Everyone likes their home to smell good. The aroma of fresh brewed coffee or of snickerdoodles right out of the oven are two of my ideal fragrances, but I can’t always just whip up a batch of cookies when I want that aroma in the home. In my opinion, scented candles like vanilla brown sugar or sugar cookie or whatever are ok, but they sometimes have a fake kind of smell. Or, they just are not strong enough. Making your own Home Fragrance on the stove is a quick and inexpensive way to immediately dispense a wonderful smell throughout your home. I first saw this idea on Pinterest years ago and I tried it and was so happy with the results that I have made it many times and can easily change-up the scents to my liking. If you have one of those really small crockpots buried in the back of your cabinet or sitting on a forgotten shelf in the basement, dust it off and bring it out. This would make a wonderful use for that little slow cooker. I just make mine on the stove since I don’t have a small crock pot. The key is either setting an alarm or timer so you remember to shut the stove off. I now set an alarm on my phone for just about anything because I seem to be so scatterbrained. Time to brush my teeth . . . just kidding! I’m giving you this piece of advice about setting an alarm for the Home Fragrance out of experience. I left it going on the stove one day, left the house and came back and luckily all the liquid was gone but the fruits and herbs were still wet so I didn’t burn up the pot quite yet and didn’t set the house on fire just yet. So again – be sure to set an alarm. I let this simmer for just an hour or so and then turn it off. The fragrance will continue to last for hours and linger in your home. Just put a lid on the pot and set it aside or stick it in the fridge and use it again and again on the stove for the next few days. You can add more water if needed as you continue to use the Home Fragrance. It should last for about 3-5 days before the fruit begins to get a little yucky and it needs to be thrown out. I like to use the same old pot all the time for this little kitchen project and it’s one that I rarely cook in, but since all the ingredients are natural, you can go ahead and use the same pots that you cook in if you like. I think a smaller pot works well and it’s easier to store back in the fridge in between simmerings.
I also love this because it finds use for fresh herbs. Sometimes they go bad before you can use them all up in food. If you freeze them, you can use them straight out of the freezer for future cooking or in this Home Fragrance. No waste! This spring I bought a little rosemary plant at a local greenhouse. They always have such beautiful plants and really inspire me to give my black thumbs more chances. It is formed into a little topiary tree shape with a delicate twisted trunk and sits in a terra-cotta pot. It is still hanging in there (just barely), but this is a great way to utilize even some of its brown little branches that are too far gone to use in cooking. There’s still some scent there so I added even the dried dead looking brown sprigs to my Home Fragrance and it still adds to the wonderful scent. Hopefully my little rosemary friend will pull through and survive amidst my cursed black thumb.
Okay so here’s the stuff you need:
A few rosemary sprigs. Pictured are the green ones. I also added a bunch of the dead brown sprigs too.
1/2 an orange – sliced
1/2 a lemon – sliced
1 -2 teas vanilla
2 C hot water
Options – For a holiday fragrance, you could add in a cinnamon stick, some fresh cranberries, some whole cloves, a few pine tree clippings, anything you like. Adding sage leaves would be great too. Kind of reminiscent of my favorite Yankee Candle ever – Sage and Citrus!
Add all the ingredients to a small pot and simmer on low for an hour or so. Remember to set that alarm so you don’t forget about it! Turn off heat and let it cool to room temperature and then return to the fridge until you want to simmer it again. If using a small crock pot – you have a little more give with the simmer time. You could let it simmer for longer with little risk of it drying up. Add more water as needed. Home Fragrance will last for 3-5 days being heated up and refrigerated until it needs to be thrown out. When you see some green – blue fuzzies start to form, you know it’s time to toss.
Here is the picture after I decided to use all the brown clippings from my little rosemary plant.