One of the fastest ways to make your home feel inviting to guests is to put a pot of simmering spices on the stove top. I often like to slice fresh fruit and add different spices depending on the time of year.
For Fall and Winter months, I especially like the scents of cinnamon, cloves, and star anise. There are just an wealth of combinations that can be used in a simple pot on the stove. I usually start with water, apple cider or apple juice, and then just make the mixture depending on my mood.
Assemble the ingredients on a plate and make sure the scents coordinate. Some people prefer stronger scents while others like a more subtle fragrance. Remember you can control the amount of both by turning up the flame on the stove or decreasing the heat.
None of these spice mixtures will be as strong as any store-bought heavily processed mixture. I think that is why I especially like making my own.
Here are some suggestions where you can become the creator of your own home fragrance. Simply make a selection of some of the following:
pine cones, pine needle branches, herbal tea bags, bay leaves, rosemary, pumpkin pie spice, cranberries, crystallized ginger, fresh ginger root, whole nutmegs, vanilla beans, slices of apples, oranges, pears, limes, pomegranate seeds, almond-orange-or lemon extracts. Also, the peels of any of the fruit can be used instead of slices of the fruit for this mixture.
I have a simmering pot today which really adds to the cozy feel in my home on a cold winter afternoon.