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Orris root is what helps
Orris root is what helps preserve the orange and prevent it from rotting. You really have to use orris power for the pomander to last. I've had pomander balls last for 5 or 6 years with orris root (although the spicy orange scent is gone after a few months). I stud the cloves all around the orange but leave exact space for me to tie ribbon. Then I sew a tassel or other little ornaments (like bells) onto the bottom. They look really pretty and make lovely Christmas presents. I'm making them this year to give to friends.