Holiday Home Fragrances

by Lauren Niemchick

Welcome!

To see all available days of this year’s calendar, you can press the Unlock button in your key email or enter your code below.

Don't have a key? Get one here.

That key didn't work. Please try again.

Thanks!

Unlocking the calendar...

Click or tap each card to see the recipe.

Image 1 (simmer pot): Hand-painted watercolor illustration of simmering potpourri, known as a simmer pot, which includes fruits, herbs, and spices collected in a light-green Dutch oven pot. The dried bay leaves have affirmations of "joy," "strength," and "love" written on them.
Affirmation Simmer Pot 
 
History 
The simmer pot, or simmering potpourri, was created in the 12th century to mask odors in castle rooms. Back then leftover herbs and spices from cooking were mixed with spirits, placed in bowl with lids, and left to rot. When the lids were lifted the room would become perfumed with a heady scent. These days simmer pots are easily created easily on a stovetop. 
 
Ingredients & Directions 
Simmer pots are undoubtedly a remedy for dark, restless days but also for the soul. Add a little extra holiday magic by writing a few closely held values or feelings you’d like to manifest into your life onto dried bay leaves with permanent marker. Bring a pot of water to a slow boil and add in your ingredients. There are so many ingredients to explore — use your seasonal creativity to craft the perfect one! 
 
•	Cinnamon sticks 
•	Rosemary or other evergreens 
•	Bay leaves 
•	Cranberries 
•	Citrus fruits 
•	Peppercorns 
•	Star anise 
•	Melted snow 
•	Apple 
•	Chamomile 
•	Bergamot 
•	Cloves 
•	Lavender 
•	Lemon balm 
•	Lemongrass 
•	Vanilla extract or beans 
•	Rose petals 
•	Whole allspice or nutmeg 
•	Ginger 
•	Juniper berries 
•	Peppermint leaves 
•	Cardamom pods 
•	Almond extract 
•	Pinecones or bark
Image 2 (dried potpourri): Hand-painted watercolor illustration of a white, footed bowl holding dried potpourri which includes fruits, pinecones, herbs, spices, flowers, and nuts.
Dried Potpourri 
 
History 
Potpourri has been used to freshen rooms since ancient times, but was most commonly used in 17th-century France; the French word pot-pourri actually means “rotten pot.” The French layered herbs, spices, and flowers with salt which fermented the botanicals. Placing the potpourri in ornate pots with perforated lids helped perfume a room. In the modern era, attractive dried potpourri is easily made in the oven. 
 
Ingredients & Directions 
Dried potpourri is beautiful when set out in a bowl and adds holiday cheer and fragrance to any room. I love to choose a color scheme and go from there; reds and greens are particularly festive. If you’re including fruit, herbs, or flowers, be sure to dry them by placing on a baking sheet using your oven’s dehydration setting, or by baking at the lowest temperature for several hours, flipping every 30 minutes. Add a couple dashes of your favorite essential oil for extra fragrance. Use your seasonal creativity to craft the perfect bowl! 
 
•	Cinnamon sticks 
•	Rosemary or other evergreens 
•	Dried bay leaves 
•	Dried cranberries or cherries 
•	Dried citrus fruit slices 
•	Peppercorns 
•	Star anise 
•	Dried apple slices 
•	Chamomile tea 
•	Bergamot tea 
•	Cloves 
•	Dried lavender 
•	Dried lemon balm 
•	Vanilla bean pods 
•	Dried roses or other flowers 
•	Whole allspice or nutmeg 
•	Juniper berries 
•	Dried peppermint leaves 
•	Cardamom pods 
•	Whole nuts 
•	Pinecones or bark
Image 3 (citrus clove pomanders): Hand-painted watercolor illustration of a trio of differently patterned clove-studded orange pomanders sitting on a plate. The first pomander has stripes, the second has a swirl pattern, and the third has a heart shape.
Citrus Clove Pomanders 
 
History 
To stave off odor in medieval times the wealthy elite wore ambergris necklaces, a rare and expensive perfume ingredient found in the stomach lining of whales. “Pomander” is derived from the French term pomme d’ambre, meaning ‘apple of amber,’ which was coined to describe the ambergris necklaces. Lower classes made little sachets of perfume not out of ambergris but out of more affordable flowers and spices. Eventually, pomanders were brought into the home rather than worn on a person, and the orange and clove version was popularized during the Victorian era as decoration. Pomanders are a great symbol of good health and luck, which lends to their popularity during the winter holidays. 
 
Ingredients & Directions 
Pomanders are easy for people of all ages to make. Create interesting patterns on the orange by pressing the pointed end of cloves into the peel. Try wrapping your finished pomander with ribbon so you can hang them up or placing them in a drawer to perfume fresh laundry. Pomanders will last about three weeks in a cool, dry environment.

Lauren Niemchick

Lauren Niemchick is the owner and artist of Lunaria Creative Goods on Etsy. She celebrates sensitivity and self-expression through watercolor and acrylic wall art, handmade pottery, home goods, and more.