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Years ago, I found a recipe for simmering scents that bring a sense of the holidays to our home. I made a batch recently. I love that the ingredients are all-natural and incorporate my favorite holiday smells. There are no exact measures on this for the ingredients. If that makes you uneasy, the photos will help. Once you get more adventurous, play around with various amounts of this or that and see what scent gets the emphasis.

Add the following ingredients to a small saucepan or pot:

  • Lemon slices
  • Orange slices
  • Rosemary sprigs (I cut some from our backyard plant)
  • Vanilla (a few drops)
  • Water

I also add:

  • Cranberries (I toss in a handful mostly for color)
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Whole cloves
Ingredients gathered and ready to go in the little pot to simmer.
Everything is in the pot, ready for the water.
After adding enough water to fill the pot at least halfway, place the pot on the stove.
Set the heat at medium to bring it to a boil. I also set the timer for 3-minutes so I don’t forget it and get busy elsewhere in the house
Bring it to a boil. The cranberries will pop when their skins burst. I don’t think I caught that sound on the video. No cranberries were harmed in the filming.
I bring it to a rolling boil and then turn the heat to low. Just watching this video calms me. I can almost smell all the delight.
Once it’s on low, keep an eye on it. You don’t want it to boil dry. You can add more water along the way. Always clean your stove before photographing a close-up.

I often turn the burner off, and the smell continues to waft as the brew cools down. Then I don’t worry about it burning dry. I use the same mix for a few days, just adding water and reheating it.

Turn on some holiday music and fill you home with the sounds and smells that can bring simple joy, even in these uncertain days.

Stay charming, friends!