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Homemade Potpourri Recipes

If you're the crafty type or like to make handmade gifts, you may be interested in homemade potpourri recipes. What's really nice about it is, you can use flowers and herbs from your own garden and even just jars from the dollar store to keep them in. It's a great way to "recycle" your garden and bring it inside, or even share it with a friend. Makes economical gifts your friends will be thrilled to receive, too.

Homemade potpourri

Homemade potpourri

Common Ingredients You Probably Have At Home

There are many common household items you can use for homemade potpourri recipes, too. Things like cinnamon, juniper bark and citrus fruit peels. Naturally fragrant items mingle together creating scents that are woodsy, spicy and even exotic.

The list below is by no means complete. We're just trying to get the creative juices flowing with a shove in the right direction. You'll probably look around and find some of your own ingredients for use.

So here's the list of possible ingredients for homemade potpourri recipes. Whatever you don't have at home, you can pick up at the grocery, the garden store or get more information on the ingredients and fixatives

Herbs and Spices Good for Potpourri

  • Allspice
  • Bayleaf
  • Cardamom
  • Caraway Seed
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coriander
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Mace
  • Marjoram
  • Nutmeg
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme


  • Gardenia
  • Geranium
  • Honeysuckle
  • Hyacinth
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Lilac
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Marigold
  • Orange Blossom
  • Sweet Pea
  • Violet
  • and, of course . . . Roses


  • Orange peel
  • lemon peel
  • lime peel

Wood Shavings

  • Cedar
  • Cypress
  • Juniper

Fixatives (prevents evaporation of fragrance)

Ambrette, Asafetida, Balsam Peru, Balsam Tolu, Cedarwood, Gum Mastic, Orris Root, Patchouli, Sage, Storax, Sandalwood, Sumbul, Vetiver

Homemade Potpourri Recipes

  • General proportion of ingredients: 1 ½ quart / ½ quart / 1 oz
  • Lemon Verbena, Lavender / Rose Geranium / Clary Sage
  • Honeysuckle / Sandalwood / Balsam Tolu or Gum Mastic
  • Rose / Rose Leaves / Vetiver
  • Lavender / Any scented botanical / Gum Mastic
  • Lavender and Clove / Vanilla / Orris Root
  • Clove / Orange Flower, Lemon Peel, Cassia, Rose Leaves / Orris Root

Tips for Using Homemade Potpourri Recipes and General Instructions

Dry flowers and herbs before use.

Methods of drying:

  • Tie bunches with ordinary string and hang upside down in a warm, dry place. Near a stove or in a closet, works well.
  • Or, drape a length of cheesecloth between two chairs and cover with pedals, adding another layer of cheesecloth on top.
  • This will allow the flowers to get air circulation above and below, helping them to dry more quickly.
  • Or, scatter on a cookie sheet lined with cheesecloth and dry in the oven set on the lowest temperature with door open.

The slower your dry your petals, the more supple they will be: fast drying makes petals brittle. Read here for more information on drying roses

Cleaning herbs - After picking herbs, rinse lightly with water to cleanse. Too much water will drown them.

A note on roses - Damask roses are the most fragrant, but if your blooms aren't excessively fragrant, add a touch of rose oil.

Don't use toxic sources. Only use ingredients that have not been treated with insecticide or fungicide. Their toxicity can effect you.

Don't use metal bowls or utensils for handling potpourri, except for the knife to cut them. Use wood or plastic to stir, baskets, enamel or ceramic to carry and mix.

Mix powder or crushed spice in a separate bowl before adding to mixture. Mix oils separately as well.

Add the spices to the mix, then the oils.

Once mixed, pour mixture into a large glass jar, store sealed in a cool dark place for a couple of months. Occasionally remove the jar and shake to blend.

Collect flowers on a dry day or at least 1-2 days after it has rained. The best time is in the morning after the dew has dried but before the sun is high enough to have dried out the flowers' oils, about 8-10 am.

Collect 3 times as many flowers as you think you will need because their weight decreases by 2/3.

For roses, cut off the little white area at the base of each petal (if you want the color to be uniform).

For annual flowers, cut to the ground, for perennials, cut half way down. Pick off bad leaves and rinse lightly to remove dirt.

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