What is the lifespan of homemade potpourri?

Can you refresh the scent?

Image Source

Want to keep your house smelling great while Christmas is around the corner? Need to refresh the smell of your homemade fall potpourri that has lost its scent after Thanksgiving?

Wondering what the lifespan of homemade potpourri is?

Look no further! We have brought you the ultimate guide and FYI about homemade potpourri, its lifespan, hacks to refresh its scent and tricks to make it last longer.

What is Potpourri?

Originally a French term, potpourri means ‘rotting pot’. It is a mixture of dried organic items like flower petals, leaves, herbs, spices, fruit peels, and other plant materials. It is used as a dry decoration and room freshener. Potpourri has been in use since ancient times for decoration. It is stored in glass bowls or containers as a decorative item even today.

Potpourri is available in stores, but store-bought potpourri can be substandard with waste items. Homemade potpourri is great for a DIY home decor project. Simply decorate your tables and shelves with homemade potpourri, some lights and candles, and hey presto! You’re ready for the festive season!

Homemade potpourri is so easy to make, and it can also be an excellent Christmas or Thanksgiving gift for your dear ones!

Making long-lasting and aromatic potpourri at home

The best time to start making potpourri for Christmas and Thanksgiving is fall or autumn. An exquisite variety of flowers and brightly-hued leaves are available in this season. You can collect all sorts of fragrant barks, pine cones, dry fruits, and maple leaves to add more color and spice to your homemade potpourri.

Depending on availability or preference, you might make citrus or floral potpourri. You may also make a mix of both.

Get ready to embark on this short and elating DIY journey with the following prerequisite things:

  • A pair of scissors
  • Parchment paper
  • An oven
  • Seasonal flowers of your choice
  • Essential oils (lemon/orange oil for citrus potpourri; rose/lavender oil for floral potpourri)
  • Spraying bottle
  • Baking tray.

Optional items to use: Citrus fruits, fresh herbs, whole spices.

Now that you’re ready with your ingredients, simply follow the steps below to make for your home some fragrant and beautiful potpourri:

Step 1: Get your choice of flowers for the potpourri. Flowers with strong scents such as lavender, lilac, or roses would be preferably better for the purpose. Flowers with small and individually distinct petals would also do great. But if that’s not possible, the whole flower head can be used too. Preheat your oven to 200 degree Fahrenheit (93.33 degree Celsius).

Step 2: Cover the sheet tray with parchment paper. Get your scissors and cut all the flowers from their stems under the heads and lay them out on the tray. If possible, remove the petals from some flowers and arrange them in one layer on the parchment paper. Leave some flower heads whole to give it a beautiful look.

Step 3: To add extra aroma to your potpourri, you may add thin slices of citrus fruits and their peels. Fruits like oranges, lemons and berries would do. Also put sprigs of lavender, thyme, rosemary etc. in the mixture. You may also add whole spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, star anise or allspice. These spices have a wonderful aroma. Another wonderful option is pine cones (depends on availability). They look and smell amazing!

Step 4: Take your favorite essential oil, preferably lavender, citrus, cinnamon, or other fruity smells. These last longer. Add 10-15 drops into a tablespoon of water and put it in a small spray bottle. Now spray it on the potpourri mix. Take this mix to the oven now.

Step 5: Bake your potpourri in the preheated oven for two to three hours. Keep checking in between to ensure it does not burn or overheat. The potpourri is done when the mixture is completely dry and crumbly. The spices should also smell roasted and amazing. Remove from the oven and spray the essential oil-water mix one more time.

Step 6: When it gets to the room temperature, mix the potpourri gently. Place it in a bowl or sachet. To increase the lifespan of homemade potpourri : mix 1 tablespoon(around 15gm) of orris root powder. It has been used for years in making potpourri. It is a fixative that helps preserve your potpourri and makes it keep smelling good. Other natural fixatives to consider are clove powder and coriander powder. You may also use corn or dried-oak powder.

Storing potpourri in moisture-free spaces keeps it from rotting. Keep your homemade potpourri in a bowl or jar for dry decor or in a sachet for your clothes closet.

Lifespan of Homemade Potpourri

Depending on your choice of flowers and preservation techniques, the lifespan of homemade potpourri is between 2 months to more than several years. Properly made and well-preserved potpourri can last up to decades. However, the scent of homemade potpourri can fade away over time. It needs to be rejuvenated from time to time. You also need to ensure that your potpourri does not get infested with bugs like termites and beetles.

Ideally, the lifespan of homemade potpourri, along with its scent, is between 2 and 4 months. After this time span, the scent begins to fade away. Your potpourri also starts to look old and dusty. This is when you need to rejuvenate your potpourri.

Increasing the shelf lifespan of homemade potpourri is simple. It can be stored in tight-lidded jars and sealed in zip-pouches. This helps it retain its perfume for longer. If your potpourri needs to be strong enough to refresh the bathroom or garbage area, you can consider putting a piece of charcoal in it. Charcoal absorbs any foul odor and also preserves your potpourri from smelling musty or old. It prevents moisture from being deposited in the mix and absorbs if any.

How to refresh the scent of homemade potpourri

Image Source  

Refreshing the scent of homemade potpourri is almost as easy as making it. To begin with, you must always choose high-quality essential oils for a long-lasting fragrance. Dried potpourri easily attracts molds and starts to smell of mildew and moss. Keep it away from moisture, warmth and breezy areas. When not in use, keep it in tightly sealed containers and air-tight bags to preserve the scent. If the scent seems to diminish, gently toss and turn the contents of the container to make the fragrance emanate again.

However, after a few months of use, when your potpourri starts to lose its fragrance, you need some easy tips to rejuvenate it. We have some tips that you might consider when you want to refresh the scent of potpourri.

1. Use Vodka/Alcohol – Vodka is a great and handy method to refresh the scent of potpourri. Spraying some vodka on your old homemade potpourri will bring back its old scent and also prevent any other scents from invading it. It dissolves out other fragrances and keeps your potpourri smelling fresh and evergreen.

2. Witch Hazel & Essential Oil Combo – Mixing a cup of witch hazel with a few drops of essential oils will dilute the oil base and help them flow easily. Pour the combination in a spray bottle and spritz it over your old potpourri to refresh its scent. Toss the potpourri carefully with your hands and keep in a sealed bag or container. Let it dry for a few hours. Use whenever needed.

3. Essential Oil & Fixative Combo – Another trick to retrieve the scent of old potpourri is using essential oils with fixatives. Orris root, dried-oak, coriander and spice powder are handy and easily available fixatives. Make sure to coat your potpourri well and let dry.

4. Use any perfume – Spray a perfume of your choice, preferably citrus or floral scents, on your old potpourri mix. You can also spray the perfume on bits of Styrofoam and mix in between your potpourri.

5. Vanilla Bean & Other Spices – Remove the old spices and replace them with fresh ones. Keeping a vanilla bean or cinnamon stick or allspice bark in your potpourri will refresh its scent and make it fragrant again.

These are a few handy tips and tricks that can help refresh the scent of homemade potpourri. With these tricks under your sleeve, you’ll be able to reuse your potpourri over and over again!

Potpourri : For the love of flowers

Flowers in their full youth provide a rejuvenating aroma and make the environment lively. Potpourri is a great way to retain the full potential of flowers even when they are relatively dry. Homemade potpourri is your best substitute for the artificial store-bought air fresheners. It is also nature-friendly and biodegradable. The natural aroma of potpourri is a perfect deodorizer that keeps your household smelling warm and fragrant. It adds to the aesthetics of your household when kept as a decorative item. Keep customizing the fragrance as per your choice by adding different flowers and oils to keep the mixture fresh as ever. By following the above tips, you can increase the life of your homemade potpourri and keep it lively forever. In this way your homemade potpourri becomes your fragrant friend for all seasons and festivals to come!