Who remembers potpourri? Popular in the 80s and 90s, you may be currently rolling your eyes at the thought of your grandmother's closet however it really was a popular phenomenon throughout most households in the U.S. Although you may think it's only a 40-year-old invention, potpourri was actually around as early as the 17th century when people prided themselves on the container as much as the potpourri! Potpourri doesn’t need to be a musty bag of dusty flowers, it smells great and can add a pop of color to every living space. By following this simple how-to list, you'll be able to create trendy, fresh, zesty concoctions of dried herbs, flowers and fruits such as lavender, lemon, herbs, spices and so much more! Allow these delicious smells to waft through your house all made from completely natural ingredients.
It's time to ditch chemically scented sprays and go retro with a DIY potpourri. If you think it's a time-consuming activity then think again. All you need is an old bunch of flowers, herbs, sliced fruit or any other sweet-smelling ingredients that you may have hanging around your home. What's more, there is no sell-by date! Give it a spritz of perfume to renew the scent time and time again.
Although the usual rule for potpourri is 'anything goes', the main ingredients are linked to roots, barks/woods such as sandalwood, resins such as patchouli, vanilla pods, beans and peel from citrus fruits. In addition, homemade potpourri also contains high-quality oils too!
Whether you want your home smelling fresh, add a stylish twist to your living area or make a personalized gift to those close to you, read our easy-to-follow instructions on how to make the perfect potpourri!
Step 1: Gather Together Your Ingredients: Don’t go to the shops, try and use natural ingredients you have at home! As you now know, there is a general formula for making the perfect potpourri however different ingredients have different scents, colors and textures so experiment until you find the ingredients that compliment the look you are trying to create. Try and be artistic and creative whilst on the search for things to add. Try and gather together scented flowers, wood, and citrus that will contribute to most of the smell as well as unscented items such as nuts and cones that add to the aesthetics. You can always add essential oils to the unscented items to give them an extra kick!
Step 2: Chose Containers to Display Your Potpourri: Chose anything from bowls to vases to display the finished product! Whilst you're on the search for the perfect container, keep in mind that it's not all about the appearance but the smell too. The odor needs to be able to flow freely so try and stick to wide containers such as trays, baskets or even shells!
Step 3: Ensure all Material is Dry: If you are gathering material from your garden or your local area then ensure that there is no dew on the plant as this could cause mold to grow later on. What's more, ensure that herbs are fresh and show no signs of wilting or dying. Dry petals or leave by using sheets of paper placed between heavy items such as boxes or books. Make sure to turn petals throughout the drying process to ensure faster drying and optimum circulation.
Step 4: Mix Together Your Ingredients: Start by mixing spices and your fixative into a mixing bowl. The fixative is used to stick ingredients together and we recommend using orris root which is available from most craft stores. You should play around with ratios and see what works best for you however we recommend using 4 cups of dried plant material, 2 tablespoons of powdered spices, 2 tablespoons of fixative and 2-3 drops of essential oil. The more oil you use, the stronger the scent will be. Then, mix the ingredients together using your fingertips.
Step 5: Add Remaining Dry Ingredients: Add petals, leaves, bark, pine cones and more! Just remember to ensure that all your ingredients are dried out to prevent the growth of mold. Continuously mix with your hands until you feel that the scent has been distributed evenly.
Step 6: Place the Ingredients in a Sealed Container: You must ensure that this container has a tight-fitting lid. This isn’t the final product. You will need to set your potpourri mix aside to infuse in a dark, dry room for up to 8 weeks. This will allow the fragrance to mature and last longer when you come to use it. For the first week, we recommend shaking the container daily to ensure that the fragrance is spread evenly. The longer you leave the potpourri, the stronger the smell will be.
Step 7: Pour the Potpourri its Container: Pour your potpourri into your chosen bowl or tray! Once you've poured your potpourri, be sure to rearrange it so the pieces that are the most aesthetic are the most visible. In addition, make sure you place it where you want the smell to reach the most.
Although potpourri is usually displayed in bowls, why not mix it up? You can make sachets or pillows to store amongst your clothes or underwear and keeping one under your pillow could help you drift off into a deep sleep. What's more, you can also make muslin bags containing potpourri and add it to a warm bath for an essential oil experience.
A few final tips include keeping the potpourri out of the sunlight so it keeps its color and making sure that you always keep an eye out for new and interesting potpourri ingredients when you're on the go!