Pot-pourri looks great as a decoration and adds a beautiful scent to a room but it is only spotted flower petals. Why buy it when you can make it yourself as a gift to someone else or for your own home.
Spread the pets of about 3 dozen roses out on paper and leave them to dry indoors in a warm but airy place.
Turn them frequently and leave until almost as dry as paper. Pick and dry separately each other decorated flowers and leaves from the garden. Use up to a handful of each. A small proportion of brightly colored petals from unscented flowers may also be included to improve the appearance of the finished pot-pourri. Some people like to include some angelica (wash off the sugar before slicing and drying it) and a few pieces of very thinly peeled orange or lemon rind.
Put the dried rose petals into a pottery or glass container that has a well-fitting lid, allowing for each hand of roses a smaller useful of common salt (about 4 oz. In all). Cover and leave for 5 days, stirring twice daily.
Meanwhile buy or prepare the following ingredients:
4 oz. powdered orris root
1 oz. coriander seed
1 oz. grated nutmeg
1 oz. whole cloves
2-3 sticks of cinnamon
1/2 oz. oil of geranium (optional)
1/2 oz. oil of lavender (optional)
The oils can be expensive and may if necessary be omitted. Allspice, mace and musk are other ingredients that are sometimes used.
At the end of the 5 days combine the rose petals and salt with the other dried flowers and leaves. If the oils are used, mix them with some of the orris root, then combine this with the rest of the orris and the other spices, etc. Add to the dried flowers stirring all well together, cover and leave for 3-4 weeks stirring the mixture occasionally. If it sees too moist, add more orris – if too dry, more salt. Extra flowers or leaves may be added from time to time, as available, but they should always be well discharged.
Put the pot-pourri into small bowls or saches, as desired. If it is kept in bowls, stir it from time to time, to release the scent.