Tuesday, July 5, 2011


When I was small, I remember my Grandma Holland making her homemade potpourri.  She would dry the petals of her roses, add spices and oils, let it sit in an airtight container for a couple weeks, and then fill special bottles with the dried petal mixture.  I always had a jar of it in my bedroom.  I just had to simply take the lid off and let the sweet aroma waft through the room.  I've been making my own potpourri mixture for several years now to use up plentiful blooms. I use up rose petals, and always leave whole buds on top, with some rose oil; I love that aroma best.  Additionally, I use not only rose petals, but some of my lavender, delphinium, hyacinth, and have even dried some daffodils--they look especially nice in the mix.  You'll have to experiment with different flowers to see how they dry.  (Daisies don't work well, nor do peonies or iris). If you're interested, here are some tips and special hints I have found to be useful when making this simple homemade aromatic dried potpourri: 
  • Gather your flowers when they are fully open and DRY. You'll have to gather about 4 times as much as you need, because when they dry up, they lose that much weight.  Don't use petals that are wet or damp.  Damp petals will turn brown and moldy.   
  • Pull off all the petals, but remove and throw away parts of the bloom you won't need.  ie any of the stem, leaves, pod head. 
  • Remove or throw away petals with brown on them (You may also want to collect some  rose buds, or small, open blooms--and keep them whole and dry them that way--they look especially nice  sprinkled on top of the potpourri. Some of the nicest, good-sized leaves are also nice.
  • COMPLETELY dry out petals, preferably in a dark place. I spread them out in a single layer on a parchment covered cookie sheet.  The petals are ready for you to use when they are completely dried and crisp.  I also dry mine naturally in my curio cabinet in small china bowls--this can take several days.
  • Add scented oil and hand toss.  I have one called rose' that I like.  It also comes in a spray, and when I need to freshen it up, I simply need to pump a few sprays on it. NOTE:  Orris root powder, which acts as a fixative, dried bits of citrus fruit, or even bits of wood, like cedar, can be used.  There are also aroma therapy oils that can be used.  Use 1 Tablespoon orris root fixative per cup of dried rose petals, and 1/2 Tablespoon of other spices you may want to add.  You only need 4-5 few drops, or squirts  of the spray rose scented essential oil.
  • Toss the mixture and let sit in a tightly sealed jar for 5-6 weeks, in a dark area for best results.
  • Keep potpourri out of direct sunlight--this will fade it. To make sure I don't have any bug eggs in my mix, I put mine in the freezer for a couple weeks or so.  
ENJOY!   Easy and fun to make--and kids will want to help. The potpourri looks great packaged up in clear cellophane bags, tied with a pretty ribbon to give as gifts.  I always add a sprig of baby's breath and a single stem of a small dried rose when I tie it up--very pretty!

    Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

    Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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