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Simmer Potpourri



This is a simmer potpourri recipe to make your house smell wonderful. In a large pot of water, combine these ingredients and let it simmer on the stove top:

– Rind of one large orange (you can use lemon and limes too)

– 1/4 cup of cloves

– 1/4 cup of anise seeds

– 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks

– 3 or 4 bay leaves

You can adjust the amounts depending on your personal preference.

Be sure to use caution and keep an eye on the pot while the heat is on. The water will begin to evaporate as it simmers, make sure that the pot does not dry out You can add more water and let the potpourri continue to simmer for as long as you like.



Fragrant Decorating Idea – Bay Leaves


Calendula, also known as Pot Marigold, is a great addition to soap, bath, and beauty products like bath salts and body scrubs. In addition to moisturizing dry skin, it has antibacterial and antiseptic qualities and it helps wounds to heal by stimulating collagen. These qualities make it effective in balms and salves for rashes, irritated skin, and wounds. The bright golden petals also make great additions to fragrant potpourri blends displayed in decorative dishes and jars.



Fragrant Christmas Potpourri


You can spice up your home for the holidays with a beautiful and fragrant potpourri blend using dried apple slices, dried orange slices, and dried whole slit oranges combined with pinecones, cinnamon sticks, and whole anise stars.  The combined fragrance is perfect for Christmas. You can also add drops of Christmas fragrance oils like cinnamon, orange, apple, etc., You can add Christmas colors to your blend like red and green leaves and pods, for this blend I added cedar tips for a splash of green and red bakuli pods for a splash of red. There are many different types of colorful pods you can find at aromatherapy shops and crafts shops that sell potpourri ingredients.



Dried Rosehips


Rose hips are tiny fruit which contain the seeds of roses after the flowers have been fertilized. Once the roses have been fertilized and the petals fall off, little rose hips develop on the stems. The center of rose hips are filled with seeds, and when birds and other animals carry them off and break them open to eat them, the seeds get spread around, forming new rose plants.

Rose hips are usually bright red or orange. They are rich in Vitamin C and can be used to make jams and jellies, as well as sauces and syrups. They are also used to make tea.

When rose hips are dried, their color becomes a rich deep dark red. Dried rose hips are great for crafts and their deep rich color makes them a great addition to country primitive style crafts. They’re a staple for country primitive fixins, especially when they’re combined with cinnamon sticks and other rustic spices and pods, cones, dried fruit peels and slices. They look great when they’re placed around candles and other country primitive displays.



Rose hips give a wonderful rustic country look to any display even placed in a bowl by themselves, especially when they’re scented. In order to scent rose hips, place them in a container with an airtight lid and put enough fragrance oil so that the surface of the rosehips has a sheen. You don’t want to add too much fragrance oil so that the rosehips are moist and gloppy. Keep them in your container for a few weeks so that they will retain the scent. Shake the container around frequently so that the fragrance will disperse evenly. Since the surface of dried rose hips is not as porous as a fixative, they won’t actually absorb the oil as well as fixatives do, but they do retain scent well, so don’t worry if your rosehips have a sheen on them.

For a lovely country primitive look, rose hips can be displayed in primitive jars, rusty tin bowls or plates, with bakery or grubby candles, muslin or dough ornies, berries, and a variety of rustic fragrant spices, acorns, pods, cones, dried fruit slices and peels.


Potpourri Ideas: Apple Potpourri


This apple potpourri is a fragrant blend perfect for Summer, Fall (omg is it almost here?), and Winter. You can make this beautiful potpourri blend with dried apple slices, dried bay leaves, pear pods, apple pods, twistie pods, and pine cones.  You can add apple fragrance oil to enhance the scent.

This blend also contains one of my favorite potpourri ingredients – cedar roses:



They are cones that are shaped like roses. These cute cones go perfectly not only in a rustic primitive potpourri blend but also a pretty flowery blend. They are actually the bottoms and insides of the cones of the Deodar Cedar tree. When the full cones fall off the trees they start to break down and what remains are these cute little rose shaped parts of the cones.
All of these ingredients are available in potpourri supply stores. You can even find some of them in health food stores and aromatherapy supply stores. You can find so many wonderful ingredients in these stores and you can work this blend according to your tastes and preferences, adding whatever ingredients and fragrances you fancy.



How to Make Fragrant Potpourri


Now that your summer flowers are blooming and your herbs are bushy, you can collect them, dry them and make wonderful potpourri blends out of them to enjoy long after the blooming season is over. If you’re not sure how to dry them, see our posts: How to Dry Flowers for Crafts, and How to Dry Herbs for Crafts. If you don’t want to dry herbs and flowers yourself, you can buy them at crafts stores, aromatherapy supply stores, potpourri supply stores, florists, and even some health food stores.

A potpourri blend consists of dried herbs/flowers, essential oils, and a fixative. You can also add pods, berries, spices, and dried fruit slices. What exactly is a fixative and why do you need it? Since you’re going to be adding essential oils to your potpourri, you don’t want the smell to evaporate quickly and that’s where a fixative comes in. It’s a porous substance that literally absorbs the essential oils and retains them and makes the smell last longer. Some of the most popular fixatives are orris root, vetiver root, calamus root, sandalwood bark, gum benzoin, vanilla pods, and oakmoss. Orris root comes powdered or chopped, if you’re going to display your potpourri I would recommend the chopped version because the powder is going to make your potpourri blend look crumbly, but if you’re going to put it in a sachet, use the powder. Some spices also make great fixatives like cinnamon sticks, nutmeg (whole and powdered) and allspice. A good rule of thumb is to use about 2 Tablespoons of fixative per 4 cups of dried flowers and herbs.

When preparing your blend, make sure that your flowers and herbs are completely dry because any moisture is going to cause your potpourri to become moldy.  Some flowers that dry well are: roses, yarrow, hydrangeas, marigolds/calendula, geraniums, strawflowers, artemisia, ameranths, baby’s breath and sunflowers. Herbs that dry well are: lemon balm, rosemary, lavender, mint, sage, chamomile, oregano, basil, thyme, and bay leaves. Dried fruit slices like apples and oranges will also add color and fragrance to your potpourri blends. You can dry them yourself or buy them from crafts stores and potpourri supply stores.

Dried flowers and herbs have different lovely shades of yellows, oranges, blues, reds, pinks, and whites, and you can make a beautiful and stunning display by choosing combinations that complement each other. If you want a rustic country display, you can add whole pods and spices to your blend. With your essential oils, you can add a single scent or even make a combination of your choice.

To make your potpourri, gather together all of your dried materials and fixatives and add 6 to 12 drops of your essential oil onto the fixative, depending on how strong you want the scent to be. Stir your blend gently trying not to bruise or crush the dried flowers and put your potpourri into a brown paper bag and store it in a cool dry place for a few weeks until the fragrance is absorbed well into your potpourri. Every few days shake the bag to evenly disperse the fragrance and check on how strong the scent is. Once you’re satisfied with the result, pour your finished potpourri into decorative jars, bowls, trays, or any display container of your choice and enjoy.



How to Dry Herbs for Crafts


Many herbs retain their beauty, color, fragrance, flavor, and beneficial properties even when they are dried. Not only are they used for food recipes, but they are also widely used for beauty recipes. They make wonderful additions to soap, bath salts, body scrubs, face masks, potpourri, sachets, and much more. They can be combined with dried flowers and dried fruit slices and peels to make truly beautiful and fragrant crafty creations.

Since most dried herbs retain their strong fragrances, they are used in aromatherapy as well. They also retain their vibrant color and they make great additions to potpourri blends, dried flower arrangements, wreaths, etc,

Herbs that dry well are Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Rosemary, Mint, Sage, Chamomile, Basil, Oregano, Thyme, and Bay Leaves. These herbs also retain their strong flavors so they are very good choices to dry not only for crafts but also for cooking.

You can buy dried herbs but the good news is that you can save money and dry them yourself if you have an herb garden. Just like drying flowers, there are several easy ways to dry herbs.

Visit these helpful links about drying your own herbs:



Fragrant Potpourri Idea: Citrus Potpourri


You can have a pretty citrus scented potpourri blend that is so naturally fragrant that it doesn’t even need added fragrance oil. For this blend you will need dried citrus slices (oranges, limes, and lemons). You can buy dried fruit slices from crafts stores but if you want to dry them yourself, click here to see how. You will also need dried citrus peel, this can also be purchased at crafts stores but you can also dry it yourself with these steps. What adds to the citrus scent and also adds a lovely green color to this blend is a wonderful lemon scented herb – Lemon Verbena. Just add dried Lemon Verbena leaves to your dried citrus slices and citrus peel. Make sure all your ingredients are thoroughly dried because if there is any moisture in them it will start to mold and ruin your potpourri. And just as an accent to add a little red color, I added some dried rosehips to the blend, but that is optional.

The combination of this blend creates a really nice citrus scent on it’s own but if you want to make it stronger you can add some citrus scented fragrance oil to it.



How to Dry Flowers for Crafts


The beauty of flowers can be preserved so that they can be enjoyed even after their “vase life” after they have been cut. Dried flower arrangements are just as beautiful and colorful as fresh ones, and they can also be used in a variety of creative fragrant crafts like potpourri, soap, bath and body recipes, pressed flower crafts, wreaths, nose gays, etc.,

Dried flowers can be purchased at craft stores and florists but it is also fun to dry them yourself. You can use fresh flowers from your garden or from a florists bouquet and experiment with different sizes and colors to create wonderful aromatic crafts.

There are several ways that you can dry your own flowers, you can choose the one that is best and easiest for you. Click the links below for detailed instructions and tips on drying flowers and getting the best out of them.




Drying your own flowers is a fun way to get creative and you don’t even need a large space. In the past, I had turned a hanging closet into a flower drying rack and it worked great. You can experiment with your flower choices and be creative and most importantly, have fun!



Drying Fruit Slices


Dried fruit slices and peels are a great way to give your home a country prim look and they provide a fun way for you to get crafty and creative. They are fragrant and can be added to potpourri blends, fixins blends, wreaths, swags, etc,. They also make pretty and fragrant gift package decorations and Christmas tree decorations. When they are placed around candles, especially bakery candles, they give a nice country prim look.

The pic above is of an prim apple fixins blend. It combines dried apple slices with fragrant spices like cinnamon sticks, allspice, and cloves. The look and smell is very seasonal and makes a great addition to country prim home decor.

The easiest way to dry fruit slices is to use a dehydrator. But if you do not have a dehydrator, you can use the standard oven method.

To dry apple slices using the oven method, core your apples and slice them about 1/4 inch thick. In order to prevent them from oxidizing and turning brown during the process, dip the slices into a solution of 2 cups lemon juice and 3 tablespoons salt. Make sure the slices are well soaked for about 15 minutes. After you remove them, pat them dry with paper towels and place them on cookie sheets and dry for about 6 hours at 150 degrees. Keep the oven door slightly ajar to ensure good air circulation. Turn the slices when they start to curl.

For oranges, slice them about 1/4 inch thick and gently squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible without squeezing and misshaping the slices. Then place the slices on a cookie sheet and dry for about 6 hours at 150 degrees. As with the apples, keep the oven door slightly ajar for air circulation.