Floral Potpourri: A Decorative Element That Smells Great

In this article, we'll discover the characteristics of floral potpourri. We'll also learn where to place it, how to make it and why it's a great air freshener.
Floral Potpourri: A Decorative Element That Smells Great

Last update: 07 February, 2022

Floral potpourri is an aromatic mixture made from dried flowers and other plant elements mixed with perfumes and oils. It’s a brilliant air freshener and it also decorates any room in the home.

Potpourri, a word of French origin, consists of some basic elements: whole flowers, petals, leaves or buds, aromatic or essential oils, aromatic herbs, and a fixative to make the aroma last longer.

Traditionally, it was made from roses. However, today any flowers can be used, from the coarsest to the most exotic. The rose has given way to other species such as the marigold, the carnation, or the azalea, among others.

Floral potpourri: infinite presentations

Scented potpourri.

After the flowers have been dried, potpourri can be presented in different ways. When you put them in cloth or cellophane bags they become brilliant closet fresheners.

But you can also place it in ceramic or terracotta bowls and plates, glass vases, wooden containers, shells, boxes…the options are endless. When you do this, in addition to releasing the fragrance, it’ll become a beautiful decorative object.

Keep in mind that when choosing potpourri, you have to think about matching the colors with your decor. The choice is yours and it’s very personal, although the color should harmonize with the rest of your room.

You already know that certain colors awaken certain moods, or are associated with specific times of the year. This is also the case with using the color red at Christmas, so keep that in mind when choosing your potpourri.

Floral potpourri: shapes, textures and fragrances

Bowl with flower potpourri.

As well as color, you also have to think about the shapes of the flowers or plant elements of the potpourri. Nature offers a wide variety: from the round shapes of carnations, peonies, camellias or roses, to the more sculptural tulips or lilies.

You can even play with flower combinations for different shapes, sizes and textures to achieve surprising results. We recommend using prickly thistles with rose petals. This is a great combination.

Keep in mind that the aroma of potpourri is produced by a combination of elements that are used in its composition. Note that, in some cases, the aroma is lost during the drying process, although there are varieties such as aromatic herbs or roses that maintain it.

To enhance or improve the smell, it’s advisable to use drops of essential or aromatic oils in limited doses. A fixative in liquid or powder form (such as Florence lily root) will also help to maintain the intensity of the aroma for longer.

Floral potpourri: special oils

Potpourri with a candle.

What oils are the best for using on potpourri? The oils that provide fragrance for this type of floral element can be divided into two groups: essential oils and fragrance oils.

Essential oils:

These are extracted directly from the flower or plant by using a steam distillation process. The oils that are most commonly used in potpourris are lavender, lemon verbena, gardenia, eucalyptus, rose, and citronella.

Keep in mind that they’re highly concentrated, so you should use them in small amounts. As a guide, up to 15 drops can be used for each cup of potpourri.

Take your time to choose the right essential oil since it’ll play a very important role in your home.

Fragrance oils:

Do you like the perfume of certain plants and flowers? Well, these oils mimic aroma. They’re manufactured in laboratories from certain combinations and there are countless varieties.

Floral potpourri: how to make potpourri with roses

How to make rose flower potpourri

Let’s get creative! Follow these four steps to make a potpourri bag with roses. It’s very simple:

  1. In a tray, separate some rose petals from the leaves, add cinnamon sticks and let the combination dry in a sunny place for about two or three days.
  2. After it has dried, add an essence of roses and cinnamon powder. Mix all the elements well in a deep container.
  3. Put the potpourri in an airtight container, close it and leave it for about two weeks. During this time, stir it each day so that the smells permeate each other.
  4. Take a decorative cloth bag and fill it with the potpourri, without making it too compact. Securely close it, knotting it with a satin ribbon. If you want to, decorate it with a dry rose as this will give it a vintage touch.

Keep in mind, that in order for the potpourri to remain in an optimal condition for longer, you must avoid exposing it to direct sunlight. Otherwise, the roses, petals, and leaves will lose their color more quickly.

And lastly, don’t forget to add a few drops of essential oil every three or four months! By doing this, your rose potpourri will retain its fragrance for longer.