Last Updated on February 22, 2023 by Tony Manhart
If you feel bad each time you toss a dried blossom, learn how to make potpourri from roses, and you’ll never have to throw away your favorite flowers!
A home filled with a luscious, but the gentle aroma from potpourri is comforting and inviting. We’re spoiled with all kinds of store-bought scented candles, perfumes, and synthetic room fragrances that we forget the best natural deodorizer.
Take on this short and easy project and come home to an ambrosial smell each day. Bonus: you get to cherish your dead flowers and the memories they come with as long as you want!
Potpourri combines dried flower petals and buds, spices, herbs, and other decoration items like wood chips. You can keep it in a ceramic or glass bowl, usually uncovered.
You can combine different types of flowers, as long as the scents can play along. While there are hundreds of recipes, the base is the same. Dried flowers, combined with suitable spice or essential oil and something to add texture.
Potpourri might be old-fashioned, but it’s a sustainable and eco-friendly way to diffuse fragrance into your home. The pungent smell of synthetic air fresheners can cause headaches. Potpourri’s aroma is more delicate and not as overwhelming.
History And Use of Potpourri From Roses
The name comes from the French word pot-pourri, which means a pot of something rotting. Since synthetic fragrances are a perk of the newer ages, people used potpourri as an air freshener in ancient times.
Some claims date the potpourri back to the 12th century. The servants would fill bowls with potpourri as soon as they finished cooking to disperse a pleasant aroma around the castle. Closets, baths, and large rooms were filled with bowls of potpourri. Sometimes they would scatter the mix on bedroom floors.
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How To Make Rose Potpourri
Make use of the rose bouquet you received recently of the prevailing roses in your garden. You can even ask your neighbors for a few buds – but make sure to share the recipe with them too! Let’s get down to the details.
- One dozen of scented roses
- 5-10 rosebuds
- A handful of cinnamon bark
- A handful of lavender stalks or a teaspoon of dried buds
- Teaspoon of cloves
- Orange or lemon peel
- Rose essential oil (optional)
- Wooden spoon
- Paper or cardboard
- 2 Large trays
- Glass or ceramic bowl (cover optional)
- Small mesh bag (optional)
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Instructions – Making The Potpourri From Roses
Start by pulling the petals from the roses, but keep the buds intact. We’re using them to add texture and get a more aesthetically pleasing end product.
Take the large trays and cover them with regular paper or cardboard. Don’t use waxed parchment paper or aluminum foil as they won’t absorb the moisture from the drying flowers.
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Place the rose petals on one tray and the buds and fruit peel on the other tray. If you’re using fresh lavender, put the lavender on the second tray. Make sure you distribute all the ingredients in a single layer.
Store the trays in a dry and dark place, preferably warm, for at least 2 to 3 days. Once you notice the edges of the petals have become brittle, it’s time to remove them.
Transfer the rose petals, buds, orange peel, cinnamon, lavender, and cloves to a deep bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Optionally, add a few drops of rose essential oil. Cinnamon, cloves, and lavender act as natural fixatives. With their help, your potpourri will stay fragrant longer.
Fill your bowls of choice with the potpourri. If you want to keep your wardrobe smelling delightful, fill up a small mesh bag. Attach the bag to the inside of your wardrobe door.
How To Dry Rose Petals For Potpourri
There are a few ways to dry your rose petals: natural air drying, baking, microwaving, and book pressing. Since we mentioned air drying above, we’ll focus on the other three methods.
Baking is the fastest way to dry your rose petals. Start by heating your oven to 175°F. Next, line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the petals in a single layer without touching each other. Dry for 10 to 20 minutes until the edges are crispy.
Microwaving kills off the rose’s smell, making it unsuitable for potpourri. Bookpressing takes a lot of time, but it’s a convenient solution for leftover petals. Choose heavy books with mate pages. Put each petal flat on a page, close it, and forget it for at least 2 weeks.
The Lifespan Of Potpourri From Roses
Potpourri can last for a few weeks up to a few years. The lifespan and fragrance intensity depends on the mixture and storage. Covered potpourri will stay aromatic longer. A good homemade potpourri keeps up to 4 months. After that, the smell diminishes, but you can still use it as decoration.
You can refresh the mixture by spraying it with vodka or rubbing alcohol. Adding a few drops of essential oil or fixative can recover the original scent of the potpourri.
How To Make Potpourri From Dead Roses
Don’t throw away your roses after you’ve deadheaded them. You can use the same recipe as we did with fresh roses. Plus, they’re already dried, cutting the preparation time.
Remove the petals and combine them with spices and herbs of your choice. Go for a more potent smell like vanilla. Add a few drops of essential oil, as dead roses tend to be less fragrant.
Optionally you can add Orris root as a fixative. It has an intense smell of pepper, raspberry, and chocolate. This is actually the dried root of the Iris flower!
Bottom Line: How To Make Potpourri From Roses At Home?
Potpourri is an excellent way to give your roses life after the end of the season. Maybe you want to preserve your bridal bouquet or ditch the artificial room deodorizers.
Dry your petals and combine them with spices, herbs, and a fixative to preserve the smell.
In ancient times people placed potpourri all over their homes, from bathrooms to closets. A mesh bag filled with potpourri in your wardrobe can even help you get rid of clothes moths!
Mary is a passionate gardener who loves spending her days getting her hands dirty and nurturing her plants. She‘s an avid reader of gardening magazines and is always looking for new ways to make her garden thrive. When not outside tending to her plants, Mary can be found inside reading up on the latest gardening trends, comparing notes with fellow gardeners, and finding the perfect pottery planter for her next planting project.