide up the fruit, and toss everything into a pot of water, heat and be done!

In hindsight, I shouldn’t have made these with plastic treat bags.

However, if I choose to do this again in the future, I’ll be using a more sustainable method like mason jars instead. The key to the mason jar packaging is to slice the fruit first (or use dried fruit if I want to make these ahead of time) then put everything inside to make sure it all fits. I’ll update this post with an image should I do it again later on down the road.

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed this how-to Christmas potpourri recipe!

I linked the cellophane treat bags I used along with other bag shapes and ribbon ideas if you want a more modern look.

Let me know if you end up making this Christmas potpourri! 

The gift tags I used are from Clean and Scentsible. For the recipe tag, I made them myself. Email me if you want the template!


Huong By Huong
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