Here's how to make orange pomanders, which will fresh your closets and home—and also make a lovely holiday ornament for friends, family, and work colleagues.
Medieval herbalists used pomanders – mixtures of fragrant, dried herbs in cloth bags or perforated boxes – to ward off illness or bring strength and good fortune.
- To make pomanders to freshen a winter-weary house, take firm oranges and stud them with whole cloves.
- Be creative and arrange the cloves in diamond, circular, or other patterns. As the orange dries, it will release a delicate, spicy fragrance.
- For a stronger aroma, cover the entire orange with cloves, and then roll in a mixture of spices: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg, 1 tablespoon allspice, ¼ cup powdered orrisroot. Leave the orange in the mix for a week, turning once a day.
- To hang your pomander, thread a large needle with string and run it through the orange; make a knot at the bottom and a loop at the top.
- Or, you can tie red ribbon around your pomander for a festive look!
Illustration by Margo Letourneau