The first notes you inhale on entering a home says a lot about its inhabitants. The French, however, have made an art out of making sure that their homes fill your senses with fragrant woody notes. All this is made possible by a handful of dried flowers kept in a bowl. They are called potpourri, a name given to a mixture of dried, naturally fragrant flower petals, plant slivers and herbs kept in a bowl or tied in small pouches.
How to make a rose potpourri
Basic recipe for potpourri
- 3 Cups pink rose petals
- 3 Cups red rose petals
- 2 Cups miniature rosebuds
- 2 Cups lavender
- 1 Cup rose leaves
- 2 Tablespoons powdered orris root (fixative) or fiberfix
- 15 Drops rose oil
1. Collect or buy some fresh rose petals from a florist, and spread the fresh petals and dry them in a flat tray or any other flat surface until they turn crisp.
2. For each quart of petals, add one tablespoon fixative.Dry lavender, oak moss, sandalwood or orrisroot are available in chopped form at any herb store.
3. Add your favourite spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, dried citrus peel and vanilla beans.
4. Finally, add a few drops of essential oil from an aromatherapy range, or your favourite perfume.
5. Seal the mixture in a jar, and let it mellow for 10 days.
6. Keep shaking the jar every couple of days so that the ingredients blend properly.
Place it in a porcelain bowl in the house, or make a sachet of potpourri and place it in your drawer.
Small packets of potpourri can find a home in lingerie and sweater drawers, mixed in with linens, in the folds of clothing inside suitcases, on coat hangers in the closet, at the party table as favours… almost anywhere a fragrant perfume is invited.
Potpourri bags used for linens look good in crisp stripes and fresh colours. Those placed among lingerie and delicate clothes can be made of satin, lace or silk. Use readymade lace handkerchiefs for a quick, fragrant fix.