You may have seen them in stores – potpourri. That magical mixture that gives an exhilarating kick to the sense. Now you may wonder. Is it possible to make your very own mixture of magic?
Reality dictates that creating your own potpourri is relatively easy. If you have a garden filled with flowers, you no longer have to worry where those extra flowers will go, and how you can preserve those flowers so that you can still have floral aroma in your house even after the growing season has ended and you are left without a garden for several months ahead.
The best part about making your own potpourri is that there are a lot of ways that you can preserve the flowers and fruits from your garden during winter. Even in warmer seasons, you can bring in something from your outdoor garden. Potpourri can let you bring in some floral scents of the season.
Garden Picked Potpourri
When selecting the flowers that go into your potpourri, it is recommended to choose ones that keep their color while still looking good even when dry. These are flowers that include calendula, bachelor buttons, geraniums, Echinops, lavender, larkspur, pinks, peonies, yarrow, and roses.
Then there are also seed pods such as rose hips and sweetgum. You may even add in pinecones. To achieve better color, you can even add in berries such as holly, beautyberry, and pyracantha. Leaves may also be included, but note that they may have the tendency to quickly fall apart when they dry. As such, it is best to use thicker leaves, such as scented geranium leaves and viburnum. The edibles from your garden may also serve as a great addition, such as sage and bay leaves. Dried apple slices and dried citrus peel also contribute to the nice texture and fragrance of your potpourri.
It does not mean, however, that you can get everything from your garden. In fact, you can also add in some stuff from your local craft store. Among the most interesting items to add include patchouli and sandalwood chips. Choose ingredients that will also add in some volume to your mix.
Adding Aroma to the Mix
By nature, potpourri features a woodsy smell. However, this, alone, may not be satisfying to your senses and may even annoy other people. This is where fixatives and essential oils enter the picture.
Fixatives are substances that work by absorbing scented oil and sticking on them for quite some time. Even though that most ingredients in your potpourri mix will hold and absorb scents, they can quickly dissipate. Among the ones that are used commonly, and last long are oakmoss, orris root, lichen, as well as Vetiver root. They can be found in health food stores and in some craft stores.
Another option is using essential oils. The selection of essential oils is quite vast, including their quality. This means that you need to make sure to check the aroma of the oil before you buy it. Note that some fragrances are overpowering, even resembling remotely of their primary ingredient. There are options that may be very expensive, with better quality. While you may need to pay extra upfront, the fact that they do not need to be reapplied makes them worth the investment.
There are also options for exotic ingredients, staying with your garden theme, selecting flowery scents such as wisteria or rose, lavender. You may also opt for fruity scents, such as apple and citrus.
How to Make Potpourri
When preparing your potpourri, avoid using metal utensils or bowls. They have the tendency to react with your chosen ingredients, altering the overall fragrance. Ceramic, glass, and wood are, no doubt, the safest options on materials. You may also use plastic, though the scent of plastic may stay in the container for several days, even weeks.
One way to prepare a potpourri mix is by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the fixative, covering, and setting it aside for about 3 to 5 days. With this, the scent will be infused completely. After this, you can finally add in your dry ingredients, stirring everything all in.
After the magical mixture is prepared, cover the container again, allowing everything to get absorbed for around 1 month. You may check it from time to time to ensure that the scent is enough for you. If you think that it is not strong enough, you may add more oil. Note that the scent may also weaken if too many ingredients have been added.
Enjoy the Magic
Once your potpourri is ready, you can choose to display it in an attractive bowl, and place it on your coffee table, or to prepare some sachet bags, filling them with your favorite fragrant mixtures. Making sachets will allow you to hang them easily, even in unexpected locations, and enjoy the scent!