14 Dec 2007

Pot Pourri

At this time of year, with all the festivities, potpourri is wonderful to have around so that your home smells nice and inviting. It is also great to give as gifts.

It is nice to experiment with different ingredients and oils but if you are not adventurous then there are some amazing recipes on the Net.

A vital element of your potpourrie is the fixative to help maintain it's aroma. Fixatives come in many forms, some being gun benzoin, powdered orris root, moss or a commercial fixative available at many florists. Another important item is an essential oil to boost the natural fragrance of the ingredients.

Mix the fixative and the essential oils together and leave for an hour or two. Then add this to your mix of dried flowers, dried leaves, dried berries, small pine cones, cinnamon sticks, nuts, pods and anything else you wish to add.

Pop the mix in a paper bag to allow the potpourri to cure for a few days. Shaking the bag a couple of times a day will help with this process. You can then put it in a jar and take the lid off to release the perfume when required or you can put it in a pretty bowl to keep the room smelling wonderful all day long. As gifts it can either be put in a pretty jar with a ribbon tied around the top or into a cotton or muslin bag tied with ribbon or raffia.

An excellent tip if your potpourri gets infested with bugs is to pop it in a plastic bag, seal well and then put it in your freezer for a few hours which will kill any bugs.

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!
Author Unknown

Citrus Zing
From ComfyCountryCreations

6 tsps each of lemon verbena, lemon balm and lemon thyme
6 tsps marjoram
2 tpps crumbled bay leaf
1 tbsp crushed dried lemon peel (see below)
6 tbsp crushed dried orange peel (see below)
2 tbsp orris root powder
2 drops orange blossom oil
2 drops lemon oil

Mix all dry ingredients together in glass or metal container. Add both oils and mix well. Makes approximately one cup. A refreshing scent for your kitchen or laundry room.
SUGGESTION: Place in a diffuser lamp. When the pot pourri is heated, it will emit a stronger scent. For a fresh scent in your laundry room, double this recipe and make drawer and shelf liners.

Dried Citrus Peel
Choose lemons, oranges or limes that are firm to the touch. Thinly pare the rind from the fruits, rub with pieces of orris root. NOTE: Push a whole clove through each piece of peel before drying. Place peel on a on a cake cooling rack which has been put onto a cookie sheet for better drying ciculation. Dry in a low over (200F/100C) until crisp. Dried pieces can be added to your pot-pourri either whole or crushed.
SUGGESTION: A food dehydrator can be used to speed up the process.

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients
of a truly merry Christmas.

Peg Bracken

Essence of Rose
From Make-Stuff

1 cup pink rose petals
1/2 cup red rose petals
1/2 cup white rose petals
1/4 cup chamomile flowers
1/2 cup crushed statice (blue or white)
1/4 cup eucalyptus leaves
1/4 cup oakmoss
20 drops rose oil

Gently combine petals and leaves in a large bowl. Scatter drops of rose oil over the mixture using an eyedropper. Stir gently. Place mixture in a brown paper bag lined with wax paper. Fold and seal the bag with a paper clip and leave in a dry, dark, cool place for 2 weeks. Every other day, stir the contents gently to blend and disperse ingredients and scents. Place in glass bowls or candy dishes. Top with small white or pink rose buds.

Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day.
Helen Steiner Rice

Classic Jar Lavender Potpourri
From Atlantic Spice

Classic Jar Potpourris are decorative blends of beautiful dried flowers, herbs, fruits, pods and spices. To prolong the fragrance of potpourri, display in an attractive clear glass container with lid. Remove lid and stir to release aroma into the air. You can revive potpourri that's lost it's scent with a few drops of fragrance oil.

2 cups larkspur petals (Blue)
2 cups lavender No.1 (French Blue)
2 cups Orchids - wild (Pale Mauve)
1-1/2 cups oak moss - Whole
1-1/2 cups spina cristi
1-1/2 cups tilia flowers
1 cup blue malva
1 cup star anise
1 cup lemon verbena leaves
1/2 cup allspice (Mexican) whole
1/2 cup cinnamon chips - large Cut
1/2 cup uva ursi (Pinguica) leaves
1/4 cup cloves - whole
Essential pure lavender oil

Measure out all dry ingredients and blend by hand in large non-metallic bowl or paper grocery bag. With a pipette, gradually add fragrance oil to potpourri. After blending and scenting potpourri, fill wide-mouth jars or non-metallic containers 3/4 full, cover tightly and store in cool dark place. Check fragrance after several days and add more scent if desired. Cure (let scents mingle and mellow) for 2 to 6 weeks.

To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.
Oren Arnold

Simmering Holiday Potpourri and Wassail
From Care2 By Annie B. Bond and Cait Johnson

It’s nice to fill our homes with spicy and comforting fragrances at holiday time, and this favorite recipe for simmering potpourri not only makes your house smell divine, you can drink it, too. Apple cider combined with cinnamon and other homey spices is the secret to the beguiling fragrance, and the brew itself is delicious.
SIMPLE SOLUTION: This simmering potpourri even offers a health benefit: the gentle steam is healing for nasal passages dried out by home heating and cold dry air (in fact, the word “wassail” comes from an Anglo-Saxon toast to good health and wholeness). All you do is throw a few ingredients in a pan on the stove, set it on simmer, and replenish the liquid as needed. We always get compliments on how wonderful our homes smell and how tasty the wassail is. Here's the secret:

Apple cider to fill a largish soup pot
One apple, cut horizontally to make circular round slices 1/2-inch thick
One orange, cut into round slices 1/2-inch thick
3 whole cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice berries
One 2-inch piece of fresh gingerroot, cut into small rounds

Place all ingredients in a large soup pot and bring to a simmer, then reduce and allow to simmer uncovered, adding cider as liquid evaporates. When guests arrive, ladle out a mugful of the hot cider for each person, adding a splash of bourbon or brandy, if you like, and serve with an additional cinnamon stick in each mug.
Variation: Try adding some scented wooden balls to the mix.

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.

Norman Vincent Peale

Quick and Easy Ideas
From DaisyGifts

Whole Dried Orange potpourri Just put some Whole dried oranges in a plastic bag with a few drops of Orange Grove fragrance oil and shake together. Display in a large bowl for impact.

Christmas Cinnamon Stick Bundle Put 3 cinnamon sticks in a plastic bag and add a couple of drops of cinnamon fragrance oil and shake together. These can be then tied together in a bundle with raffia to scent your room.

Scented Wooden Balls Put a handful of unscented wooden balls in a plastic bag and add a few drops of your chosen Christmas fragrance oil (or Orange Grove or Cinnamon fragrance oil) and shake together until the balls look evenly covered. These can then be used to fragrance small areas like drawers.

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CyberCelt said...

I have some recipes on Losing Proposition

Marion said...

This is a really nice post to read at this time of year, Jackie! I love the simmering is the best scent at Christmas. Thank you!

Merry Christmas to you!

Naomi said...

I love potpourri Jackie. Great post as always. I was watching a programme the other day where somebody dried some slices of orange and lemon in the oven and used them to make garlands to hang on the staircase. It sounded like a great idea. Here's a cool link for you Jackie:-

Take care and Merry Christmas to you!