DIY Simmer Scents for Summer: Make Your House Smell Great!

As we’ve blogged before (read our post about Simmer Scents for Autumn or Simmer Scent for Holidays), simmering potpourri recipes are an easy and inexpensive way to make your house smell seasonally fresh using common household ingredients and WITHOUT the use of harmful chemicals! They’re especially useful for anyone planning to put their home on the market soon — research shows that potential buyers can find overly complex fragrances too distracting. These summer simmer scents natural fragrance recipes are subtle, light, and clean, a great way to make your house smell welcoming to anyone who visits this summer!

How to Do It

Cut up all your ingredients and add to a small sauce pan or pot. Add water until ingredients float. Bring to a gentle boil, then immediately turn the heat down to a low simmer and enjoy! Add more water as needed, typically about every 30 minutes (otherwise, you’ll end up with the smell of scorched food wafting through the house–YUCK).

Try these aromatic combinations (measurements don’t have to be exact so adjust according to your taste):


Watkins All Natural Original Gourmet Baking Vanilla, with Pure Vanilla Extract, 11 ounces Bottle, 1 Count (Packaging May Vary)
  • peel of 1-2 oranges and 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (smells like a Dreamsicle!)
  • 1 sliced lime, fresh ginger slices, and a handful peppermint leaves (or extract, like OliveNation Pure Peppermint Extract)

OliveNation Extract, Peppermint, 8 Ounce

McCormick Coconut Extract With Other Natural Flavors, 1 Fl Oz (Pack of 6)
  • sprig of fresh rosemary, teaspoon of vanilla, lemon rind (also known as the famous “Williams Sonoma scent”)
  • 1 sliced lime, 2 teaspoons of coconut extract, half cup of pineapple juice (very tropical)
  • 1 sliced grapefruit, a few sprigs of lavender, 1 teaspoon almond extract
summer simmer scents

It should probably go without saying, but being the conscientious home stager that I am, I’m going to say it anyway:  don’t leaving anything burning on the stove unattended. Another (safer?) alternative is to simmer the entire mixture in a miniature slow cooker, uncovered on the “Low” setting. We like this one:


Crock-Pot 16-Ounce Little Dipper, Chrome

Save the mixture in a glass jar in the fridge when you’re done (can last several days). Just reheat the next day to re-scent your home.

If you’re selling your home this summer and need more tips on how to freshen up your home,  Three Bears Home Staging can help! Contact us here set up an initial consultation!

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