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.
Most people don’t mind living in their own mess for some time, and weirdly, it gives you a sense of freedom. Well, until it graduates to frustration and we all get it! The struggle is real. It is funny that no one will turn up when the house is all cleaned up and everything in its place, rather, when it has reached a chaos crisis level. Maintaining an organized clean home may not come naturally to everyone, especially with so many other critical responsibilities lying around. You don’t have to stress anymore, there are several ways you can use to at least pretend that yours is a life of perfection to anyone walking into your home. Here is how:
This is the first place your guests see and you would want to start off on the right foot. Be sure to clear any clutter. Quickly organize the place by placing items in their respective positions. Then swiftly sweep through the hallway. A tip to remember: when you open the door for your guests, don’t apologize for how your house looks; it will only make them more conscious of their surroundings.
Get Rid of Clutter
Clutter instantly makes your home look so messy and uncared for. Pick a bag or baskets then place every clutter from all your rooms. Since you don’t have the time to place the items at their respective places, just bung them in and keep the boxes out of sight (maybe in the garage). As you are at it, consider placing paperwork in the drawers instead of boxes, for an easier time when they need to be retrieved.
The Living Room
This is the place that your guests will sit almost throughout their time at your home. Therefore, you need to spend more time here, since your guest’s eyes will tend to look around as they pass time. Since the clutter is taken care of, now ensure your floor is clean. This can be done by simply swiping through the room, but if you don’t have the time, you can just pick up the visible dirt. Then clean up the surfaces like the coffee table and screens with a cotton cloth. And don’t forget to align, straighten and fluff up your throw pillows. Additionally, flip over the cushions to reveal the as-good-as-new fabric that will instantly make your sofas look desirable.
Fix The Kitchen
The kitchen is a social place and chances are, your guest may offer to help you carry the dishes back to the kitchen. You don’t want it to get awkward, trying to give them reasons why not. You don’t need that kind of pressure. Therefore, if your sink is piled up with dirty dishes, load them up in the dishwasher. Or in one of the cabinets and lock it up, hoping you have visitors’ dishes put aside. Then you’d want to clear anything on top of the counter because they give you a worse look than a few crumbs. Swiftly wipe all visible surface with a clean damp cloth.
Hardly, can your house smell of lavender if you have dirty socks, jeans, and dishes lying around. You can easily solve that in various ways. If you want the classic homey scent, you can throw in the frozen cookie dough in the oven. But if air freshener and scented candles are the reality for you, they also work perfectly. Well, if you have neither for whichever reason, you can do it the natural way. Push back the curtains and drapes, then open the windows to get the stale air moving. You can as well turn up the fan. Lovely fragrance is the best tool for fooling anyone that you have a clean house.
Like some unwritten rule, it’s guaranteed that your guest is going to request to use your bathroom. And there’s nothing that gets you cringing harder than a dirty bathroom. So cut your guests some drama by cleaning the place up. The best way of cleaning your toilet is by giving it a good squirt of the bleach of your choice then let it soak. As you wait, wipe the surfaces and most especially the mirror. Your guest will definitely use it. Change the hand towel and ensure there are toilet paper and hand soap in place. Finally, give your toilet a prompt brush then flush.
Fix Your Home Office
There might be a possibility of using your office depending on who the visitor is. As you swiftly clean this room, you may consider being keen on where you stash your stuff. Clear out the desk of clutter then using a damn clean rug, wipe the surface. Rearrange crooked books so that they are aligned in a pleasant manner.
Hide The Stains
Somehow stains find a way to be very stubborn when emergency guests are about to come, that it’s not funny. Yet, you can out-smart the stains by simply concealing them. If it’s on your sofa, you can use a throw pillow or blanket to cover it up. If it’s your wall, you can have emergency wall curtains. Whatever you come up with, ensure you don’t make it stand out too much or look out of place.
Your Kid’s Room
Your guests may have kids who will want to play around with your kid’s toys as you talk. And since clutter and kids go hand in hand, clear the floor and bed. Place the toys in a common place where they can be accessed easily. Finally, spray the room in case of odor, kids are full of surprises.
Add a Personal Touch
Personalizing your home is mostly done to give character to your home plus authenticity. But at this point, the personalized décor will act as a distraction by attracting your visitor’s attention. It can be done by simply taking your masterpiece vase and placing in fresh flowers. You can also take your kid’s drawings and hang them along the entryway wall. Consider investing in a centerpiece for your living room, because they come in handy at these times.
When you are done doing the above and your guests haven’t arrived yet, be sure to take some time and relax. You can also use the time to freshen up.