Making Potpourri (Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-130)
Madeleine H. Siegler
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fragrances; eventually we may decide these are best left in the ice cream parlor or bakery. Potpourri must have one or more elements from each of the following fine categories to have a lasting fragrance. A — Fragrant Leaves and Flowers Roses Mint Lemon balm Lavender Scented geraniums Marjoram Rosemary Lemon verbena Thyme Bay leaves Costmary Sweet woodruff B — Spices and Seeds Allspice Anise Nutmeg Mace Cloves Star anise Coriander Cinnamon Cardamom Lemon peel
cellulose and oil for the fixed fragrance. In recipes calling for more than one oil, I recommend that you use separate jars. Measure the amount of cellulose needed into each jar, add the drops of oil, let each mellow overnight, then add to the botanicals. Category E — Dried Petals and Leaves While it is true that only roses and lavender flowers retain their scent after drying, most blossoms and many leaves are worth drying to add color and dimension to your potpourri. Some mixtures of
apples. With the following recipe you will capture all these memories. APPLE-SPICE POTPOURRI First prepare some apple slices. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of grated nutmeg onto a metal pie pan. Cut 1 large apple into quarters, remove core, slice into thin pieces. Now lay these pieces on the pie pan, sprinkle with more nutmeg and dry until leathery. Any source of low, dry heat will do: the mantel over a woodstove, the top of a radiator, or an oven preheated to 150° F, then the heat turned off.
strawberry-scented potpourri led me to do some testing many years ago to see if I could produce a good blend. The resulting fragrance proved popular. STRAWBERRY POTPOURRI 3 cups red rose petals 2 cups uva-ursi leaves 2 cups white amaranth flowers 1 cup 1-inch cinnamon stick 1 cup cellulose fiber mixed with 1 teaspoon strawberry oil Mix together all the dry material, add the treated cellulose fiber which has aged overnight. Shake thoroughly and let age at least a week with frequent
slip over a coat hanger. Use half a dozen in a closet, or one or two in your sweater drawer. These have been tested for many years. They remain effective as long as the scent is there, at least two years. Some New Potpourri Recipes All the recipes given so far are those I adapted from books in print for many years. There were no other learning resources available when I began making good scents from the plants in my herb gardens. Finally at a perfume workshop I learned the formula of top,