How to Make Potpourri With Rose Petals

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The variations of rose potpourri are almost endless.
The variations of rose potpourri are almost endless. (Image: jukurae/iStock/Getty Images)

Placing potpourri in decorative bowls around the house brings the sweet scent of summer inside all year long. Potpourri comes in a wide variety of colors and scents, but most are made with a rose-petal foundation scent, which is highlighted and modified with the addition of other flowers, herbs, spices and scented oils. Highly scented rose varieties, such as the French Rose, Damask Rose, Cabbage Rose, Sweetbrier and Apothecary's Rose, tend to hold onto their fragrance when dried.

Things You'll Need

  • Window screens or drying frames
  • Roses picked short of full bloom
  • Large container with airtight cover
  • 2 Cups dried rose petals
  • 1 Teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon broken cinnamon stick
  • 1 Teaspoon whole allspice, crushed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon mint leaves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon orris root
  • 1 Vanilla bean
  • Scissors
  • Spoon

Preparing the Rose Petals

Peal the petals from the rose bud and lay them individually on your screen or drying frame.

Place the screens in an airy place, away from the wind and out of the sun, and leave until the petals have dried. This could take several days, depending on the weather, the age of the flowers, and any dampness in your storage location.

Remove the rose petals from the drying frame once they are completely crisp and dry. Place them in an airtight container until you are ready to use them.

Making Simple Potpourri

Combine the dried rose petals, whole cloves, cinnamon stick, allspice, mint leaves and orris root in your container and stir.

Cut the vanilla bean into small pieces and mix into the other ingredients.

Secure the cover on your container and then store the potpourri in a cool, dry place.

Stir the potpourri mixture every few days, mixing well to blend all the scents. It will be ready to use in about 10 days.

Tips & Warnings

  • This potpourri recipe is more suited to decorative bowls than sachets.
  • Orris root is the best natural preservative for potpourri, but some people are allergic, so it should be handled with care. An alternative preservative is sweet woodruff.

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References

  • An Introduction to 21 Traditional Yankee Home Crafts; B.R. Radcliffe
  • American Country Christmas, Book Five; B.W. Kolb and S.S. Jernigan
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