Home Aromatherapy
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Home Aromatherapy

Add a delightfully delicate scent to your house with three aromatic ideas. These home herbals make great gifts, too.

Simmering Potpourri

This herbal mix can be used with a potpourri burner or simmered right on the stove.

What You Need:
Autumn Appeal
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Simmering Potpourri and Fireplace

  • Cellophane bags or airtight tins
  • 1/4 cup each of dried bay leaves, cedar tips, sage leaves, rosemary leaves, lavender leaves, marjoram blossoms, juniper berries, cinnamon sticks (broken into pieces), and orange peel (cut into 1/4- x 2-inch strips and air-dried until crisp)


1. Blend ingredients. Makes about 2 cups.

2. Place in packages. Mixture can be divided into up to 8 portions. Seal in plastic or cellophane bags, or store in an airtight tin.

3. Directions for use: If using a potpourri burner, place 1 tablespoon of potpourri in the top. Cover with water. Light candle in bottom of burner. Never leave unattended or within reach of children. To simmer on stove, place 1/4 cup potpourri and 2 cups water in an old pan; set on lowest heat. Do not allow to boil dry. Do not consume.

Fireplace Herbs

Use a bundle of herbs with kindling in your fireplace to infuse the room with a gentle scent.

What You Need:
Autumn Appeal
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Fireplace Herbs and Simmering

  • Dried stems of aromatic herbs
  • 6-inch cinnamon sticks (available at crafts or herb stores)
  • Raffia
  • Cone-shaped holder (see Step 3)


1. Collect herbs. If you harvest herbs from the garden, hang small bundles to dry in a warm, dark, airy place until leaves are crispy dry. Or purchase small bunches at a farmer's market, herb store, or grocery store.

2. Remove leaves. Strip dry leaves off stems by sliding your hand down each stem.

3. Bundle and wrap stems. Gather small bundles of stems. Tie bottom of bunch with a strand of raffia. Tuck a cinnamon stick into the bunch. Stuff two or three bunches into a decorative cone-shaped holder. The birch-bark holder shown here was store-bought. You also can fashion simple cone-shaped holders from stiff paper.

Directions for use: Add an herbal bundle when starting a fire in the fireplace for a burst of delicate fragrance. Or use the bundles as an earthy decoration for the hearth or for a basket next to an entryway.

Scented Pinecones

Gold, frankincense, and myrrh turn pinecones into gifts fit for a king. Toss them onto hot coals to give the room a rich aroma.

What You Need:

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Try this fireplace-friendly project.

  • 2- x 2-inch pinecones (about 24)
  • Frankincense powder (1/4 cup, approximately 2 ounces)
  • Myrrh powder (1/2 cup, approximately 4 ounces)
  • Gold glitter (1/4 cup)
  • White crafts glue
  • Cellophane bags (available from florist or crafts supply store)
  • Shallow container, such as a shoebox lid
  • Gold filigree ribbon
  • Newspapers


1. Prepare the pinecones. Rinse pinecones with water. Lay cones on an old cookie sheet and place in a 300-degree-F. oven for 1 hour. Spread cones out on layers of newspaper and set aside to complete drying. (They'll close tightly when wet and be fully open when dry.)

2. Add scent and glitter. Blend frankincense, myrrh, and glitter in a shallow container. Dab glue on tips of pinecone petals and on bottom of cone. Roll cone in mixture of powder and glitter. Set cones aside to dry.

3. Package for gifts. Put a handful of dried cones in each cellophane bag. Tie bag shut with gold filigree ribbon. Attach a label with a holiday greeting and instructions for using the pinecones.

Directions for use: Remove one or two cones from cellophane wrap and toss onto hot embers. Or set the cones in a dish for a subtly fragrant decoration.