Spring Cleaning

3 Simmer Pots to Make Your Home Smell Like Spring (Even If It Doesn’t Feel Like it Outside)

published Mar 19, 2023
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Credit: Viv Yapp

One of my favorite things about spring cleaning is the smell — not just because I love the smell of bleach, but because cleaning can bring such a fresh and bright scent into the home. But I realize that right now, it’s still technically winter, and flinging the windows open to let in the smell of anything other than frosty air isn’t quite a possibility.

The solution? Simmer pots.

They’re basically just boiling water with botanicals added in, but they make your house smell amazing. Plus, they’re non-toxic — unlike some candles and essential oils — because you’re not putting unknown ingredients into the air in your home. Instead, you know everything that’s in there and where it came from.

Making a simmer pot is a pretty simple process. You simmer a pot of water on the stove, then add in any fresh or dried herbs, spices, fruits, florals, or anything else you think will smell good. Keep the pot simmering and the fragrance of your additions will float throughout your home.

“Scent is one of my favorite ways to make a space feel more like a home,” says Chelsea Foy, author of the upcoming book “The Happy Home: The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Home that Brings You.” “It’s such a powerful tool for evoking emotion and feelings, and what better place to add some good vibes than in your home? Certain scents can evoke nostalgic memories, while others can brighten your mood, and still others can help you calm down and feel peaceful at the end of the day. We spend plenty of time and effort on our home decor, and overlaying a scent really takes a space to the next level.”

Want to try making your own home smell more like spring? Try these simmer pot recipes.

Happy

What you’ll need:

  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Sliced ginger root
  • Sliced limes
  • Fresh thyme

“In a pot, place 3 sliced limes, a handful of fresh mint, 5 sprigs of thyme, and 1 inch of sliced ginger root. Add water, bring it to a simmer, and prepare to get happy!” Foy suggests. 

Light and Fresh

What you’ll need:

  • Lemon slices
  • Grapefruit slices
  • Fresh verbena, jasmine, and peony

Place lemon and grapefruit slices into a simmer pot with verbena, jasmine, and peony. It will make your house feel fresh and full of light floral notes.

Credit: Andreas von Einsiedel | Getty Images

Earth

What you’ll need:

  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Dried flowers and herbs of your liking

Springtime is filled with the fragrances of newly mowed lawns, gardening, and just-rained air. Invoke the scent of the earth with basil, rosemary, dried flower petals, and sprigs of other fresh herbs.