Monday, February 18, 2013

Guest Post | April @ Sabbatical Soapbox

Make Your Own Potpourri!
Hello! I am April from and I was given the wonderful opportunity to provide a post for you all! I am part owner of Sabbatical Soaps, a sulfate and chemical free soap company I started with my husband. My goal is to chronicle my research into practices both mainstream and holistic in my quest for health. My blog primarily focuses on holistic health issues as well as do-it-yourself natural bath and body products.

Spring will be upon us soon and I cannot wait to start growing a small herb garden that I can use for tinctures and salves! Also, with the ushering in of spring is the abundance of beautiful and fragrant flowers! This got me thinking about potpourri; with the addition of diffusers and wax warmers natural smells originating from organic materials has become kind of a lost art. I also know people who have difficulties tolerating the strong, artificial smell of these scents which makes potpourri a less offensive way to freshen up the home!
If you are a gardener, even of a small garden, you can make a wonderful potpourri mixture to provide a natural, clean scent to your home. Another nice part about making your own potpourri is that you can mix and match different colors and scents depending on the season, what you are growing and what kind of atmosphere you want to conjure within your home.
How to Use Potpourri--
The main use of potpourri is to put the mixture in decorative bowls that are placed around your home. You can easily find beautiful bowls at your local thrift, crafting or antique store. But most likely you already have some pretty bowls you've always wanted to put out anyway!
You can place potpourri in fabric bags (sachets) and put them in drawers and closets to scent clothing instead of spraying Febreeze which is full of chemicals. You can put them in storage boxes, chests, in your car, or hang them on doorknobs to create pleasant aromas.
You will want to squeeze them occasionally to release the scent. You can purchase muslin or cotton sachet bags online or at your local craft store. After spending the time making the potpourri mixture it will last a very long time and you can utilize all the gorgeous blooms and herbs you grow during the springtime!
How to Make a Potpourri Mixture--
1. You will need a large wooden, glass or ceramic bowl with a wide neck for mixing and stirring the dried ingredients with a spoon. Rub a few drops of clove essential oil into your hands.
2. Rub the bowl with the aromatic oil until it is smeared all around it. Other great essential oil choices would be geranium, rosemary, lavender, or orange. Bottom note oils work best because they provide the most lasting scent since this oil will be your base.
3. A typical potpourri mixture consists of roughly 4 parts rose petals, 1 part mixed scented flowers, 1 part aromatic leaves, 1/4 part calendula petals, and 1/2 part sweet herb.
4. Start mixing dried flowers, leaves including your sweet herbs which might be peppermint or marjoram. Make sure to store your ingredients in an airtight container before use.
5. Using a mortar and pestle grind up an assortment of spices such as: ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, mace, allspice, or cloves.
6. Stir all your ingredients together to create an interesting blend of shapes, colors and scents.
7. Add a few drops of rosemary, basil, or lavender and give a good final stir, checking that the scent is spicy, flowery or fruity enough.
8. Spoon the finished potpourri into a jar with a tight stopper and leave for about six weeks to develop and mature. Stir every few days with a wooden spoon.
9. When ready to use, put your potpourri into a bowl or container with perforations that allow the aroma to escape. You can buy revival essential oils if the scent begins to fade after about a year.
They say fragrant oil, but they're actually essential oils - hence the "E".
~By adding a little powdered orris root, it helps preserve the fragrance for many years!
~It is important to mix some colorful petals that don't lose their color. Calendula flowers are perfect for this, as are borage flowers, nasturtiums, pansies, jasmine, and delphiniums.
~Dry your flowers and herbs in bunches hanging upside down in a dark, cool place that has access to a breeze. When drying rose petals, remove from the plant, and dry individually on a porous surface, such as mosquito netting or the like is a single layer out of the sun.
~Most important of all is to have fun and be creative! You can't go wrong mixing fragrances that you like!
Potpourri Recipes--
Spring Fresh:
Got Valentine's Day flowers? Dry the flowers and make a potpourri to last long after Valentine's Day is over!
2 cups pink rose petals
2 cups pink carnation petals
1/2 cup orris root powder
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 whole cinnamon stick (break into smaller pieces)
12 cloves
5 drops essential oil of roses
Lavender Love:
2 cups lavender flowers, dried
1 1/2 Tablespoons dried thyme
1 1/2 Tablespoon dried mint
1 1/2 Tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 Tablespoon ground cloves
1 Tablespoon ground caraway seeds
2 Tablespoons orris root powder
3 drops lavender oil
I hope that you all enjoy creating your own potpourri concoctions this spring! It is a wonderful creative outlet that lasts and is a sustainable way to use all the great blooms that you enjoy!
For more holistic health information and DIY projects head over to my blog or Etsy store!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hosting me Helen! Hope you are enjoying all your family time!


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