Nothing gives the sense of warmth and love quite like the scent of roses wafting through the air. Summer is a great time to fill the house roses, but you don't have to let the fragrance of roses fade away as summer ends. Rose potpourri is easy to make and will preserve the beauty and aroma of summer all year long.
Gather rose petals when they are at their peak in fragrance. Roses are most fragrant when they are about 1/2 way open. Early morning is the best time to pick roses as their fragrance has not had time to dissipate in the hot afternoon sun.
Choose red roses for a deep Burgundy colour when they are dried. Pink and white roses will turn brown and are less attractive if you wish to display the finished potpourri. If you intend to fill sachets or the rose petals will be concealed by the container, by all means use any colour rose that has a strong fragrance.
Dry the rose petals on a screen. When they are dry they should be brittle and no longer leathery. If you wish to add whole roses to your potpourri, simply gather a small bouquet, secure them with a rubber band and hang up-side-down in a dry well ventilated area until they are no longer soft and pliable.
Mix the dried rose petals with a fixative in a bowl. You can use dried lavender, sandalwood or orris root as a fixative. Orris root is available in chemists and sandalwood or dried lavender is available in many herb shops. You will need one tablespoon of fixative to every quart of dried rose petals.
Add scents that will complement the scent of roses, if you prefer. Some good choices are vanilla beans, citrus peels or cloves.
Add a few drops of rose scented essential oil to enhance the natural rose oils in your potpourri.
Place the potpourri mixture in a sealed jar and shake to mix well. Let the potpourri set for 10 days to allow the scents to blend and settle. Shake every other day to distribute scent throughout the mixture.
Use potpourri in a bowl to create a warm and inviting scent or fill sachets and tuck them into drawers or closets to keep your clothes fresh and aromatic.
Remember that rose petal will shrink as they dry. Always pick more than you think you will need.