Combine the clean fresh scent of lavender with zesty invigorating lime in a pretty botanical potpourri. Potpourri making is not difficult or time consuming, so why not give it a go? Potential ingredients can often be found in your garden, store cupboard or local shop. If you grow lavender or other herbs in your garden, why not harvest your own? I’ve included a few variations according to personal taste and availability.
1. Peel the limes and slice. Put in a conventional oven on minimum (about 30degC) overnight to dry out, or leave in the airing cupboard for a few days.
2. Place the alder cones in a plastic bag or tupperware, add a few drops of fragrance oil and shake to coat. Leave for a few hours to permeate.
3. Mix the dried limes, lavender, ginger and cones in a bowl and decorate with the pretty hydrangea petals.
[Avoid contact with polished, painted or synthetic surfaces and textiles].
This recipe makes enough potpourri for one medium bowl. The combination of the clean lavender with uplifting reviving lime would be perfect in a bathroom or kitchen. I would not use it in the bedroom as any relaxing properties of the lavender may be overshadowed by the invigorating lime!
Potpourri making is historically about using what you have to hand, so if you prefer to substitute the limes for oranges or lemons, or even pink grapefruit or mandarin, then give it a try. Fragrance oils to match all of these are readily available, and any would make a good kitchen fragrance. Ready-dried citrus fruits can be purchased online, but drying your own is inexpensive. I used hydrangea petals to decorate, but you could replace with pressed or dried flowers, or herb leaves such as bay, lemon verbena, or geranium from your own garden.
Traditionalists may prefer to substitute natural essential oils for fragrance oils. In this case the lavender, ground spice and cones should be sealed in the tupperware with the essential oil in a warm dark place for up to six weeks – the results may be more subdued visually, but the fragrance should be superior. If omitting the ground spice then orris root powder would help to fix the oil and prevent it evaporating away too quickly. The remaining ingredients would then be added to the potpourri at the end to prevent deterioration.