Fragrant Homemade Potpourri Recipe

LAST UPDATED: Dec 09, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Nov 25, 2013 | By:

Learn How to Make Potpourri with oranges, apples and the perfect trifecta of fall and winter spices. This homemade potpourri recipe is so simple, and with a few tips and tricks you’ll have a warm and cozy natural fragrance!

Gift it to your friends and family during the holiday season to warm their homes and hearts.

homemade potpourri recipe in glass jar with text overlay

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I love gift giving any time of the year, but it’s also wonderful just before Thanksgiving – before the hustle of the holidays, when it’s a little unexpected. I like to consider it a little “thankful for” gift.

This homemade potpourri can be enjoyed on the holiday itself simmering on a stove top or all winter long in a dish. It’s a perfect project for a cold afternoon at home and will fill your home with fragrance!

A great potpourri begins with great grocery store ingredients. There are no right or wrong ingredients, it’s all a matter of preference. However, I love this combination of fruits and spices in fall and winter.

I’m a huge fan of calming, subtle fragrances in our home, just like my Stovetop Potpourri recipe. Don’t skip this post if you are too: 8 Ways to Make Your Home Smell Great!

Homemade potpourri is both fragrant and beautiful, which makes it perfect for gift giving. I love a good homemade gift, because they come straight from the heart! Don’t miss 40 Easy Homemade Christmas Gifts, my favorite Hostess Gift Ideas, and 40 Creative Christmas Ideas!

easy potpourri recipe in glass jar

What is Potpourri?

It’s been around since ancient! In fact, you might remember a dusty (likely ancient) bowl of potpourri in your grandmother’s bathroom, if you’re anything like me!

The word “potpourri” translates from the French word pot-pourri, which might have come from words for “stew” and “pot” quite literally.

Potpourri is a blend of dried, naturally fragrant plant materials. When blended and enhanced, they provide a gentle scent in your home in a more natural way.

Why You’ll Love this Homemade Potpourri

  • So easy to make
  • Natural ingredients
  • Great alternative to synthetic scents and room sprays
  • Doubles as both fragrance and decor
  • Perfect for gifting

Homemade Potpourri Ingredients

*For full ingredients and instructions, see printable recipe card.

  • Apples – Fresh in round slices! Any of your favorite variety will do. I really enjoy the fragrance of Pink Lady and Gala apples.
  • Oranges – Fresh, sliced in rounds. The more popular Navel oranges work wonders for a potpourri with oranges, but if you want more of a variety for the holiday season, try Cara Cara or Blood oranges.
  • Cinnamon – Cinnamon sticks are beautiful, long lasting and hold scent exceptionally well.
  • Cloves – This is the one spice that sings all things holidays to me. Keep a jar on hand for all your holiday recipes.
  • Star Anise – I really like the sweet, licorice scent of star anise, especially during the holidays. The whole stars make a beautiful presentation for the potpourri gift, too!

Variations

  • Try pretty dried orange peels for an added decorative element.
  • Add dried flowers (whole or petals) for another pretty touch.
  • Want it to be a little stronger? Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
  • To make a truly Christmas potpourri, try adding touches of dried cranberries and pine cones.
dry apple and orange slices with whole cloves, cinnamon, star anise on wooden coutertop

How To Make Potpourri

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Slice the apples and oranges.
  3. Place on baking sheets and bake.
  4. Once dry, blend with remaining ingredients.
  5. Place inside a jar for gifting.

Homemade Potpourri Tips

  • Use a mandoline to slice the fresh fruit for the best thin and even slices.
  • Placing the sliced fruit in a single layer ensures the slices will dry evenly. Use two baking sheets, if needed.
  • Apples will continue to crisp once they’re removed from the oven. Oranges will stay about the same texture.
  • Allow the flavors to meld together for one day before gifting.
homemade potpourri recipe with oranges in glass jar

How to Use Homemade Potpourri

  • Homemade potpourri can be placed in a dish for up to a few months… the perfect time frame for those long winter months.
  • Get a little extra life out of your dried potpourri by using the stovetop method before disposing of it.
  • For the stovetop method and one-time use, boil two cups water, add potpourri and reduce to a simmer. Just make sure to check it after a few hours, as the water will start to reduce.
How long does potpourri last?

Homemade potpourri will last around three months. You can add drops of your favorite essential oils to help the fragrance last longer.

How do you keep potpourri smelling fresh?

Move it around here and there to re-activate the fragrance. Drops of essential oil will also help renew the fragrance.

diy potpourri recipe in glass jar with label for holiday gifts

How to Wrap Christmas Potpourri

  • Place in a pretty glass jar with a lid.
  • Wrap in a clear cellophane bag and tie with a lovely bow.
  • Place inside simple muslin sachets.
  • Use these printable gift tags for a customized touch.

How to Store Potpourri

I like to store and gift my homemade potpourri in classic weck jars. The clear glass makes for a beautiful gift. Small mason jars would work, too.

If you try this Homemade Potpourri recipe, please come back to share using my 5 star rating in the comments below! Not only do I appreciate it, but I know readers do, too! For more easy recipes and simple living ideas, subscribe to my newsletter!

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More Homemade Gifts

A glass bowl full of homemade potpourri
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4.58 from 19 votes

Homemade Potpourri Recipe

Fragrant homemade potpourri recipe that is perfect for gift-giving. Use dry or simmer on the stovetop for a fall or winter scent that will warm your home.
Course DIY
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 35 minutes
Cost $5

Equipment

  • Baking Sheet

Ingredients

  • 1 apple sliced in rounds
  • 1 orange sliced in rounds
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons cloves
  • 5-6 star anise

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • Slice apples and oranges thin, really thin.
  • Place in a single layer on cookie sheets and bake for an hour and a half, check every half hour thereafter.
  • Once dry, mix with your spices.
  • Jar and allow to "marinate" for a day before gifting.

Notes

Tips

  • Want it to be a little stronger? Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
  • To make a truly Christmas potpourri, try adding touches of dried cranberries and pine cones.
  • Use a mandoline to slice the fresh fruit for the best thin and even slices.
  • Placing the sliced fruit in a single layer ensures the slices will dry evenly. Use two baking sheets, if needed.
  • Apples will continue to crisp once they’re removed from the oven. Oranges will stay about the same texture.
  • Allow the flavors to meld together for one day before gifting.
Disclosure

mini loaves of bread gift wrapped