There are two methods of making potpourri, one is the wet method of making potpourri where semi-dried flowers and petals are layered with salt to cure and ferment them. Then there is the dry method of making potpourri where the ingredients are dried either in a slow oven or in a cool, dark place.
Today, people prefer using the dry method as you end up with a prettier looking result.
Of course when you have finished making your potpourri aesthetics is very important. Will your end result look pretty? Often when you dry your flowers they lose their original bright colors and can end up looking rather dull.
Therefore it is important to mix some colorful petals that don't lose their color. Calendula flowers are perfect for this, as are borage flowers, nasturtiums, pansies, jasmine and delphiniums.
Other additions to your potpourri mix will be dried citrus peel, lemon and orange are commonly used, sandalwood or cedar wood, and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves are added to give your mixture added depth.
You will need a fixative for your potpourri to make sure that any perfumes that exist will stabilize and remain for longer. Orris root powder is the most widely fixative used, and this can be found at either your local drug store or health shops. It is made from the dried root of Iris Florentina, so if you have this growing in your garden - make your own!
Last, but not least, you will need the essential oils that will give your potpourri its lasting scent. They are quite expensive as they take 5 years in the making, however, you only ever use a few drops and therefore last a long time. My favorite essential oils are lavender oil, rose oil and jasmine oil.
2 cups pink carnation petals
1/2 cup orris root powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 whole cinnamon stick
5 drops essential oil of rosesDry rose and carnation petals separately. When crisp combine them and sprinkle with orris root powder, except for 1 tablespoon which you have reserved in a small bowl.
Sprinkle rose oil into the reserved orris root powder and mix well.
Pour into petals mixture. Add other ingredients, breaking cinnamon sticks into fragments and mix well with your hands. Keep in sealed jars for 1 month before using.
25g dried thyme
25g dried mint
25g dried basil leaves
10g ground cloves
10g ground caraway seeds
50g orris root powder
3 drops lavender oilThis is probably my favorite potpourri recipe. I love the smell of lavender and it lasts for ages.
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