Capture Garden Scents: Cologne Potpourri (Dry)

Bring the delightful aromas of nature’s sweet scents indoors.


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Makes 16 cups
A toiletry recipe in The Young Housekeeper’s Friend, published in 1846, inspired this recipe.

  • 3 cups rose petals
  • 3 cups whole calendula flowers
  • 3 cups lavender flowers
  • 3 cups rose geranium leaves
  • 1 cup rosemary leaves
  • 3 cups shredded lemon, lime, orange, or tangerine peel
  • 1 cup powdered orris root
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon oil
  • 1 teaspoon lavender oil
  • 1 teaspoon bergamot or coriander seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon bay leaf oil
  1. Thoroughly dry all flowers, leaves and citrus peels in the shade and place them in a bowl. Mix gently but thoroughly and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, drip the oils over the powdered orris root. Mix well with a wooden spoon, so that the oils are thoroughly incorporated into the orris (separate any clumps that appear). Place the orris in a cloth bag and put the bag at the bottom of the large container in which you plan to cure the potpourri. Cover the orris bag with the dried flowers and leaves, close the container lid tightly, and cure, shaking or stirring daily.
  3. When it smells the way you like, decant the potpourri into its presentation container or containers (taking care to put a bag of the scented orris at the bottom of each container you are filling). You may decorate the potpourri with whole dried roses and dried bee balm flower heads.

Rand B. Lee is author of Pleasures of the Cottage Garden (Freidman/Fairfax, 1998) and President of the North American Cottage Garden Society and the North American Dianthus Society. He lives in Santa Fe with his blind husky-mix, Moon Pie.

Click here for the original article, Capture Garden Scents.