'Fixer Upper' star Joanna Gaines shares secret to giving your home a signature scent

"Fixer Upper" star Joanna Gaines knows not only how to make a house look amazing, but also how to make it smell fantastic. And not with the usual scented candles or sprays, but something far simpler: a simmer pot.

In short, she boils water with a few household ingredients thrown in. On her Magnolia blog, Gaines writes, "a simmer pot is essentially a stove top potpourri… I love the ease of throwing these ingredients into a pot of water and letting it fill our house with clean scents all day long."

She also shares her recipe for a citrus simmer pot that's "in the spirit of keeping things fresh."

First, gather your supplies, which should include two sprigs of fresh rosemary, a tablespoon of dried lavender, three lemon slices (or just the peels), a few drops of lavender essential oil, and a few drops of rose essential oil.

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Then bring a few cups of water to a simmer in a heavy pot on your stove. Gently put the rosemary, lavender, and lemon slices into the water. Add drops of the essential oils until fragrant. Then turn the heat to low and allow the pot to slowly simmer for a few hours.

Just make sure to check on the pot every half-hour and add more water to the mixture if the liquid boils away. But more importantly, heed Gaines' safety advice: "Do not leave a pot on the stovetop unattended, and while it looks pretty enough to drink, resist the urge," she writes. "This brew is for smelling, not sipping."

Why Joanna Gaines digs simmer pots

Gaines believes a calm home soothes all the senses, including smell. And simmer pots are an all-natural way to scent your home that's also economical.

If you want to come home to a lovely fresh fragrance, you can also fire up your slow cooker. After all, these countertop appliances are used to simmer foods for hours at a time.

In addition to Gaines' recipe, you can try some of the following combinations to make your house smell fantastic. Always start with several cups of water.

  • For a wintertime scent to warm up your home, try adding the peel from one orange, five bay leaves, two cinnamon sticks, and one tablespoon of cloves.
  • For a spring scent, throw in a few slices of lime, four sprigs of thyme, a handful of mint, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Or for a vibrant, clean scent, go with an all-citrus simmer pot combo of lemon, lime, and orange slices.
  • For a summer scent, add pineapple juice to your water, a few slices of lime, and a few drops of coconut extract.
  • For the scent of coffee cake (without having to bake one!), add your used coffee grounds and a few drops of almond extract to your water.

Almost any spices and herbs will work for you to create your own signature simmer pot scent.

A few basics include cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods, bay leaves, mint, lavender, rosemary, and thyme. And like Gaines, you can also add fresh citrus (apple and ginger are nice, too). To get your simmer pot game down pat, save all of your citrus peels after juicing, air-dry them, and then store them in an airtight jar for later use.

And finally, heed Joanna's advice and be sure to never leave your stovetop unattended — and always follow all safety precautions with any slow-cooking device.

This post, "Joanna Gaines Shares Her Secret to Making a House Smell Divine," appeared first on Realtor.com®.