One of my favorite things to do in the late fall and winter is make homemade potpourri. And since avoiding toxins is vitally important to me for my family's health, it's a great alternative to scented paraffin candles. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), candles made of paraffin wax contain petroleum, a by-product of the oil industry, and emit inhalable toxins into the air which damage your lungs. These toxins can be carcinogenic and neurotoxic as well.
Homemade potpourri can be made without the use of toxins, pesticide, harsh chemicals like bleach, and artificial fragrances. It's especially important that the oranges be organic for this, since the peel is where pesticide is concentrated. You don't want to put pesticide into the air you breathe by simmering a peel like that.Other alternatives to paraffin candles include beeswax and soy:
There is an another benefit to making your own potpourri as well: adding moisture to dry winter air inside your house. I keep this mixture over low heat and continue adding water as needed, creating a fantastic smell and moisture too.
Above is Ashley spotting me taking pictures of our oranges, picking one up, and smelling it sweetly. Oranges are one of her favorite fruits. When I make this potpourri she eats the orange for me :-)
Add to pot:
2 organic orange peels
4 whole cloves
1 whole nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
About 3 inches of water
100 % Soy Candles