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Making potpourri is simple, but I know from experience it can be overwhelming if you start with a batch of something that has 20 ingredients! It's better to start very simple and get the hang of it. After you try a few basic recipes then you can add a couple more ingredients and get a feel for the fragrance that suits you.
You will recognize most of the ingredients, but orris root and gum benzoin may not be as familiar. Orris root is a dried ground rizome from a variety of Iris. Gum benzoin is a nontoxic resin. Both are inexpensive and go a long way. I buy mine from Glenbrook Farm Herbs
Simple Rose Potpourri
You will need:
1 quart rose petals
3 tablespoons ground orris root
8 drops rose essential oil
Place in a covered plastic container for 3-4 weeks, stirring occasionally. If the scent does not seem strong enough you may add more oil. You can also substitute dried lavender blooms and lavender essential oil. Store in a pretty jar or use as you would other potpourri.
A Classic Potpourri
You will need:
1 pint each dried peppermint, thyme and lavender
1 tablespoon of crushed spiced (cloves, coriander and nutmeg)
2 tablespoons crushed caraway seed
1 tablespoon crushed gum benzoin
This traditional recipe calls for mixing the items in a crock- filling about 2/3 full and covering it for 6 weeks to blend; stirring or shaking occasionally. I happen to have two medium sized crocks, but if you don't have one you can use a ceramic container. After 6 weeks you can divide into jars for gifts. As it ages it will mellow.