No candles, oils, or air fresheners necessary.

The clock is ticking away and your dinner party is fast approaching. You have spent the afternoon cooking salmon, steaming broccoli, roasting potatoes and cleaning the floors. Now all you smell is a strange combination of foods and products and while it’s not bad for you, it might not be the smell you want anyone to be greeted with. What’s your game plan?

While this isn’t life-or-death drama, there is an easy way to fill your home with a cozy smell before relaxing with a good book or glass of wine (or, a shower!). Regardless of the situation, I have the solution – and it’s so easy.

A Pot Simmer. I love making these simple stovetop simmers year-round (yes, even in the summer), which offer a powerful scent punch whenever I want it. The solution is practically effortless and there are endless combinations you can try. Essentially, you mix some delicious smelling ingredients on the stove in a pot and let it simmer for as long as you want to fill your house with comforting scents (and as long as you are home and able to monitor the pot, safety first!). It takes five minutes to come to a boil and then simmer, and with minimal effort the smell lasts for hours. I like my house to smell clean and fresh (surprised?), so I’m a fan of always having essential oils or a candle going. Depending on the time of year, you can choose different scents to suit your mood (pumpkin spice during fall, mulling spices during winter, citrus during spring, etc.). Here’s how to do it, along with some of my favorite scent combinations.

Basic Directions:

For all of these recipes you want to heat about two cups of water in a saucepan until it boils. Add the ingredients in and let them boil for 3-5 minutes, uncovered, and then turn your pot down to simmer. Set the timer for around 30 minutes so you can top up the water, and won’t burn the ingredients, and of course, don’t leave it simmering if you are leaving the house!

Recipe One – The Super Refresher

  • 2 cups dried rosemary
  • 2 cups dried lavender
  • 1 cup dried eucalyptus leaves
  • 1/2 cup dried peppermint or spearmint
  • *You can use fresh herbs if you have those handy, too.

(One cup of the mix, for 3 cups of boiling water)

Recipe Two – The Easy Peezy Orange Squeezy

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange sliced
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

(all in one slightly larger pot)

Recipe Three – Warm and Cozy

  • 5 cups water
  • 2 oranges, (just the peels)
  • 1 apple, sliced in half
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon-sized knob of fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom pods

(In a very big pot)

Recipe Four – I Ain’t Got No Time for That

  • Vanilla extract (up to a tablespoon)
  • Orange peels

The last recipe is the simplest, and it always smells amazing. I once burnt a whole loaf of garlic bread in the oven, and as the smell filled up my kitchen I knew it would linger through the night. So after I cleared out the smoke I put the vanilla orange simmer on the stove, and by the time dinner rolled around, there wasn’t a detectable trace of garlic.

I hope you give this simple solution a try, it works, it smells incredible, it’s inexpensive and it will certainly bring you joy!

What is your favourite scent combination?