How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

You put so much hard work into your flower garden, it is a shame to see them all wither at season’s end. But if you dry your flowers, you can blend them into potpourris that you can enjoy or that you can give as gifts that will show off your green thumb — all year around. But of you want your potpourri’s fragrance to last, don’t forget to include a fixative something that will hold and preserve the scent.

There are a number of synthetic fixatives on the market, but it is often much cheaper to grow and/or wildcraft your own. Many of these are plant materials that are fragrant, and can be used to add a "base note" to your blends. While some of these are easier to do yourself than others, here are a few natural choices to get you started:

Orris Root Powder – This is made from the dried and powdered root of the Iris ‘Florentina’ It is possible to make the powder yourself, from roots you would otherwise discard when you are thinning your irises, but the root requires months of drying to develop the scent properly. The powder smells mild on its own, but just a little of it will dramatically alter the scent of your potpourri, so try adding it to a small test batch first.

Lavender Flowers – Grown on bushes that adore full soon and poor soil, these flowers hold their scent for years. In aromatherapy, Lavendula is listed among the most relaxing fragrances, and they will add an additional floral note to your potpourri. If you grow your own lavender, these make an inexpensive fixative choice. The foliage of the lavender bush also makes a fragrant addition to potpourri mixes, though it is not considered as high-quality as the flowers.

Oakmoss – This is a lichen that grows on oak trees (and occasionally pines and sometimes other deciduous trees) in temperate forests in both Europe and North America. Extracts from it form the base note for a surprising number of fragrances. The dried oakmoss adds a woody yet sweet element to a potpourri. Other types of moss can be added to potpourri for texture and bulk.

Tonka Bean – Dipteryx odorata comes from the Orinoco region of South America, where it grows on a flowering tree related to the pea. It pairs well with sweet fragrances. Extract from the beans is sometimes used in "fake" vanilla, so use it in potpourri where a vanilla note will balance the fragrance note. Real vanilla beans can also be used as fixatives.

Sandalwood Chips – This is the chopped wood of a hemiparasitic tree native to India, Indonesia, Australia and the Pacific Islands. It adds a fresh, clean, yet still woodsy note to the mix. Other wood shavings, such as cedar, may also be used as fixatives.

Cellulose – This is generally made from ground corn cobs. It looks more attractive than it sounds, almost like nuts or wood chips. It absorbs scent without adding fragrance.

Sweet Woodruff – Foliage from this plant not only fixes your potpourri, but acts as an insect repellant. The dried leaves add a sweet, herbal note. Other herbs that work as fixatives include mint leaves, bay leaves and rosemary needles.

Whole Cloves – The essence taken from these dried flower buds is often used in formulating both perfumes and incense. Whole dried cloves will fix your potpourri, while adding a note of spice that feels especially welcome in potpourri blends that include dried apple or other winter fruits. Cinnamon sticks, cracked nutmeg and coriander seeds are other spices that also work as fixatives.

How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

In today’s world of scented candles, air fresheners, and plug-in deodorizers, the art of drying flowers and using them to fragrance your home seems quaint. Making potpourri is an easy craft, the supplies are very inexpensive, and it’s a way to reduce and recycle while limiting the chemicals you use in your home. Even if you don’t grow all of the flowers you’d like to include in your potpourri mix, a neighbor might not mind handing over a few stems that are past their prime in the garden, especially if you promise her a homemade sachet in return.

Choose Potpourri Flowers and Plant Material

The best flowers for potpourri are those that retain their color and shape when you dry them. If they are fragrant too, that is a bonus, but you can always add fragrance. In fact, it's better not to use too many fragrant flowers, as the perfumes can clash when combined.

Annual flowers you can grow and harvest for potpourri include bachelor’s button, calendula, gomphrena, larkspur, pansy, and scented geranium. Excellent perennial flower choices for potpourri are lavender, rose (especially in bud), dianthus, and chrysanthemum.

Half of the appeal of a good potpourri mix is visual, so consider supplementing with natural materials you gather from woods and fields around your home, like seed pods or small pine cones. Look to your pantry for fragrant and beautiful additives like whole nutmeg berries, whole cloves, dried citrus rind, whole star anise, and cinnamon sticks. Finally, no one will think you're cheating if you add a sprinkling of mixers from the hobby store, like sandalwood chips, eucalyptus leaves, and tonka beans.

Potpourri Making Supplies

Purchase a fixative to help your potpourri fragrance last longer. Orris root, made from the rhizomes of irises, is one of the most popular fixatives. The powdered root has a light floral fragrance. Other fragrant fixatives include vanilla beans, oakmoss, angelica root, and myrrh gum. Each of these exotic fixatives should make up about ten to twenty percent of the potpourri mix.

What Are Fixatives?

Fixatives are a natural or synthetic substance that reduces the evaporation rate of oil and water in the plants used to make potpourri so that it lasts longer. Here's how: The plants used to make potpourri naturally consist of oils and water that, over time, evaporate, making the potpourri less effective.

Small vials of essential oils are another fragrance-boosting ingredient. You can add oils at the initiation of the potpourri making process, or later when the mix begins to lose its scent. Oils are richly fragrant and should be used sparingly. In fact, too much of essential oil can impart a medicinal smell to your potpourri, which might be desirable for chasing insects from a musty closet, but isn't pleasing in the living room. Essential oils can mirror the ingredients of your potpourri, like a rose, lavender, or citrus.

How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Moist or Dry Potpourri Recipes

For the most fragrant potpourri, start with freshly picked ingredients you've dried for a few days. The materials should be pliable and not yet brittle. Layer plant materials with coarse salt in a bowl, alternating layers. After a few weeks, stir the mixture and add your fixatives and oils. After six months, your moist potpourri will be ready to use.

The quickest way to make potpourri is with completely dry plant material. No salt is required; just add your oils and fixatives and stir gently with a wooden spoon. After a month, the scents will be blended together and your potpourri ready.

Potpourri Display

Choose any type of non-metal container or vessel to display your potpourri, as metals can react with the essential oils. Baskets, jars, and bowls are common potpourri holders. Choose a container with a perforated lid if pets or small children can't resist picking through the dried flowers, which are a choking hazard. To create a sachet for scenting clothes and closets, tie or sew a scrap of pretty fabric or a lacy handkerchief together, and fill with your mix. You can even give Fido's bed a fresh spin through the dryer with a sewn sachet.

Photo: Why pums? I'm making a new chilli plum chutney tomorrow!

I haven’t has time to make as much potpourri as I would like to – which is lucky as I’ve discovered that I’m allergic to orris root. Up until this week I’ve used a spoon to mix the potpourri and ladle it in and out of jars so I had no idea. It was only when I was working with Lynn that I scooped some rose potpourri into a pretty bowl for her to photograph. I stirred it with my hand and within seconds my palm was burning. The agony was quickly flushed away with cold water.

If Shill hadn’t mentioned that some people are allergic to orris root on my homemade pomander post, I wouldn’t have twigged what was happening. Incidentally I’ve rubbed my hands with the pomander spice mix and have had no adverse reaction as the orris is diluted by the rest of the spices.

On an aside, orris powder is reckoned by some to be a potent love potion, sprinkled on pillows and bed linen. Here it would immediately precipitate cold showers!

Orris root is a fixative. A fixative is essential to preserve the scent of potpourri and stop it just smelling of old hay within a few months. The root and powder is very expensive so I hadn’t invested in loads, thank goodness.

What was I going to use as an alternative fixative? My fingers flew across the keyboard into the wonderful realm of the Internet. I discovered that all these herbs, leaves and spices can be used as a fixative: If you are making dry potpourri they all need to be dried.
Vetivert (vetiver)
Calamus root
Oakmoss
Gum benzoin
Sandalwood
Myrhh
Frankincense
Patchouli leaves
Cellulose fibre
Clary sage leaves
Cinnamon
Nutmeg (ground)
Myrtle leaves
Southernwood

And there must be many, many more.

I think that the reason why Barbara Ohrbach’s recipes work so well is that she uses several fragrant fixatives in her potpourri. She reckons that orris root is the easiest fixative to find so it’s included in most of her recipes. But with the above list you can supplement orris root with something else, if you are worried about allergic reactions. Potpourri needs to be trifled with every day or so to activate the scent. If you are interested in making your own potpourri why not invest in her bestselling book? The Scented Room can be bought on Amazon for just 1p plus postage! It has been in print since the 1980’s and is a classic.

Making your own potpourri can be simple and uncomplicated. I created this basic potpourri without any assistance from reference material, books or otherwise.

How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

The inspiration to make my own potpourri started after we ordered some beautiful roses from the ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ magazine. I read the article about growing roses and was keen to buy the ‘super scented collection’ of five magnificent smelling, bare root roses.

Having grown roses years ago, I did miss the anticipation and delight of waiting for the many buds to blossom. The colours and smells can be amazing. Reaching the achievement of growing healthy looking roses is rewarding in itself, due to their fickle nature and intolerance to many elements.

Wet leaves encourage black spot. They can get fungal diseases and diseases that affect the roots and rose bush systemically. Flowers can be small and stunted, due to sudden extreme hot or cold weather. Leaves get eaten by insects and buds pecked at by birds. It can be hard to grow nice roses.

How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

At this point, I realised that the petals of spent flowers were also too good to waste. So I set about the idea of making my own inexpensive potpourri.

Petals and Drying Process

When picking your petals you do have to be picky. Some roses don’t lend themselves to the purpose of potpourri. After you dry them out, they can smell awful. These particular roses are clearly not suitable. We all know it’s hard to cover up a bad stench, so why waste your time.

How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

If you grow your own roses it’s better than picking them from someone’s garden or a business property. You don’t want to get caught doing this. It could be embarrassing.

Try any rose you have to begin with and make sure they are almost ready to fall off the receptacle before you pick them. This is the part where the petals are attached to. You can pick them a little earlier to retain more colour, but not too late, as the petals will fall off and blow away.

How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

Once the rose is picked you’ll need to:

Find a place out of the breeze to dry them, preferably inside;

Make sure they’ll receive sufficient sunlight for drying;
� Pull or separate the petals, if they don’t fall apart easily;
� Lay them out on a flat surface and;
� Spread them apart so the air can circulate around them.

How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

Direct sunlight is quicker than indirect, although it may fade the colour more as they dry out. I have found pink roses great for retaining bright colour. Also, spacing them apart ensures the moisture is extracted more rapidly and helps to prevent bad smells building up.

If they continue to smell good throughout the entire drying process, then you’re onto a winner. You’ll know when the petals are dry, because they’ll feel papery and stiff when you touch them.

How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

Leaving them for too long will cause them to become brittle. As soon as they are done, scoop them into a plastic or freezer bag, ready for the addition of oils or perfumes.

Choosing Fixatives, Oils & Perfumes

I have since found out that potpourris generally contain a fixative. Fixatives are used to take up the scents of oils or perfumes that you put into your potpourri and preserve the smell for longer. Your potpourri will lose its beautiful aroma quickly without the use of fixatives.

To date, I have not used a fixative in my own potpourri and so far they have lasted six months without adding extra drops of oil. The choice is yours. It may be wise to follow the advice of many before me. Here are a few fixatives:

� orris root;
� oakmoss;
� calamus root and
� fiber fix.

Experiment with your choice of oils or perfumes; put some in a small glass container or plastic bag with a tiny handful of petals to infuse. If the smell is still to your liking in a couple of days, add them to the rest of your batch.

How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

I currently use vanilla or Annan oils. The oils seem to last quite a long time. I add a few drops to the petal mixture in a plastic bag, shake it up and let it sit for a few days. Then I check the scent is right before bagging individually.

The use of perfumes or other fragrances is entirely up to you. Some work and some don’t. Run with fragrances that would normally invigorate or relax you. There are many tips and recipes available online. Save-on-crafts is one that has a variety of suggestions and Aussie Soap Supplies has a great list of fragrances.

I’m not sure what this is called, but I call it ‘fillers.’ Anything else you can use to bulk up your potpourri, or to make it look more attractive. Look around in nature or bushland. Is there something you could try?

How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

I found some fluffy grass seed and once dried worked well. You could use unopened flower buds, lavender flowers or cinnamon sticks. Just don’t use too many. The rose petals or other flowers should be ‘the star.’

Can you try other flowers? At this stage I haven’t tried this out, but I’ve just read that you can. There are many ideas to get your creativity kick-started and it’s only limited by your imagination, or ability to gain access to potpourri recipes.

What works best for holding or storing your potpourri? Organza bags in sheer silk or satin and hessian bags, also known as jute or burlap are both easy to use and come with a built-in draw string. Gauze and synthetic chiffon or any type of fabric pouch or fine cloth can also be used.

How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

If you’re using a plain piece of fabric, fill the centre with potpourri and fold up the outer edges. Tie with a ribbon to complete. Use your imagination and try other embellishments to wrap up or tie your potpourri.

How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

Bags and cloth are relatively cheap and easy to find; check your local craft store. You can also shop online for pre-made organza bags through websites such as The Fox Collection and Save-on-crafts.

Since medieval times, fragrance has been a treasure in many societies. We all love having our households, not only smelling fresh but also sweet, with distinct unique aromas. In modern times, we have sprays and perfumes that impart the specific scents we want. However, they are not really natural and do not last long, typically not more than a day. Hence, it is crucial to know how to create a portion of organic fragrant potpourri to fill the air around your house.

Potpourri is made from a mixture of dried scented flowers and leaves whose combined aroma gives the pleasing, ‘oh so good’ smell. It is a nice, cost-effective and long-lasting solution to air your dwelling with nice smelling air. There are even recipes for potpourri that can ward off flies.

Ingredients for Your Potpourri

  • Scented flowers, petals or leaves
  • Fragrant barks, roots or woods
  • Fragrant herbs
  • Spices
  • Fixatives – orris root, citrus fruit peels work best
  • Essential oils

You’ll also need:

  • Display container, especially glassware
  • Mixing and curing bowls, approximately three
  • A small hammer to pound the mixture.

The Dry Method

The dry method is the simplest one for making potpourri. The petals are collected and dried till crisp. The spices and fixatives are then ground together in a separate bowl into a fine powder mixture. The fixatives work to fix the scents away from the petals into the other mixture so the scent is more evident. Add some drops of essential oil to the dry plant matter. Then add the spice mixture to the oil mixture and mix again. Finally, add all the other dry ingredients into the same bowl and mix everything together in a bid to let out the scent.

After the agitation, close the bowl and keep the mixture in a cool, dark and dry place to cure for about four to eight weeks. Afterward, allow the aroma of the potpourri to waft across your dwelling.

The Wet Method

You only need partially dried petals for this procedure. Place a layer of partially dried petals and leaves in a jar. Proceed to sprinkle some salt. Then lay a layer of petals again and sprinkle some sugar, salt and a few drops of fragrant essential oil. Repeat this step until you fill the container.

You can then close the lid, then place in a cool, dark and dry place to allow the mixture to cure for about two months, after which you will be required to drain out the excess liquid. Add the fixatives, spices, and oils, mix the whole mixture then leave to cure again for a month.

The moist method produces potpourri that might not be pleasant-looking, but at the same time, it produces the strongest most intensive flavors of aroma. This type can last for very much longer than using the dry method.

Reviving Old or Non-Fragrant Potpourri

  • Add a few drops of essential oil – the oil acts to dissolve out any remaining fragrance so you can smell it more. It also energizes the mixture.
  • Mix – if the scent dries down, mix again all the ingredients in the bowl and the smell will come back.
  • Use Vodka – Vodka can help to keep scents longer since vodka will dissolve out any other fragrance for you to smell.
  • Remove dust from your potpourri if you want to keep it smelling fresh- put the potpourri in a sealable bag, then make holes on the side and shake. Accumulated dust should fall out leaving your potpourri clean as new.
  • If the potpourri fails to perform, use a spray with perfume so that the perfume can rejuvenate your mixture keeping it as good as new.

Secrets for an Aromatic Potpourri

  • Especially when winter is near, you want to have as many varieties of nice smelling flowers, leaves, and barks you can get. A wide variety means a wider range of flavors hence the more your place is going to smell better.
  • Fixatives – these important ingredients help in fixing the scents. Scents are normally locked in the petals so a fixative will likely bind to the scent-producing compounds so that it can remove them from the petal containing them. The stronger fixatives you use the better overall fragrance you attain and the shorter the curing time.
  • Blending – sometimes it is good to blend all the flavors together so you have one flowing nice aroma. Having different harsh aromas will irritate you and anyone likely to visit you. Blending aromas is an art. Perfect the art and you have the most arousing aromas in your house.
  • Charcoal briquette – add a charcoal briquette into your mixture during preparation. This briquette aids in absorbing any foul smell or liquids that might emanate from the whole solution. You are then sure of having a pure sample of good potpourri.
  • Add some nuts to the mixture; they improve the scent a lot.
  • Add more oil to the mixture if possible, especially high-quality fragrance oil, the more you add, the better the scent.
  • Autumn might be the best flower picking season, so utilize it for your potpourri while it lasts.
  • If the appearance of the potpourri is of importance, keep it out of direct bright sunlight which might bleach or fade it really fast.
  • Avoid using metal containers which might evoke an unwanted reaction thereby bringing up unwanted scents or diminishing the strength of the potpourri scent. Use glass, plastic or ceramics.
  • Make sure to keep potpourri away from children or pets, who may be tempted to eat it. It might be toxic, so keep it away from them.
  • Be sure to check for mold when the potpourri is curing. The whole mixture should be in a dark dry place.

When your potpourri cures you can use it in myriad ways. Like stuffing pillows with it, so your house always smells of the potpourri. Or put it in muslin bags and scent your bath with it.

Have fun exploring with your own blend of potpourri ingredients. Transform your home into this unforgettable place. A place with homely scents that your guests will forever remember.

Making your own potpourri is easy and if you use plants from your garden, it's also memorable. Dying flowers can make the end of the growing season a depressing time of year. For gardeners in areas with four seasons, dying foliage is a sign that months without a garden are ahead.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to preserve the fruits and flowers of your garden during the coldest months. It’s nice to have some vegetables stored away and maybe some dried flowers to remind you of summer’s glory.

Even in warmer climates, it can be nice to bring something from your garden indoors, where you can enjoy it without noticing all the needed weeding. Potpourri allows you to bring not only some of the flowers, leaves, and pods inside with you, you can also bring some of the scents of the season.

Making Potpourri From the Garden

When choosing flowers for potpourri, look for those that hold onto their color and still look good when dry, like bachelor buttons, calendula, Echinops, geraniums, larkspur, lavender, peonies, pinks, roses, and yarrow.

Then add in interesting seed pods, like sweetgum and rose hips. Pinecones make a nice chunky addition. For more color, include berries such as beautyberry, holly, and pyracantha. You can include leaves, but many tend to fall apart quickly when dried. Look for thicker leaves, like leather-leaf viburnum and the lacy leaves of scented geraniums.

Don’t forget the edible garden. Bay and sage leaves dry very well. Dried citrus peel and dried apple slices also add fragrance and a nice texture

Homemade Potpourri Embellishments

It’s okay to add some extras to your homemade potpourri, too. Your local craft store probably has lots of potpourri standards like sandalwood chips and patchouli. Don't hesitate to look for ingredients that will add some bulk to your potpourri mix.

Adding Scent to Potpourri

As woodsy as fresh potpourri can smell, it’s probably not enough of a fragrance for most people’s tastes and it won't fill a room with its aroma. That’s where essential oils and fixatives come in.

A fixative is a substance that absorbs scented oils and hangs onto them for a long time. While it’s true that most of the ingredients in potpourri will absorb and hold scents, they can dissipate quickly. Some commonly used, long-lasting fixatives are orris root, from the Florentina iris, oakmoss, a lichen that grows on oak trees, and Vetiver root, a plant in the sweetgrass family. You can find most of these in craft stores and often in health food stores.

As for essential oils, the selection is vast and so is the quality. Be sure to check the fragrance of the oil before buying it. Some are overpowering and others only remotely resemble their main ingredient. A more expensive but better quality oil will pay for itself by not needing to be reapplied every week.

You can choose non-native flowers or you can stay with the theme of your own garden and choose floral scents, like lavender, rose or wisteria, or fruity scents, like citrus and apple.

The Easiest Method to Make Potpourri

No matter how you make your potpourri, do not use metal bowls or utensils. These can react with your ingredients and alter the fragrance. Glass, ceramic, and wood are the safest materials. Plastic is fine too, but the scent will linger in the container for weeks.

A quick and easy way to mix up a batch of potpourri is to add a few drops of essential oil to your fixative, cover, and set it aside for three to five days so that the scent is completely infused. Then add your dry ingredients and stir everything together. Cover again and allow it to steep for about one month. Check it occasionally to make sure the scent is stronger enough for you. If not, add more oil. The scent can weaken if you've added a lot of ingredients.

Using Your Potpourri

Of course, you could display your homegrown potpourri front and center in an attractive bowl on your coffee table. Another option is to make sachet bags and fill them with your fragrant concoctions. Even if you’re not handy with a needle, you can find small, net bags at the craft store. The nice thing about making sachets is that you can hang them in unexpected places, like on the showerhead, where the steam will enhance the scent. You can also tuck them in drawers, storage cabinets, pillowcases, linen closets, and anywhere else you want to be reminded of the flower garden.

Even when using the finest oils, the scent will eventually begin to disappear. You can always freshen your potpourri with a few more drops. Or, you can start a whole new batch with next season's garden.

How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

Commercial potpourri, with its synthetic and often toxic fragrance, is nothing like the versions you can make at home. Have you tried making your own? Whipping up a fragrant potpourri with a combination of dried ingredients is simple and fun.

Making Traditional Household Potpourri

Step 1 – Dry all petals, buds, herbs and flowers until their outer surface appears slightly flaky.

Step 2 – Using scissors, cut petals and flowers into thin strips. Mix dried petals with rose buds and lavender in a bowl. Slice the lemon peel into small pieces and add them to the bowl along with some verbena and geranium.

Step 3 – With the pestle and mortar, grind the cloves and allspice berries until they form a thick paste. Split the cinnamon stick into small pieces. Add all spices and ground ingredients into bowl. Mix thoroughly, then sprinkle in some orris root powder and sprinkle some rose oil on top.

How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

Curing Potpourri

Move the freshly prepared mixture from the bowl into a paper bag, fold the edges over a few times and staple it shut. Keep the bag in a dry, dark and warm area for a few days.

Ideally, potpourri should be cured for two weeks without sunlight, with a stir or a shake every three days. At the end of two weeks, transfer the mixture to small glass containers or pretty shadowboxes.

Some people choose to keep the glass containers or boxes closed most of the time, opening for short periods to lightly scent a room. Others prefer to leave the potpourri out all the time to permeate the air.

Choose Your Favorite Ingredients

Potpourri should generally give a subtle scent to an area without being overpowering. Be creative and use the fragrances you love!

How to choose fixatives for making potpourri

Parts of Flowering Plants – Flowers, leaves and even herbs are key when preparing potpourri. Dry the elements thoroughly first to prevent mold from developing later. R each for fragrant blossoms like lilac and lavender. And don’t forget about color! Toss in some pansies, heather, and hibiscus for a visual pop.

Spices – Nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon are some of the most typical choices. Other common ingredients include coriander, vanilla pods, anise, cedar shavings, pine shavings or cones, and cardamom. Make sure spices are freshly-ground and not store bought in powdered-and-packed form. This ensures a stronger aroma in the oil.

Fixatives – These are used to add texture and create the perfect pH environment. Fixatives have natural compounds to absorb moisture and reduce acidity. Common fixatives include gum benzoin and dried orris root. Fragrant allspice and juniper berries are often added to make potpourri thicker.

Contrasting Additives – Dried citrus peels can be added to make the fragrance more pungent. This complements the floral scents and helps keep the potency longer.

Herbs – To add more bulk, include strong smelling lemon verbena, lemon balm, lemon thyme and sweet basil. Stronger scents can be made by adding essential oils or extracts to the dried ingredients.

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How To Make Potpourri

Aromatic potpourri is a popular method of naturally scenting a home.

Often displayed in a decorative bowl, potpourri is created by combining beautiful dried petals, buds, herbs, and spices with essential oils to create a strong scent. Customise the scent with different ingredient combinations to enjoy at home or gift to someone special.

Before you start
The key ingredient in potpourri is the fixative. This reduces the evaporation rate of the plant scents which aids the longevity of your potpourri. The fixatives used in these recipes are orris root powder and gum benzoin. Each can be found in health shops, craft stores, and aromatherapy shops.

Citrus Potpourri
This recipe makes 1 cup of potpourri with a fresh, lemony scent.
Ingredients
1 tbsp crushed lemon peel
6 tbsp crushed orange peel
2 tbsp marjoram
1 tbsp crumbled bay leaf
3 tbsp lemon verbena
3 tbsp lemon balm
3tbsp lemon thyme
2 tbsp orris root powder (fixative)
2 drops orange blossom essential oil
2 drops lemon essential oil

Method
1. Mix the dry ingredients in a clean, dry glass container.
2. Add the wet ingredients and essential oils and mix well with a spoon or gloved hands.
3. Seal the container airtight and store your potpourri for one month before use.
Oriental Jasmine Potpourri
This recipe makes 3 cups of potpourri with a warm, comforting scent.
Ingredients
2 tbsp sandalwood chips
1 tbsp ginger root, crushed into small pieces
5 star anise
1 cup rose petals
1 cup jasmine flowers
1 cup citrus flowers
1 tbsp whole basil leaves
2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
2 tsp crushed cumin seeds
3 tbsp gum benzoin
6 drops jasmine essential oil

Method
1. Mix all ingredients except the jasmine essential oil in a bowl with a spoon or gloved hands.
2. Add the essential oil and continue to mix well.
3. Seal the mixture in an airtight container and store your potpourri for one month before use.

Potpourri tips
– Once your potpourri has completed the one month resting period, you may want a stronger scent. Simply add more essential oil and fixative to the jar, shake well, and return it to storage for at least two weeks.
– If your potpourri doesn’t look appealing, add dried seed pods, berries, and flowers to your display.
– To refresh the scent anytime, add a couple of drops of any essential oil you like.
– Place your potpourri in vases, bowls, and open jars for scented home décor.
– Potpourri can also be added to sachets for scenting drawers and cupboards.