Between the winter winds that dries everything and the indoor heating static builds up everywhere. Turning on a light switch can be a startling experience. The wool sweaters we favor when it gets chilly only aggravate the situation. And if you forget to add softener to the weekly laundry – watch out!
Well, you can’t change the weather and I’m sure you don’t want to turn off the heat. But there’s still something you can do about that static. It’s easy to reduce static by adding moisture to the indoor atmosphere with a simmering potpourri.
Creating your own simmering potpourri is much easier than creating the dry potpourri. You can use fresh or dried ingredients and you don’t need to let it sit for two weeks before using it. The directions are simple; add an assortment of aromatic ingredients to gently simmering water. Here’s some suggested ingredients for you to try:
- Citrus Peel – In winter, we often have fresh citrus in the home. Save the peel of lemon, orange, lime, or grapefruit to add to your simmering potpourri. If you have more citrus peel than you can use, cut it into strips and allow to dry before storing in an airtight container.
- Spices – Many of the tropical spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice lend a pleasant “homey” fragrance to the air. You can also experiment with cardamom and other less know Asian spices. Use these spices in their whole, un-ground form for best effect.
- Aromatic Trees – You may be growing some potpourri ingredients in your backyard. Try adding leaves from eucalyptus, pine, cedar, or other fragrant trees to the pot. Just be sure the leaves you’re adding don’t cause an allergic reaction in family members.
- Dried or Fresh Herbs – Many fresh or dried herbs have a pungent aroma that works well in a simmering potpourri. Rosemary, ginger, lemon grass, bay leaves and many others will contribute a unique fragrance.
- Flowers –The fragrance of flowers are welcome in any potpourri. If you have access to fresh roses, gardenias or other scented flowers, include the whole head in your simmering pot.
- Essential Oils – Of course, in winter many flowers are unavailable or too expensive to used in a simmering potpourri. You can use essential oils instead. But remember a little goes a long way with essential oils. Too much and you’ll need to air out the house no matter how cold it is outside.
Heating your potpourri requires no special equipment. You can use any non-reactive cooking pot. Avoid aluminum or iron pots as some potpourri ingredients may stain them. If you want to simmer potpourri throughout the winter months, you might want to buy a small two-piece ceramic warmer that uses a candle for heat. You can also purchase an electric simmering potpourri that looks like miniature crock pot.
It’s a snap to combine fragrant materials to make a simmering potpourri. As it gently bubbles, it will release static neutralizing moisture and a pleasant scent into your home.