|You can use almost anything in your garden to make an aromatic potpourri mixture. Traditionally, potpourri is a mixture of dried Flowers and other ingredients, placed in open containers, like small bowls or cups and placed to allow their aroma to delicately scent the room. Sachets are usually
small cloth "pillows" containing potpourri, which can be used almost anywhere. Sachets have the advantage of being portable, you can place them in drawers, pin them to pillows, or carry them in your purse wherever you go.
Generally, potpourri ingredients should not be finely ground, petals of Flowers should be lightly crushed. Ingredients such as cinnamon sticks or orange peels should be broken into small pieces or finely chopped.
Some Flowers that are especially good to use in potpourri are roses, carnations, hibiscus, violets, sunFlowers, and lavendar. Some herbs that work well in potpourri are chamomile, lavender, thyme, sage and rosemary. Eucalyptus leaves are a nice addition to any potpourri. You shouldn't limit
yourself to this list however. Experiment, use your imagination and whatever you have at hand.
For all the following recipes, start with bone dry Flowers, leaves, herbs and spices.
Essence of Rose
- 1 cup pink rose petals
- 1/2 cup red rose petals
- 1/2 cup white rose petals
- 1/4 cup chamomile Flowers
- 1/2 cup crushed statice (blue or white)
- 1/4 cup eucalyptus leaves
- 1/4 cup oakmoss
- 20 drops rose oil
Gently combine petals and leaves in a large bowl. Scatter drops of rose oil over the mixture using an eyedropper. Stir gently. Place mixture in a brown paper bag lined with wax paper. Fold and seal the bag with a paper clip and leave in a dry, dark, cool place for 2 weeks. Every other day, stir
the contents gently to blend and disperse ingredients and scents. Place in glass bowls or candy dishes. Top with small white or pink rose buds.
Combine 3/4 cup calamus root, 1/2 cup caraway seeds, 1/4 cup ground cloves, 2 cups lavender Flowers, 1 cup marjoram, 1 cup mint, 2 cups rose leaves, 1/2 cup rosemary and 1/4 cup thyme. Mix well.
- 10 marigold blossoms
- 6 geranium leaves
- 5 rose blossoms
- 2 tsp dried lavender
- 2 tsp orrisroot
- 2 drops rose fixative
Combine 1/4 cup orrisroot, 4 cups lavender Flowers, 3 cups patchouli, 1/4 cup ground cloves, 1 cup deerstongue leaves and 1/2 cup ground allspice. Add 10 drops oil of rose, 10 drops oil of lavender, 12 drops oil of neroli and 1/4 tsp. oil of sandalwood. Mix well.
Combine 4 cups cassie Flowers, 1/4 cup orrisroot powder and 1/2 cup starch. Mix well.
- 1/2 cup bayberry leaves
- 1/2 cup snipped balsam needles
- 1/2 cup miniature pine cones
- 1/2 cup rose hips
- 2 tsp orrisroot
- 2 drops pine-scented fixative
Mix the bayberry, balsam, pine cones and rose hips in a large bowl. Add the orrisroot and fixative and stir gently. This makes a great Christmas potpourri!
Processed Corn Cob Additive - Put some ground corn cob material (sold as cellulose, or litter material at your Walmart or pet store) in a jar. Add several drops of essential oil, place lid on jar and shake. Shake jar about
once every day or so for about 10 days. Add it to your potpourri to give body and help hold the scent.
Potpourri Filler - If you don't have enough dried Flowers to make potpourri, or if you just need some filler, remember you can use almost anything in your mixture. Pine cones (whole or just the petals), bark, leaves, etc. Orris root is commonly used as a filler/fixative. Another alternative
is to buy a "Filler".
Make Your Own Sachets
Got bugs? Try these ideas:
Bag up your potpourri in freezer zip-locks and place in the freezer for a minimum of two weeks. This should also kill the adults and eggs. Afterwards use a collander to sift out the bugs. If you use large quantities of potpourri, dried Flowers, foliage or herbs in your crafts storing them in a
deep freeze will eliminate this problem.
Try placing dried red chili peppers in the potpourri. It seems to drive the weavils away.
Have an eye for color
Potpourri ingredients should be chosen for visual appeal as well as smell. You might choose to include small pine cones or spices in your potpourri, for instance, just because they add an interesting color and texture.
Try adding unusual seeds, seed pods, or pussywillows to your potpourri.
If your potpourri will be displayed in glass bowls or containers, think about using plants just for contrast. If your potpourri is looking a little bland, toss in some f petals or leaves of a dark or contrasting shade.