Potpourri from beach roses

Beach rosesThe island I live on is covered in beach roses, lupine and dame rocket and I make use of these fragrant blooms by making “moist method” potpourri.

This is what you will need:

  • as many blossoms from fragrant flowers as you can find
  • a crock or other nonporous container
  • noniodized salt
  • a plate or other nonporous item you can use to press down the potpourri
  • orris root or some other fixative (such as gum benzoin)

To start, pick the petals from the fragrant flowers of your choice (I use beach roses) and spread them out to dry for 2 or 3 days or until they feel leathery.  Alternate layers of petals and salt in the crock until the crock is 3/4 full.  Put the plate on top of the salt/blossom mixture and weigh the plate down with something heavy.  Stir the salt/blossom mixture every day or two and make sure to break up any crust that may form.  Wait at least 2 weeks and stir in 1 teaspoon of orris root (or other fixative) for each cup of petals used.  Place the weighted plate back on top and allow the potpourri to sit for at least another 2 weeks (the longer it sits, the stronger the scent will be).  The potpourri will have a sharp (almost raw) scent at first but will mellow quickly. 

Place the potpourri in bowls or jars (traditionally potpourri was kept in ceramic jars with holes in the lid) and enjoy the scent of summer all year long!

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