Dried flowers as pot pourri ingredients
Dried flowers make the original natural pot pourri
Dried flowers have been used since Medieval times and before to bring a bit of perfume to what was, at the time, an often unhygenic and smelly world!
Dried flowers, in particular dried lavender, were used in Medieval times to freshen rooms and laundry. (Lavender is still used today in washing powder and home fragrance). Early makers of pot pourri would have used dried rose petals and buds to add a hint of luxury, and any other herbs or dried flowers from the garden might have been added for a pretty (looking and smelling) mix.
Dried flowers in pot pourri making: Tips
For pot pourri making, you need 3 or 4 components:
Pot pourri fragrance - blended essential oils
Fixative - ground spice or orris root powder to make the fragrance last*
*If you use fragrance oils instead of essential oils, the fixative can be omitted.
Toppers - optional decorative pieces to place on top
Traditional pot pourri making
In this method of pot pourri making, the dried flowers you are using as base ingredients are mixed together with a few drops of essential oil and a small amount of fixative such as orris root powder. Shake thoroughly to mix, and seal for about six weeks inside a tupperware box or plastic container. This allows the fragrance to develop. Store this in a warm dark place, shaking every couple of weeks.*
A simple pot pourri making recipe would use about 25% dried lavender by weight mixed with rose buds and rose petals, an orris root powder fixative, and rose and lavender essential oils.
Dried flower combinations for different parts of the house:
Nearly all traditional pot pourri making recipes include dried lavender. This is fragrant, plentiful and has a scent associated with cleanliness (in fact the name is derived from the latin for "To wash").
For the kitchen: Try adding dried herbs to a base of dried lavender, with lavender and rosemary essential oils.
For the bedroom: The traditional lavender/rose mix is great for bedrooms, as the lavender aids sleep while the rose element is for romance.
For the bathroom: Clean smelling dried lavender with dried citrus and orange and/or lemon oil - this one will also help wake you up in the morning!
The quick way - Modern pot pourri making
A modern short cut in pot pourri making is to omit the fixative and associated fixing or "developing" time and use fragrance oils instead of essential oils. Fragrance oils do not require a fixative as they have been designed to provide a good fragrance over a long period of time. If you are using this method, then just shake all your dried flowers / potpourri ingredients in a plastic bag with a few drops of oil and leave to stand for a few hours to permeate.*
"Toppers" in pot pourri making
Toppers are large decorative pieces for the top of your pot pourri. Toppers for pot pourri making can be pressed or dried flowers from your garden, or woven corn or wicker shapes. Our mini lavender bunches are one example.
*With all home-made and ready-made fragranced products, avoid contact with polished, painted and synthetic surfaces, keep out of reach of pets, test before contacting with textiles.