3 Stove Simmers to Make Your Home Smell Like the Holidays!

Three incredible stove simmers! Click through for the ingredients list. You guys know I have a deep and abiding love for all things cozy. I have shared my go-to stove simmer recipe in the past but wanted to branch out and try some new recipes this year.

If you’ve never used a stove simmer, here are the basics! You fill pot with water and some ingredients that will create a lovely smell, then you leave it simmering on low heat and your home will fill with the scent. It’s natural and smells stronger than any candle I’ve ever used. You can use it for a couple days (refilling the water as it get low) and it will keep working, although it gets REAL ugly by the end. If you’ve never tried it, I insist you must!

Recipe 1- Bay leaves, lemon slices, lime slices, 2 cinnamon sticks and some cloves in half a lemon.

This simmer is light and fresh. I made is specifically for those of you who don’t love the heavy spice scent (which I do love!). After an hour of burning, it wasn’t quite strong enough for me. So I added a few sprigs of eucalyptus and an extra cinnamon stick and you could smell the light fragrance throughout all our living areas. So fresh and clean!

Three incredible stove simmers! Click through for the ingredients list.Recipe 2- One orange halved with cloves, 3 cinnamon sticks, fresh cranberries and lemon peels.

This one smells like apple cider (but better) and every person who walks into your home will ask you what you’re baking!

Three incredible stove simmers! Click through for the ingredients list. Recipe 3- Pine cones, apples and cinnamon.

This one is perfect for fall! It smells like you’re baking an apple pie in EVERY room of your home. So good!

Let me know which ones you guys love! I wish I had a scratch & sniff feature here on the blog so you could test them out. 🙂 xx- Elsie

Note: Be sure to use only natural ingredients without dyes or artificial scents.

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

  • I’ve never done a stove simmer, but I’ve mostly banned candles thanks to two rambunctious toddlers (too scary!) so I’m really looking forward to trying these!

  • Have you considered using these same scents with essential oils? Using a sonic diffuse might be a safer alternative to keeping the stove on.

  • I’m usually a bit of a lurker who enjoys lots of your DIY posts but I think stove simmers are the silliest thing in the whole world! It’s as much effort as making something you can actually eat or drink…except you can’t! How do you respond when someone comes into your house and delightedly asks what you’re baking? With that last one if you just took out the pine cones and added some apple juice or honey then it would have the exact same effect but you could also drink it and offer it to guests who ask what the smell is!

    I can maybe see the point if you were selling a house or something, if no one was living there but you wanted to make it feel lived in.

  • Hey Sally,
    I do get what you’re saying. But here’s my two cents!
    -I make apple cider all the time and it doesn’t smell nearly as strong. The reason is because if I added tons of ingredients like this the flavor would be way too intense.
    -Also there is a definite time limit on how long you should let a fruit juice simmer before it starts to taste funky and burnt. But with these water based simmer they can go all day.

    It’s kind of like a candle I guess! The only purpose is to smell great. :))
    xx- Elsie

  • This is a brilliant idea, I’m such a fan of my home smelling lovely (as I’m sure everyone is!) but not that big a candle buyer this sounds perfect for me, can’t wait to give it a go!

    Hannah | Granite City Girl x

  • Are you aware of the huge amount of energy you are wasting by keeping the stove on for a whole day? In times of global warming I find it simply ignorant to neglect the impact of your behaviour for the environment. And what for? A nicely scented home. Well, if there are no other concerns on this world…

  • Seriously guys? I know burning candles isn’t necessarily the greatest for the environment but this seems really wasteful, both in the energy needed to keep the hob on and the food you aren’t even going to eat/drink. Why not just make some stuff you can actually consume and enjoy the resulting smell, even if it is temporary and less intense, I kind of think that’s what makes it special!

  • Hi! This is my first comment on your blog, although I have been reading you regularly for a while now. I find your ideas creative, original, smart and well presented. I’ve recommended it to many of my friends as well. However, I couldn’t help but be a little shocked by this particular entry. There must be countless people out there who can’t afford fresh fruit and there are all kinds of things we all do to make our leftovers work rather than waste good food. Don’t you think it’s irresponsible and wasteful (fuelwise as well) to simmer food to make the house smell good, and then ultimately throw the stuff away?

  • I love making my house smell good. Lately I’ve been making homemade applesauce in the slow cooker….once the house smell yummy, we get to eat the yummy. 🙂

  • I love simmer pots so much! Time to get one going this year. I like the natural aspect of adding pine cones, but do you think they add anything to the scent at all? I hope they do smell like pine, but I don’t think I’ve ever considered pine cones to be very fragrant.


  • Thanks for these recipes. I just put the lemon one on the stove. Besides the great smell, it’s going to add some needed moisture to the air as well.

  • I’ve never heard of stove simmers before but I’m wondering if you could do it in a slow cooker (lid off of course). I have a small 3 quart that would be perfect. I just think the cost would be lower using a slow cooker compared to having the stove on all day. Your thoughts?

  • This is what I don’t understand. It seems like a waste of energy? Not at all environmentaly concious.

  • I’ve always wanted to try stovetop simmers but have never found one simple enough, these are with ingredients that I already have around the house! Cannot wait to try them out this winter 🙂 Thank you so so much for sharing! Everyone who’s commenting negatively doesn’t know what their missing…
    Happy Holidays!! <3


  • Some people use wood stoves for heat this time of year, they seem to dry the air out in the house, these stove simmers are helpful in replenishing the house with humidity as well. They are very helpful in that respect. Not everyone uses electric heat.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.