Quick 'n Easy Pot-pourri (Not That Kind of Pot)

I love it when my place smells amazing, but scented candles make me nervous. Don't get me wrong, I still use them--just sparingly. Mainly, I'm worried Chance's giant otter-like tail will knock them over, but I also wonder if the strong artificial scent is damaging to his delicate sniffer. Then recently I read an article that suggests burning scented candles may actually be bad for your health. Of course, I think that only applies if you're burning them constantly, but still. I've got an alternative you might find helpful!

To make the whole house smell amazing, my mom used to put a pot of water on the stove, throw in some spices, and simmer it, adding water as long as you want it to keep giving off scent. All the delicious smell of baking a pie, with NONE of the work (or high-caloric byproduct just sitting around begging to be eaten). I do it all the time now, and Chance doesn't seem to be in the slightest affected by it.

Here's what you do:

All the spices in, not boiling yet...

1. Fill a pot of water about 2/3 full with water.

2. Pick your spices. I usually use cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. I recommend buying cheap spices at Trader Joe's or Marshalls, TJ Maxx, or HomeGoods. You're not gonna be tasting this so you don't need to worry about quality. You can also usually get cinnamon sticks for way cheap at those places!

Gently simmering!

3. Toss in a few of each. You really don't need a lot. Maybe 6-8 allspice balls, 5-6 cloves, and a couple shakes each of the cinnamon and nutmeg (unless you're using cinnamon sticks, then just add in one or two depending on size).

4. Turn it up to a low-medium heat. You just want it to achieve a low simmer that will release the scent but not burn all your water away too quickly.

And that's it! Keep an eye on it--don't forget about it and let all the water boil away, you'll ruin your pot! But if you just keep adding more water whenever it gets low, you can run this baby for a few hours. This is probably most cost-effective if you've got an electric range (probably uses less energy than a light bulb), but I have a gas range and it's not like I noticed a huge spike in my gas bill.

If you try this little trick, I'd love to know what spices/herbs/etc. you use for variation!

Did you try this pot-pourri, or have another handy little trick to make your house smell nice? Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and leave us a message in the comments, or join the conversation on the Taking Fountain Community page!