Learn how to make Potpourri for yourself or for gifts. You can make rose petal potpourri with dried flowers from your rose garden. You can make home made potpourri from flowers other than dried roses, but traditionally, roses are the main ingredient.
A French word, the term potpourri means "Rotten Pot" which comes from the original practice of placing rose petals in a container to ripen and age. When you learn to make potpourri, you'll discover that any roses can be used to make potpourri, but the fragrant ones are by far the best.
There are actually two methods used to make potpourri...
The Dry Method and The Moist Method Below you will learn the two methods of how to make potpourri: Keep reading to choose the best potpourri recipe for you.
Only thoroughly dried rose petals are used in this method. This potpourri is best used in sachets to perfume lingerie drawers, and displayed in glass bowls.
A rose sachet usually will last a couple of years, and the potpourri in glass bowls will last up to 10 years.
In late morning, gather fragrant roses. Break petals apart and spread on an elevated screen out of the sunlight but in a warm, dry place with plenty of air circulation. This drying process will take several days or even up to a week depending on the temperature and humidity.
Petals are thoroughly dry when they break if you try to bend them. If you are making a large quantity of potpourri, store dried petals in an airtight glass jar until you have an ample supply. Other flowers used in your potpourri recipes, should be dried in the same manner. Flower buds, and leaves should also be dried this way.
All ingredients for making potpourri with the Dry Method have to be completely dry! Mix your dried petals with dried herbs or spices, and add other dried flowers, and leaves as well. You will make your own fragrance by the ingredients you choose.
Place several drops of aromatic oil on 2 ozs. of fixative such as orris root or benzoin, and gently stir with a wooden spoon.
Store mixture in a dark, cool place, with an airtight lid. Stir or shake often to blend the ingredients.
Test periodically by smelling the mix. At first it will smell harsh, but this is normal...do not add other fragrances at this point. After the aging process of 3-12 weeks, your mixture will have a pleasant scent and be ready for use.
Keep the potpourri in a covered glass container, removing the cover when you wish to add scent to the room.
Below is an old method used in the nineteenth century:
This method for how to make potpourri,calls for rose petals that are limp and not completely dry. After mixing the flower petals with dried herbs and spices of your choice, you then place a 2 inch layer of the mixture into a glass or ceramic bowl. Add a thin layer of salt (Non-iodized), and 2 more inches of the flower mixture. Repeat until the bowl is full. Press the mixture down by putting a weight on it, and mix daily. It should take about 2 weeks for the mixture to be completely aged.
You Do Not need a fixative for this method. The salt takes care of this by absorbing moisture and retaining the scents.
When the mixture seems to lose some of its scent, revive it with a few drops of Brandy!
This Moist method, creates potpourri that might be less attractive to view, but the scent can last up to 50 years!
Use in decorative glass bowls.
Now that you know how to make potpourri....get busy saving those flowers for drying!