Complete Potpourri Guide – “Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul. To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.”
Remember walking into a garden full of flowers spreading their fragrance everywhere? How that amazing aroma had filled up your entire being with a sense of joy and wonder!
Related: Gardening Tips
The smell of pure nature can indeed do wonders to our mood and makes us feel more grateful for the beauty around us. And there cannot be a better place to instill that natural fragrance than our own homes.
Imagine that fragrance welcoming you every time you enter your house and increasing the positive vibes in the home. Having an amazing set of pot pourri can help you in achieving just that.
You can just place the potpourri in your living room and enjoy that sweet fragrance all around your house. So let’s find out more about potpourri and how you can transform your homes using it.
What is Potpourri
The first question arises, What is potpourri actually? Potpourri is simply a bowl with a mixture of dried flowers, spices, natural herbs, essential oils, etc. These are placed in open bowls or perforated containers.
The fragrance in a potpourri is often achieved by adding a substance called fixatives and essential oils to the mixture of dried flowers. You can place these bowls anywhere inside your homes, offices, rooms and they will act as a natural room freshener.
The idea of Potpourri is said to have originated from French people who used to hang bowls with dried flowers inside their homes. Over the period of time, the idea gained popularity especially among the lovers of gardening.
They can simply pluck some flowers and leaves from the garden and make their own pot pourri without any fuss.
Things You Will Need to Make A Pot Pourri
If you love to experiment and have a little bit of imagination and creativity, you can have a lot of fun in making your own potpourri. All you need is a set of following basic ingredients:
1. Dried Flowers
On the other hand, you may select highly scented flowers and can choose subtle essential oils. Some of the flowers that work well with a pot pourri are rose, lavender, tulips, Echinops, marigolds, bachelor buttons, freesia, calendula, etc.
Always remember to collect more flowers than you plan to have in potpourri because they become fewer in number after drying.
2. Spices, Leaves, and Herbs
You can choose scented leaves with thick texture like viburnum and or leaves of geraniums. You can also add aromatic herbs to this mixture such as rosemary, eucalyptus, sage or thyme.
Related : Indoor Herb Garden Ideas
These are the most essential elements of any pot pourri. They arrest the fragrance of the mixture in potpourri and release it slowly into the surroundings. A good fixative ensures that the fragrance lasts for a long time.
Some fixatives which you can use are Vetiver root of sweetgrass plant, cellulose, oakmoss (lichen on oak trees), ris root obtained from florentina iris. You can find these elements in a nearby herb store or health food outlet.
4. Essential Oils
There is a vast variety of essential oils available. You can blend these oils to give a distinct aroma to your potpourri. If you are a beginner, do not go beyond a mixture of two or maximum three oils. You can always experiment later and find out what works for you best.
5. Potpourri Bowl and Jar
Do not choose a metal or utensils as bowls or jars for pot pourri. They can often alter the original fragrance of the mixture by reacting with them. Go for a wooden, glass or ceramic container to hold the potpourri.
If you ask me, you can never go wrong with wooden bowls or jars. They not only retain the smell very well but also look fabulous in your living rooms.
How to Make Potpourri
Now that you have collected the required items, it is time for getting more creative and start making potpourri. Follow these fundamental steps and keep adding your own variations to them to make your own unique pot pourri:
Step – 1 Cut off the stem and separate the head of flowers initially. Place this mixture on a tray and add other ingredients you want- spices, herbs, leaves, etc.
Step – 2 Now add fixatives to this mixture. The recommendation is to add two tablespoons for four cups of dried material. Finally, you can sprinkle essential oils according to the smell you want to create.
Step – 3 You can dry the flowers first separately before preparing the mixture as above. The effective but longest way to do this is to hang the flowers upside down in a perforated pouch. They normally take 3-4 weeks to dry after which you can use them for pot pourri. Or you can follow the above step to create a mixture first and then dry it together.
Step – 4 Place the whole tray into your oven and dry it for about 2 hours. The idea is not to burn the flowers and just make them brittle enough. Take out the mixture from oven and once again sprinkle essential oils over it.
Step – 5 For making your potpourri more effective, you can leave the mixture for longer periods of time. To do so, transfer the mixture to a perforated cloth or a paper bag. Seal the top of bag with clips. Gently shake the bag several times to let the fixatives and essential oils spread throughout the mixture.
Step – 6 Keep this bag away from direct sunlight in a dark room and allow it to dry for 4-6 weeks. Remember to shake the bag periodically.
Step – 7 Once the mixture is dried, add some more essential oils to it. You can now place it into your chosen bowl or jar and your potpourri is ready to spread fresh fragrance of flowers inside your house.
Step – 8 Over a period of time, you can keep adding small amounts of essential oils to maintain the fragrance of potpourri.
How to Use Potpourri
1. Give A Cool Look to Your Coffee or Center Table
This is the most common as well as the most effective way to use a potpourri. There is nothing better than a sweet fragrance while you are having a sip of that perfect coffee or having a delicious meal. And yes, it looks incredibly cool as well!
2. Pot Pourri As Perfume
Yes you can use a potpourri to have a natural fragrance instead of an expensive perfume. Prepare small packets and sachets with the potpourri and place those inside drawers and cupboards.
You can place them inside suitcases, sweater drawers, storage cabinets, coat closets, and anywhere perfume is required.
3. Hang Them At The Entrance of Your Home
Give your home a stylish and sweet look by hanging potpourri at the entrance of your house. Let your guests experience the visual and sensory beauty of your house like never before!
4. Have A Royal Shower With Potpourri
You can prepare small sachet bags filled with your favorite mixture of aromas as potpourri. In addition to keeping these bags at various spots, you can hang them on the shower head.
The steam from shower will further enhance the scent and you will feel like a king or queen taking a royal bath surrounded by exotic smells.
5. Potpourri Over Lampshade
Hang a sachet bag of potpourri over the lamp shade in your room. The heat from lamp will multiply the scent from it and your work at night will become more refreshed and creative.
There are almost endless possibilities of making potpourri using different flowers, essential oils and fixatives. Furthermore, people use them in variety of ways to bring the natural scent of their garden into their homes. Share your own way of making and using potpourri in the comments below.
Also Read : Beginner’s Guide to Hydroponic Gardening