Home and Garden Ideas: Fragrances for the Home: Pomanders and Potpourri

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2 months ago

In the classic movie "The Wizard of Oz", the good witch Glenda tells Dorothy to click her heels and say the words: "There's no place like home". Of course, as lovely as the land of Oz was, Dorothy missed her family and friends and yearned to go home. But do you ever wonder if Dorothy's memories of her humble home in Kansas included certain smells or scents?

HOME SWEET HOME. Home is often sweet because of the wonderful pleasant fragrances associated with it. In many instances, those smells come from pomanders and potpourri. Memories of my childhood home definitely include smells and scents created by my mom; especially during the winter holiday season.

What’s the potpourri story? “Pot” in French means pot. “Pourri” means rotten. Yet that word ended up becoming the word used to refer to dried scented plant material used to perfume rooms. (The Potpourri Story)

Pomander comes from the French word “pomamber” and from Old French, “pomme d’embre” (apple of amber). Pomanders started out as small cloth bags that people either wore to hide body odor or hung in a room to mask unpleasant smells. It was also carried around as protection against infections. Although Oscar Wilde, author of “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (quote below), wrote that a pomander could be used for poisoning, most people did not use it that way.

“The Renaissance knew of strange manners of poisoning — poisoning by a helmet and a lighted torch, by an embroidered glove and a jewelled fan, by a gilded pomander and by an amber chain. …”

The cloth bags are still around, though people generally don’t wear them anymore. ( — Too obvious?) Nowadays it is very common to find a non-cloth or lightweight metal or ceramic pomander holding fragrant blossoms, herbs, spices, etc., in private homes and public buildings; particularly, in restrooms. These containers can be very beautiful. Much like paperweights, one could consider them as precious objets d’art (objects of art).

You can buy a potpourri mix OR it can be very enjoyable to create your own potpourri scent fillers (dried rose petals, jasmine, lavender, eucalyptus, and various other aromatics) and place these containers in different places throughout your home. Do you?

  • Do you have a favorite pomander that holds your dried scented flowers and herbs?

  • Do you have a favorite combination of scents you use in your home?

  • Do you think a pomander or potpourri (or both) is a good idea for a white elephant (Secret Santa) gift or any kind of gift?


Don't Toss Those Flowers! How to Make Homemade Potpourri | PopSugar

Nine Best Flowers and Herbs for Pomanders | Den Garden

How Do Nostalgic Scents Get Woven Into Long-Term Memories? | Psychology Today

Thanks for reading.

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Avatar for cmoneyspinner
2 months ago