Orange and Balsam Simmering Potpourri

orange and balsam simmering potpourri

It should come as no surprise when I mention I love the smell of the holidays.  I say it often, and recently mentioned that my house has the aroma of fresh citrus and balsam.  Unfortunately, we have artificial trees.  Yes trees, we have two in our home.  This year, I had to come to terms with leaving the silver and gold ornaments off the trees or they would have become toys for the twins.  So this year thanks to my daughter I now how a tree filled with her stuffed animals.  I cherish these moments.  I had my years of having the perfect tree with the perfect decorations.  What is more important now is keeping Christmas magical for my kids.  If that means Dora and Elmo on my tree instead, so be it. 

Since we don’t have real trees, I like to capture the smell of fresh balsam in other ways.  I don’t like to use a lot of candles, again because of my kids.  Plus I love the smell of natural scents.  The way I get my home to smell so lovely is making an orange and balsam simmering potpourri filled with fresh oranges, sprigs of balsam and rosemary.  I just love this combination it is so inviting and perfect for the holidays.  It perfumes the house so nicely, and naturally.

Obtaining this scent so easy to do and there really isn’t any method or amount, just your preference.  The water and pot will look pretty at first, but it will quickly get dark and the needles will fall off the stems.  That’s fine.  You can keep adding more.  And just keep enough water in the pot to keep it simmering on low to medium low. 

Simple, easy and smells amazing! 

orange and balsam simmering potpourri


Orange and Balsam Simmering Potpourri

The combination of fresh orange slices, balsam, rosemary, cinnamon and cloves create a beautiful natural aroma for the holidays.


  • 45 cups water
  • 1 large orange
  • 67 sprigs of fresh balsam
  • 12 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 68 whole cloves
  • 12 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Fill a medium saucepan with 4-5 cups of water.
  2. Cut 6 slices (about half) and put in water along with sprigs of balsam, rosemary, cinnamon sticks, cloves and vanilla. Take the other half the orange and squeeze the juice into the pot then place in saucpan.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to simmer. And continue to simmer, adding water if necessary.


You can also add in orange slices and sprigs as the day goes on. By the end of the day my pot usually has almost 2 oranges simmering and 10 sprigs of balsam. I let the water level go down so the balsam sits on top the oranges that are emerged in the water.
You should be able to get a few days of use out of this before you will need to replace it.

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  1. You could also make this with any old fruit or just the peels. I also do similar by keeping a jar of dried herbs that was originally like eucalyptus, rosemary, pine, lemon grass, and add stuff whenever and then put a few tabs. In a pot in the winter dry heat. I have not tried the fruit and herbs together.

  2. Hi Jennifer, my question is.
    What can I do / use to get that horror able fish scent out of my apartment ?
    I don’t like meat, but I love fish especially fried fish and whenever I do that
    the scent of fish just lingers like forever. I have tried just about everything that I can
    think of including other peoples suggestion, they don’t work. I am all out of ideas now so i need your help.


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