Tag Archives: holiday decoration

Pomanders: Fermenting Decorative Potpourri Balls for the Holidays, or anytime

7 Dec

Historically, a pomander is a ball of scent, often worn on the body to guard against either foul smells or disease.  I imagine the popular Thieves Oil, which is supposed to be based on a recipe that grave robbers wore to protect themselves from the black plague, would likely have been worn by said thieves as a pomander.  orange-by-nicubunu

I grew up knowing and making pomanders as decorative pieces of fruit studded with cloves.  Flower pomanders (globe shaped bouquets, basically) are also a modern-day variation on the theme.



Take an apple or orange.  Push whole cloves into it in a pattern that suits you.  

You may want to wear a thimble because the cloves are sharp.  I have tough enough fingers, so I usually brave it out.  It can get a little uncomfortable by the end, but I’ve never broken my skin on a clove.  If you have more tender fingers, keep in mind that clove is both antiseptic and analgesic (wink).

 If you want to get fancier, tie a ribbon around the fruit to hang it up, or simply display in a bowl or dish.  Enjoy!

As the fruit decomposes, it perfumes the room with a lovely fragrence.  The pomanders I make tend to mold after a week or so as their fermenation sets in.  Of course, once they are moldy it’s time for the trash.   You can make them last for over a year, according to online sources, if you go through the proper curing process that includes a few extra herbs, sandalwood oil, a brown bag, and time. Of course, once they are cured, they are no longer fermenting, and therefore unsuitable for this blog!


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