Making potpourri is a great way to enjoy the fragrance of fresh flowers while reducing and recycling. The supplies are very inexpensive, and it’s a way to limit the chemicals you use in your home.
To make potpourri, you’ll need:
- Fresh flowers
- Airtight container
- Drying agent (such as silica gel or cornmeal)
- Essential oils (optional)
Start by selecting fresh flowers that have a strong fragrance. Gather them into small bunches and tie each bunch with string. Hang the bunches upside down in a cool, dark place until they’re completely dry. This can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Once the flowers are dry, remove them from the stems and crumble them into small pieces. Place the crumbled flowers in an airtight container along with a drying agent such as silica gel or cornmeal. If desired, add a few drops of essential oil for extra fragrance. Seal the container and store it in a cool, dark place for up to six months. To use, simply sprinkle some of the potpourri mix into an open sachet or onto charcoal briquettes placed in an incense burner.
How To Choose The Best Flowers And Plants For Potpourri
The best flowers for potpourri are those that retain their color and shape when you dry them. That is a bonus if they are fragrant too, but you can always add fragrance. In fact, it’s better not to use too many fragrant flowers, as the perfumes can clash when combined.
Annual flowers you can grow and harvest for potpourri include bachelor’s button, calendula, gomphrena, larkspur, pansy, and scented geranium. Excellent perennial flower choices for potpourri are lavender, rose (especially in bud), dianthus, and chrysanthemum.
Half of the appeal of a good potpourri mix is visual, so consider supplementing with natural materials you gather from woods and fields around your home, like seed pods or tiny pine cones. Look to your pantry for fragrant and beautiful additives like whole nutmeg berries and cloves,…
What You Need To Make Potpourri
If you’re looking for a way to make your potpourri fragrance last longer, consider using a fixative. Orris root is one of the most popular fixatives and can be found at most craft stores. The powdered root has a light floral fragrance that will help to keep your potpourri smelling fresh for weeks.
Other fragrant fixatives include vanilla beans, oakmoss, angelica root, and myrrh gum. These exotic fixatives should make up about ten to twenty percent of the potpourri mix. Using a fixative, you’ll be able to enjoy the fresh smell of your potpourri for much longer!
What Are Fixatives?
Fixatives are a natural or synthetic substance that reduces the evaporation rate of oil and water in the plants used to make potpourri so that it lasts longer. Here’s how:
The plants used to make potpourri naturally consist of oils and water that, over time, evaporate, making the potpourri less effective. To combat this, fixatives are added to the mix. Fixatives can be anything from alcohol (vodka works well) to glycerin or even salt!
Small vials of essential oils are another fragrance-boosting ingredient. You can add oils at the initiation of the potpourri-making process, or later when the mix begins to lose its scent. Oils are richly fragrant and should be used sparingly. In fact, too much of essential oil can impart a medicinal smell to your potpourri, which might be desirable for chasing insects from a musty closet, but isn’t pleasing in the living room. Essential oils can mirror the ingredients of your potpourri, like a rose, lavender, or citrus.
By following these tips, you’ll have potent and long-lasting potpourri that will keep your home smelling wonderful all season long!
Moist Or Dry Potpourri Recipes: How To Make Your Own
Making your own potpourri is a great way to enjoy the fragrance of fresh herbs and flowers all year long. The key to a good potpourri is to start with fresh, pliable ingredients that you’ve dried for a few days.
Layer the plant materials with coarse salt in a bowl, alternating layers. After a few weeks, stir the mixture and add your fixatives and oils. After six months, your moist potpourri will be ready to use.
The quickest way to make potpourri is with dehydrated plant material. No salt is required; just add your oils and fixatives and stir gently with a wooden spoon. After a month, the scents will be blended together and your potpourri ready.
5 Ways To Display Your Potpourri
If you’re looking for a way to add a touch of fragrance and beauty to your home, potpourri is a great option! But before you start mixing up your own batch, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, choose a non-metal container or vessel to display your potpourri. Metals can react with the essential oils in the potpourri, so it’s best to stick with baskets, jars, or bowls made from other materials.
Second, choose a container with a perforated lid if you have pets or small children who might be tempted to pick through the dried flowers in the potpourri (which can be a choking hazard). This will allow the scent of the potpourri to escape while keeping little fingers out.
Finally, you can also make sachets filled with potpourri to scent clothes and closets. Just tie or sew together a scrap of pretty fabric or lacy handkerchief and fill it with your mix. You can even toss one in Fido’s bed before putting it through the dryer for fresh-smelling sheets!