Since medieval times, fragrance has been a treasure in many societies. We all love having our households, not only smelling fresh but also sweet, with distinct unique aromas. In modern times, we have sprays and perfumes that impart the specific scents we want. However, they are not really natural and do not last long, typically not more than a day. Hence, it is crucial to know how to create a portion of organic fragrant potpourri to fill the air around your house.
Potpourri is made from a mixture of dried scented flowers and leaves whose combined aroma gives the pleasing, ‘oh so good’ smell. It is a nice, cost-effective and long-lasting solution to air your dwelling with nice smelling air. There are even recipes for potpourri that can ward off flies.
Ingredients for Your Potpourri
Scented flowers, petals or leaves
Fragrant barks, roots or woods
Fixatives – orris root, citrus fruit peels work best
You’ll also need:
Display container, especially glassware
Mixing and curing bowls, approximately three
A small hammer to pound the mixture.
The Dry Method
The dry method is the simplest one for making potpourri. The petals are collected and dried till crisp. The spices and fixatives are then ground together in a separate bowl into a fine powder mixture. The fixatives work to fix the scents away from the petals into the other mixture so the scent is more evident. Add some drops of essential oil to the dry plant matter. Then add the spice mixture to the oil mixture and mix again. Finally, add all the other dry ingredients into the same bowl and mix everything together in a bid to let out the scent.
After the agitation, close the bowl and keep the mixture in a cool, dark and dry place to cure for about four to eight weeks. Afterward, allow the aroma of the potpourri to waft across your dwelling.
The Wet Method
You only need partially dried petals for this procedure. Place a layer of partially dried petals and leaves in a jar. Proceed to sprinkle some salt. Then lay a layer of petals again and sprinkle some sugar, salt and a few drops of fragrant essential oil. Repeat this step until you fill the container.
You can then close the lid, then place in a cool, dark and dry place to allow the mixture to cure for about two months, after which you will be required to drain out the excess liquid. Add the fixatives, spices, and oils, mix the whole mixture then leave to cure again for a month.
The moist method produces potpourri that might not be pleasant-looking, but at the same time, it produces the strongest most intensive flavors of aroma. This type can last for very much longer than using the dry method.
Reviving Old or Non-Fragrant Potpourri
Add a few drops of essential oil – the oil acts to dissolve out any remaining fragrance so you can smell it more. It also energizes the mixture.
Mix – if the scent dries down, mix again all the ingredients in the bowl and the smell will come back.
Use Vodka – Vodka can help to keep scents longer since vodka will dissolve out any other fragrance for you to smell.
Remove dust from your potpourri if you want to keep it smelling fresh- put the potpourri in a sealable bag, then make holes on the side and shake. Accumulated dust should fall out leaving your potpourri clean as new.
If the potpourri fails to perform, use a spray with perfume so that the perfume can rejuvenate your mixture keeping it as good as new.
Secrets for an Aromatic Potpourri
Especially when winter is near, you want to have as many varieties of nice smelling flowers, leaves, and barks you can get. A wide variety means a wider range of flavors hence the more your place is going to smell better.
Fixatives – these important ingredients help in fixing the scents. Scents are normally locked in the petals so a fixative will likely bind to the scent-producing compounds so that it can remove them from the petal containing them. The stronger fixatives you use the better overall fragrance you attain and the shorter the curing time.
Blending – sometimes it is good to blend all the flavors together so you have one flowing nice aroma. Having different harsh aromas will irritate you and anyone likely to visit you. Blending aromas is an art. Perfect the art and you have the most arousing aromas in your house.
Charcoal briquette – add a charcoal briquette into your mixture during preparation. This briquette aids in absorbing any foul smell or liquids that might emanate from the whole solution. You are then sure of having a pure sample of good potpourri.
Add some nuts to the mixture; they improve the scent a lot.
Add more oil to the mixture if possible, especially high-quality fragrance oil, the more you add, the better the scent.
Autumn might be the best flower picking season, so utilize it for your potpourri while it lasts.
If the appearance of the potpourri is of importance, keep it out of direct bright sunlight which might bleach or fade it really fast.
Avoid using metal containers which might evoke an unwanted reaction thereby bringing up unwanted scents or diminishing the strength of the potpourri scent. Use glass, plastic or ceramics.
Make sure to keep potpourri away from children or pets, who may be tempted to eat it. It might be toxic, so keep it away from them.
Be sure to check for mold when the potpourri is curing. The whole mixture should be in a dark dry place.
When your potpourri cures you can use it in myriad ways. Like stuffing pillows with it, so your house always smells of the potpourri. Or put it in muslin bags and scent your bath with it.
Have fun exploring with your own blend of potpourri ingredients. Transform your home into this unforgettable place. A place with homely scents that your guests will forever remember.