New Native Nation Potpourri

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Guest Essay

Potpourri With Herbs And Essential Oils
Sharon Hopkins

Potpourri is defined as mixture of dried flower, herbs, leaves,
roots, barks and spices providing fragrance. Placed either in
decorative wooden bowl, tied in small bags made from sheer
fabric or specially designed pot pourri vase, a potpourri can
last long if blended correctly. The word potpourri comes from
the French meaning "rotten pot".

Its uses are many. You can use it to perfume the air, keep it
in closets or drawers, make room decorations with attractive
baskets or bowls or make personal gifts to share it with family
and friends. Dry potpourri consists of dried, scented, crisp
materials concocted for fragrance as well as beauty.

The basics of potpourris are simple and few. Dried or fresh
sweet-smelling plant materials, other aromatic ingredients like
whole spices, bits of citrus peels or shavings of pleasant smell
wood chips; essential oils and fixative which combines with the
essential oils to preserve their fragrance. Aromatic plant
materials include rose petals, marigold flowers, foliage,
lavender, mints, and fragrant herbs of all kinds. Fixatives fix
the aroma i.e. they make the scent or fragrance last longer.
They come in dried, powdered or liquid form. Common fixatives
are orris root; oak moss, cellulose, and benzoin.

The best herbs for potpourri are lavender, scented geranium
leaves, lemon verbena, lemon balm, and mints. Dry them, and
then make your own mix. Sprinkle with essential oils to extend
the life of the potpourri. By adding a little of this and that
you become familiar with the process and begin to creating your
own blends.

Choose from variety of themes such as - woody, floral, spicy,
fruity or citrus for making a potpourri. Assemble and blend
your flowers, herbs, leaves, etc accordingly. Mix the fixative
with the spices and sprinkle few drops essential oil for
fragrance. Blend well, seal and store in warm dry dark for
place for a month or so. Choose pretty containers, jars and
bowls, to display.

Below are few common potpourri recipes that any amateur can
start with -

Basic Rose Potpourri - Blend 1 tsp of rose essential oil to 3
tbsp coarse ground orris root and let it sit for a few days. If
you add 2 tbsp each of ground cloves and cinnamon, the blend
will emit a spicy fragrance. 2 cups lavender and ¼ cup ground
tonka bean exudes a sweet floral scent. For a musky scent, add
1 cup patchouli leaves and ½ cup sandalwood and vetiver root.
For a fruity fragrance, 1 cup each of dried citrus peel, rose,
lemon scented geranium leaves works wonders.

Balsam Fir Potpourri – Blend 1 cup balsam needles, ¾ cup sweet
woodruff leaves, 1 cup dried violet blossoms, 1 cup lavender, 2
tbsp salt, ¼ cup bee balm blossoms and 1 oz balsam Peru
tincture. Shake the mixture occasionally and let it age for a
month or so.

To make potpourri as Xmas gift – mix 1 cup each of whole
allspice, star anise, ginger root, and sassafras bark, 2 cups
each of orange peel, lemon verbena leaves, and rose buds and
petals and 30 drops allspice oil. Seal and let set to "cure",
shaking occasionally.

For Citrus Blend - 4 cups lemon verbena leaves, 2 cups lemon
balm leaves, 2 cups orange mint, 2 cups lemon, lime or orange
scented geranium leaves, 1 cup apple mint, 4 cups ground citrus
peel, 4 cups marigold or calendula petals, 2 cups orris root,
mixed with 1 tbsp orange oil and 1 tbsp lemon oil. Seal and let
it set with occasional shaking.

About The Author: Sharon Hopkins manages Read aromatherapy recipes and
blends for skincare, beauty, emotional and physical well being.
You will also find information on how make potpourri with herbs
& essential oils for spreading fragrance.

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