How To Make Homemade Potpourri in Your Dehydrator
I love to have luscious smells throughout my house, whether it's flowers, baked goods or the smell of fresh laundry. I used everything from candles to air fresheners and sprays. After awhile I realized I was spending more money on nice smelling things than food for dinner. So I turned to potpourri thinking this would be a more economical way of making my house smell amazing. To my dismay I didn't like any of the scents that the local stores offered, and the scents that I loved were too expensive for my taste and too far to travel to pick it up. So of course, immediately I turned to making my own homemade potpourri. At first, I was completely lost, and saddened by the fact that it would take weeks to even dry the components before putting them together to test the smells. As I sat there in dismay, munching on dried apple rings, it hit me (literally as I was eating dried apples), why not use the dehydrator? So I was off to do research, and after a few attempts and mixes here are a few things that I have discovered:
Think of smells that you know, that you like, and that you want wafting throughout your house on a daily basis. I love the smell of apples and cinnamon, and although it is one of the more popular smells, I could not find a manufactured smell that I liked. After thinking about it, I know that I do not like too much commercial cinnamon smell, (actually throughout the holidays I have a hard time walking through stores because of this overpowering smell). So immediately I thought, more apples, less cinnamon.
I made the simplest recipe I could find that is great if you are showing the creation off in an open bowl or dish.
- Dried apples (dip them in lemon juice before you put them in the dehydrator so the do not turn brown)
- Cinnamon sticks
This turned out great, and smelled of fresh baked apples with only a touch of cinnamon. But them I thought about how I didn't want to go out and buy specific ingredients just for show, when most of the time the bowl that I had it in was out of sight and out of reach. So I thought about baking and came up with the idea of "baking potpourri" instead of assembling it after it was dehydrated.
Apples and Cinnamon:
- Slice apples to about 1/8" thick
- Dip the apple slices in lemon juice
- Lay the apple slices flat in the dehydrator
- Sprinkle cinnamon on the damp apple slices
- Dehydrate according to your dehydrator's instructions
- Take out and display in an open dish or bowl, or wrap in cheesecloth and hang to let of smell throughout the house.
Don't stop there! Think about the treats that you like to bake and go from there. If you can bake it, you can most likely make potpourri out of it as well. My fiancé loves pumpkin pie; I however love the smell but do not like to eat it. The first time I create this he walked in and was so excited that I had baked him a pumpkin pie, and it wasn't even thanksgiving yet. Needless to say, I had to make him one after that, but, the potpourri worked perfectly.
- Cut the pumpkin in half and clean out all of the seeds
- Leaving the skin on, slice the pumpkin into 1/8" wedges (about 3 inches long)
- Dip the pumpkin slices in lemon juice to keep them a vibrant orange
- Lay the pumpkin slices flat in the dehydrator tray
- In a separate bowl create a mixture of: cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and ground clove (or just use pumpkin pie spice if you have it)
- Sprinkle evenly over one side of the pumpkins
- Dehydrate according to your dehydrators instructions
- Display in a bowl or in a cheesecloth pouch
Extra: Instead of adding the ground ginger to the spice mixture, I use whole cloves and stuck them in one end of the pumpkin (very similar to sticking cloves in an orange) because it gave it a little texture and was pretty to look at in the bowl.
Be creative and have fun, there really isn't any way that you can mess up. If you are not sure about what something will smell like, start with small batches and work from there. Remember, the possibilities are endless. There are fruits, veggies, flowers and herbs that can make hundreds of different smells when combined.