Making your own potpourri can not only be fun and easy but, when done right, kind of a sexual and stimulating experience. Yes, you can buy potpourri pre-made at the stores but then you’d miss out on all that fun. Pre-made potpourri can also be expensive. You don’t get a whole lot and yet stores habitually charge a lot for that tiny bag. And who knows what’s in there?
Sure, you can read the ingredients, but if you make your own you know exactly what went in there, how much of it went in, and (possibly most importantly) exactly where it came from. Who wants to fill the air with something not knowing where it’s been or where it came from? Think about that for a while and you will likely never use or give away store-bought potpourri again.
Things You’ll Need For Your Potpourri
Keep in mind as you assemble your concoctions that the point isn’t to make each of them the same. If you wanted that you could simply purchase the store-bought kind. No, each and every batch you make will have its own characteristics and, as is the case with most handmade products, no two are alike. And when choosing the items for your mixture, don’t concentrate solely on aroma. Texture and color are additional characteristics that lend themselves to an appealing potpourri.
An invigorating walk through the woods is usually a great place to snag many of the ingredients for a refreshing potpourri. Bring along some clippers, a large basket with a handle, work gloves, and plenty of plastic bags. Typical woodsy items include white cedar branches, pinecones, hickory nuts left behind by some careless squirrel, etc.
Fruit peels, such as lemons and oranges, can be torn into small pieces for your potpourri as well. Everything that you have picked up from the woods and these fruit peels must be dried completely before putting together your potpourri, otherwise, you run the risk of mildew, bugs, and a bad smell.
And finally, you will want to add a fixative to your mixture through the use of essential oils. Not only will the use of these oils help to preserve the scent of your mixture but, depending on the essential oil you use, will add or intensify the desired aroma.
Instructions For Mixing Your Ingredients
The Internet has an unlimited supply of recipes for potpourri. That said, here are the basic steps for assembling your ingredients:
- Make sure that all ingredients are dry.
- Place ingredients in a 2-quart container, then mix them gently with a wooden spoon.
- Divide the mixture into two batches for the purpose of adding the fixative – the essential oil. This spreads the oil out more evenly. Sprinkling 1 tablespoon of orris root powder over the batch before adding the oil is recommended.
- Mix everything again with the wooden spoon and then combine the two halves. Sprinkle a little more powder and oil into the full batch and mix again.
- The mixture should now be covered tightly and stored in a dark, cool place for several weeks to age. While in this phase, open the container occasionally to mix thoroughly.
Containers For Potpourri
Your homemade potpourri should allow for a waiting period of about 3 to 4 weeks to mellow, before giving it as a gift. In the beginning, the aroma coming from this mixture can be overpowering. Whether giving it as gifts or using it in your own home, the mixture can be put into sachets, bell jars, wrapped in a napkin or lacey hanky and placed in wooden bowls, etc. And, of course, whatever receptacle you choose can be decorated to fit the occasion.
Having extra jars, sachets, and bowls of your signature mixture around the house also make for great, last-minute gift ideas. You know that friend that’s always popping over unannounced. We all have at least one!