How to Make Sweet Smelling Herbal Potpourri
Make Your Own
Potpourri is an easy way of introducing fragrance into the home. Sweet smelling dried or fresh herbs combine with earthy spices, wood chips, flowers, fruits, oils and wood shavings to make wonderful aromatic potpourri at home.
Many great ingredients that go into potpourri are in our kitchen cupboards or growing in out garden or yard. When I looked at the cost of purchasing bags of potpourri in the shops, they are not cheap.
I have bought many bags or scoops of individual ingredients such as lavender, dried citrus fruits and fragrance infused wooden balls over the years. The thought of making my own instant air freshener in the form of potpourri, never entered my head until recently.
For many of us, fragranced candles, air diffusers, incense sticks and room fresheners have always been products we have used and bought rather than making at home. The reality is that ALL these gorgeous mediums of scent are easily achievable in our own kitchens at a fraction of the cost.
Cutting down on expenses does not have to mean cutting out. In fact many of these natural ingredients in potpourri have a multitude of uses in homemade DIY products. Why not reap the benefits and full potential of your herbs, oils, spices, fruits and flowers and whip up a face cleanser, body scrub, skin moisturizer or even a slick of citrus lip gloss?
What is Potpourri?
Quite simply, potpourri is a group of dried plants and barks.
It is usually displayed in a bowl, often wooden or glass that provides a subtle fragrance to a room in the home.
Potpourri may be used to fill a small pouch or sachet to leave in wardrobes, drawers or in cars to give a pleasant smelling aroma.
It is not uncommon to see unusually shaped dried plant material that has no fragrance but is decorative and adds bulk and interest.
Synthetic fragrances and dyes are frequently used and bear no resemblance to the dried ingredients whatsoever.
Citrus Fruit Adds Texture
Sweet Smelling Herbs ~
The list of herbs you could use is vast and utilizing what you have is the way to go and then add to it.
Drying fresh herbs is best as it will add bulk and interest along with scent. Sweeter smelling herbs that are ideal to use are:
- Sweet Marjoram
- Lemon Balm
- Evening Primrose
- Sweet Woodruff
- Bay Leaf
Morroccan Potpourri and Spices
Baskets of Potpourri
How To Make Potpourri ~
Drying out ingredients is something that takes time so start drying your herbs, flowers etc . . . . well ahead of time.
Before starting to make your potpourri, there are three classifications of ingredients you will need. The three F’s.
Fixatives – these are essential for absorbing different scents and keeping the potpourri fresh with fragrance. The best ones to use are sandalwood chips, oak moss, orris root, tonka beans, wood shavings, calamus root, clary sage leaves, deertongue, and vetiver root or ground cinnamon.
Fillers – the bulk of your ingredients are fillers. These consist of dried flowers, herbs, wood chips, leaves, spices and wood shavings which can be a mix of fragrant and non fragrant. If you have fresh ingredients that need to be dried first, remember to allow for shrinkage when dried. Approximately 3-4 cups of fresh ingredients will yield 1 cup when dried.
Fragrance – In the form of essential oils or fragrance oils these provide long lasting fragrance when applied onto the fixatives. As the scent disappears over time you just top up the fixatives with your chosen fragrance.
Flower/Petal Ideas ~
- Scented Geranium
- Lemon Verbena Leaves
Drying Flowers, Herbs and Leaves ~
Drying these takes time so start collecting ahead of time and dry separately.
Dry any flowers, petals, herbs or fruit on a screen or a tray with a paper towel covering them and leave them in a warm, dry airy place to dry out. Turn them over daily. Your ingredients are ready when they feel slightly brittle. If overly dry they will crumble easily as they have lost all their natural oils.
You may also dry bunches of flowers and herbs out by hanging them upside down and checking them daily.
Store them in separate glass containers with a tight fitting lid away from direct sunlight until you are ready to start making your potpourri.
Fruit Ideas (slices or peel) ~
Spice Ideas ~
- Cinnamon sticks
- Tonka Beans
- Vanilla Beans
Making Potpourri ~
- Decide on what fragrances you want to use. Use top quality oils if possible as your fragrance will hold and smell better.
- Look at the dried ingredients you have decided to use and pick fragrances that compliment them.Color combinations or themes can determine choices in scents. For example, if you have a number of pinks and purples in your ingredients, rose, lavender and vanilla would be good choices. For potpourri that has reds, oranges and browns try geranium, lemon and patchouli. Let your creative side loose and have fun experimenting.
- Up to three different oils can be used together with one being the prominent or dominant scent and two as accent fragrances.
- An easy way of testing what your chosen combination would smell like is place a small piece of cotton wool into a jar. Put 4 drops of your dominant fragrance on top of it followed by 2 drops of your first accent fragrance and then 1 drop of your second accent. Close the lid and leave it for 24 hours. Open lid and smell from about 6 inches away. If you like it great! If not add some more oil or else start again.
- Start by placing your chosen fixative into a large glass jar. 2 tbsp chopped (not powdered) fresh roots to 1 quart of fillers.
- Next you need to add your oils. The ratio is 12 drops dominant, 6 drops first accent and 3 drops of your second accent fragrance. Give this a stir and close the lid tightly.
- Let this sit for a couple of days in a cool dark dry place.
- Open jar and if you are happy with the fragrance, add your flowers, petals, herbs barks, wood shavings and fruits.
- Mix gently with a plastic or wooden spoon.
- Secure lid tightly, give a little shake and store in a cool, dark dry place to allow time to infuse. Shake your potpourri daily. The longer you leave this the better and 4-6 weeks is ideal. Your potpourri is now ready to use!
Potpourri Poll ~
Do you use potpourri at home?
PotPourri in Centrepiece
Potpourri Tips ~
- Remember to stir your potpourri display occasionally to keep releasing the fragrance.
- When it begins to lose its fragrance you can add a few more drops of oils or make up some new fresh fixatives and oil blend to add in to it.
- Good quality oils will last months in potpourri and will be cost effective in the long run.
- Why not make a batch to make into creative gifts for family, friends or even to sell on a market stall?
- Use potpourri with decorative candles for a fragrant safe original display or table centrepiece.
- Potpourri ingredients are only restricted by what is available and your creative imagination.
- Go out foraging in local woods and down country lanes for wonderful wild potpourri ingredients.
- If you only want to use one type of flower or herb like lavender you can still use lavender oil for extra fragrance with the dried flowers and fixative.
Easy Potpourri Using Rose Petals, lavender and Cinnamon
Holders and Displays ~
How To Make Potpourri ~
Author Info ~
Information on the author, her bio and full body of works are available @ Suzie HQ
Credit to homesteadbound ~
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