Home Decor

How to make your home smell delicious — no candles needed

All you need is a stove top and some feel-good spices.
How to make your home smell delicious — no candles needed Photo, Alexey Ivanov/iStock.

Confession: I own a more-than-ample amount of candles, and yet, I never burn them. It appears I've inherited my mother's innate semi-rational fear of house fires. Even though I use the candles for display purposes only — who doesn't love pretty packaging? — I still like to keep my home smelling great.

Enter the simmer pot: a DIY blend of good-smelling spices, and something of a winter tradition in the Gater household. I have yet to find a candle that smells as comforting, and there are no rules when it comes to ingredients, meaning you can create multiple winning combinations tailored to your nose. The resulting scent is deep and warm with a hint of spice, similar to mulled wine. Here is my mom's easy recipe to get you started:

1. Boil a small pot of water. 2. Add allspice, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves and orange peel. 3. Boil mixture for five minutes. 4. Turn heat down to a simmer, and leave on the stovetop for as long as you like. Add water as needed.


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