Fall Hospitality for Your Nose

“Why are you wearing pants and long sleeves?” my shorts-and-tank-top-clad friend asked a few weeks ago.

Because I have new fall clothes, duh! And I can’t wait to usher in my favorite season.

Fall in New England is MAGICAL, with sparkling pixie dust, double rainbows, and unicorns. Or at least the most beautiful foliage in the United States.

Today it’s warm and muggy out (and I’m kind of sweltering in my button-up and cargo pants), but I persist in having the windows open and fans bringing in the air, trying to catch the slightest whiff of crispness that will tell me fall is really coming.

Inside, my house smells faintly of dirty diaper. Which is kind of inevitable when you have a toddler. (Adult-Strength Poo, Without the Grown-Up Bathroom Skills!)

So to clear the air and remind myself that autumn is coming, I turned to my favorite potpourri solution today:

  • Put a pint of water in a small, sturdy saucepan
  • Pour in a generous splash of vanilla
  • Sprinkle cinnamon (and/or nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, other fall-smelling spices) on top
  • Set it on a low simmer

It will shortly fill your home with amazing aromas, and people will think you’ve been baking pies all day.

Once the mixture starts putting off a good amount of fragrant steam, you can carefully carry the saucepan around the house, spreading the love.

CAVEAT: Watch this like a freaking HAWK. It will boil down before you can say “eggnog latte,” and you’ll be left with roiling black gunk and your house will smell like an evil, damp campfire. Don’t ask how I know this. (Or how very many times it has happened to me.) Add water as it boils down – you’ll eventually end up with cinnamon sludge, but you can keep the mixture going all evening if you’re attentive to it.

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  • http://www.heatherritchieathome.blogspot.com heather ritchie

    I LOVE your blog! I just moved into a new home and we have people left and right that are already booking their weekends with us in the near future. I'm happy and eager to host them but I don't want it to be a failure. I can't wait to have an afternoon and go through your archives to help me along. This will be great. I'm glad I found you at the fall nesting party-I wrote about filling your senses for fall with sweet aromas. Great minds think alike!


    • http://www.howtohospitality.com Becky Miller

      Thanks, Heather! Let me know if you have any specific hosting questions. I'd like to do more Q&A posts answering hospitality questions.

  • Lisa

    yum! I do this, too, and add cut up oranges, lemons- whatever is starting to harden!! It'll last 2 days- just keep adding water and maybe another dash of vanilla! Thanks for the visit~

  • Hannah

    Do you have a diaper genie? Because those suckers are "magical."

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