How-to: Rose petal potpourri

At the beginning of the year, I turned my Valentine’s roses into potpourri.

It’s no secret that roses are my favorite flower. I normally dry the flowers my husband gives me, but with a new baby in the house, I was too distracted to do it and they started drooping and dropping petals before I had a chance to hang them for drying. So they became potpourri instead, and the process was really simple.

I did some reading online about potpourris, and learned that they’re best with a fixative. Everywhere suggested using orris root powder as a fixative. I spent the whole time thinking, what the devil is an orris?
Turns out they mean iris root. I know what irises are, but I don’t have any and I couldn’t find anywhere to buy powdered iris bulbs, so I used the next best thing: Lavender.

So, here’s the basic rundown!

Supplies needed:

Paper towels
Rose oil
Dried lavender
Container with lid, large enough to hold all the petals

I got the rose oil and lavender at Michaels. They’re kept with the candle and soapmaking supplies. I used coupons, so it cost me under $5 for both.

Step 1.
Once your roses are all wilted and dead-looking, gently pluck all the petals off and lay them on the paper towels to dry. Depending on where you live, it may only take a few days or it could take a week. Either way, make sure they’re all nice and crispy dry before moving on. Be sure to stir them every day so that the petals on the bottom have a chance to air out and dry thoroughly.

Step 2.
Dump all your dried, crispy rose petals into a container. I used a mixing bowl with a lid. Add some dried lavender. I read that a tablespoon was plenty, but I didn’t feel like measuring, so I just dumped in about a quarter of the package. The purpose of the fixative, by the way, is to absorb any unpleasant odors the other contents might put off. Rose petals get a funny smell to them when they dry, sometimes, especially store-bought roses. The fixatives also hold the added fragrance longer.

Step 3.
Add a few drops of rose scented oil to the container. I used about 10 drops, when ended up being WAY more than was necessary, making my potpourri very strong. I’d suggest using about 5 or 6 drops instead. Once that’s added, put the lid on, shake it up, and put it away! You’ll want it to sit and soak up the fragrance for a few days, so keep the lid on and store it in a cool, dark place for about a week.

Step 4.
Put it out in a container in your house and enjoy your work! The fragrance should last for a few weeks. Heat makes the fragrance stronger, so if you put it near a heat vent, your house will smell fantastic through the chilliest weeks of winter.

As an afterword, be sure to keep your bottle of rose oil in a cool, dark storage place to keep it from weakening. Whenever your potpourri begins to lose its scent, just add a few more drops of oil to freshen it up!

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