7 Stovetop Spice Simmers for a Fall-Scented Home

by | Updated: November 13th, 2017 | Read time: 3 minutes

Autumn is in the air, and, if you’re like me, you probably want to bring the signature scents of the season into your home. Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Simmering orange, apple, cinnamon and anise in a saucepan on the stove | Vitacost.com/Blog

I’m not talking about fall-fragranced aerosol and plug-in air fresheners or even essential oils here (though cinnamon leaf is an excellent selection should you choose to go this popular route!). What I’m referring to are good, old-fashioned, simmer-on-the-stove scents using the seasonal ingredients you know and can’t get enough of.

Getting Started

Filling your abode with the warm, welcoming fall fragrances involves just a few simple steps. First, you’ll fill a pot or saucepan with water. Next, bring the water to a boil and add your selected seasonal ingredients. Continue boiling the mixture for a few minutes and then reduce to a simmer.

Simmer the ingredients on your stovetop for as long as you wish, topping off the water as needed. In addition to adding an amazing autumn aroma to your home, you’ll be helping to humidify your space!

NOTE: Be sure to check your mixture every 25 to 30 minutes to ensure it contains sufficient water. Otherwise the ingredients might burn (definitely NOT the smell you’re going for!). Also, never leave your home while ingredients are simmering on the stove.

Stovetop Simmer Recipes You’ll Fall For

Now comes the fun part; deciding which seasonal ingredients to simmer on your stovetop. Following are some of my favorite fragrance combinations, but feel free to experiment with ingredients that speak to you. As far as quantities go, start off small (e.g., a few drops of vanilla, a handful of orange peels) and add more of the scents you like best until you find the perfect fragrance balance.

  1. Vanilla + orange peel. This is among the simplest simmering recipes you’ll encounter, and one of my all-time faves. I love the fresh fragrance of citrus and you simply can’t go wrong with the soothing scent of vanilla.
  2. Nutmeg + whole clove. Another easy recipe involving just two ingredients! This spicy combo will definitely stir your senses and bring to mind all things autumn.
  3. Apple peel + orange peel + cinnamon stick + whole clove. Cinnamon and clove are also classic fall fragrances. These bold scents instantly transport me to the pumpkin patch every time I encounter them!
  4. Apple juice + cinnamon stick + whole clove. Yes, you can even add some juice to the mix! This is very similar to the recipe above, minus the sweet citrus notes derived from the orange peel.
  5. Lemon peel + cinnamon stick + whole clove + fresh rosemary. Citrus, again. Are you detecting a theme here? Plus, spicy cinnamon and woodsy rosemary practically scream autumn.
  6. Orange peel + lemon peel + cinnamon stick + whole clove + bay leaf. This is similar to the recipe above, with a punch of refreshing citrus. Don’t be alarmed by the number of ingredients—you’re still just adding them to a pot of boiling water.
  7. Cinnamon stick + nutmeg + whole clove + anise + dried lavender. This recipe also has five ingredients, but the result is well worth it. Full-on fall fragrance with a hint of flowers!

Grab the ingredients you need to try all seven of these smell-good stovetop simmers:

Quick Cost-Saving Tips

  • Your simmering recipes can be refrigerated and reused daily for up to a week. Just remember to add a little H2O as necessary.
  • Stumble across seasonal juices (e.g., apple, cranberry) or spices that are out-of-date? Just toss them into your simmering pot and reap the fragrant rewards!