Winter Citrus Potpourri Mix


Make potpourri! I love the look and the fragrance of this citrus mix with the orange pomander centerpiece. It’s pretty and easy and it makes great gifts! I conjured up this potpourri mix utilizing what was available to me, so think creatively and adjust the recipe to suit what you can get your hands on where you are. I used oranges, lemons, limes, cinnamon sticks, hickory nuts, tufts of white pine, and pinecones. Using what you have makes the potpourri personal. I had an unexplainable surplus of cinnamon sticks in my pantry, so this put them to good use. (I’m often unexplainable.) The pine cones came from a huge bag I got from Georgia. She has tall pine trees all around her house. The pine cones represent my love for Georgia and the old farmhouse. The hickory nuts were picked up off our farm, and the white pine came from the cuttings that were made when my cousin trimmed up our Christmas tree for us after we dragged it off the hill–making each gift of potpourri a piece of our tree. And, this left me with only the cost of the fruit.

And by the time I made up a huge turkey-roaster size pan of potpourri, the cost of that fruit goes pretty far in making about a dozen gifts.

How to make Winter Citrus Potpourri:

whole cloves
cinnamon sticks
hickory nuts
pine cuttings
fragrance oil

(Quantity of each item is up to you! Make as little or as much as you want.)

Slice fruit thinly. Place in single layers on baking sheets. Poke cloves in orange slices if desired. Dry in a low oven (about 200 degrees) for several hours. (Watch fruit to make sure it doesn’t turn too brown.) Place in a large bowl or other container (such as a roasting pan if you’re making a large quantity) and add cinnamon sticks, hickory nuts, pine cuttings, and pinecones. Add a few drops of fragrance oil per cup of mix and toss. (For this mix, lemon oil or cinnamon oil works great.) Measure two cups mix per quart bag, placing one pinecone in each bag. Seal bags to allow fragrance to steep.

Poke cloves into whole oranges to make pomanders for potpourri centerpieces. For my gift bags, I’m packing the orange pomanders separately from the potpourri. Two cups mix makes a nice sized bowl or small platter of potpourri (as shown in photo at the top of this post) when you add a large pinecone and the orange pomander.

To present gifts, I’m placing them in these “ho ho ho” bags I got from the dollar store. (Twenty-five bags for a dollar! I love the dollar store!) I’m tying a cookie ornament to each bag.

Isn’t that fun?

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on December 17, 2008  

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  1. 12-17

    Oh I can almost smell that from here! I love potpourri, but never tried to make my own. This looks like so much fun to do! Your friends who get those are very lucky!

    About that cabin and outhouse photo.. first thing I thought of was “OMG that’s where Mary and Gideon hid out!” LOL


  2. 12-17

    What a wonderful gift idea!

  3. 12-17

    What a pretty gift. Lucky people to get that from you. You have been a very busy elf this year. Did you make your kids anything??? I have a teen. This will be the first year I did not make her anything. Yet. I still have time. lol. She is one of the few people in my life who likes my hand made gifts. :purr:

  4. 12-17

    This is a great idea that any of us could do anywhere.

  5. 12-17

    You are so creative.
    I may just have to go buy some oranges and limes!

  6. 12-17

    I love this idea! I was just about to head to the grocery store when I checked your blog. Now I’m going to get some citrus fruit and make this today! Thanks for the great idea!

  7. 12-17

    Lovely gift. Very creative. I think anyone would appreciated a thoughtful gift like this.


  8. 12-17

    Could you use Grapefruit? Not that I think my family will let me. For some reasons my whole family has been going crazy over grapefruit lately! We all eat at least one whole one a day! Guessing we need the vitamin c.

  9. 12-17

    That’s pretty, Suzanne, and a gift most people would love to receive. I bet you could add rose hips too, if you had them, and sprigs of rosemary (I think it has a nice pine-y scent).

    When I make pomander oranges, I attach some ribbon trim around the orange with straight pins. A few of the decorated, clove-spiked oranges in a bowl look so Christmas-y. Maybe it’s just my English-mother genes coming out.

  10. 12-17

    Re grapefruit, I’ve never tried that. If you try it, let me know how it works out!

  11. 12-17

    :mrgreen: Excellent idea! Now I’ll have to go pinecone hunting in the rain!! I do need a few more gifts, and this is really nice. Am I on your gift list, by the way??? LOL! P.S. Are you using essential oils, or a flavoring oil??? :treehugger:

  12. 12-17

    Essential oils!

  13. 12-17

    Fun? Yes!

    Love your homemade potpourri! It’s so pretty, too! I know what that stuff cost at the store and I never buy it because of it’s price and funky scents. yuck!

    I have an old crockpot that has a plastic lid. I drilled holes in the lid and now use it for simmering my Potpourri.

    During the holidays I fill it with water and add, orange, tangerine, clementine, grapefruit, lemon and apple peelings. I add to that…whole cloves, whole allspice and cinnamon sticks. As the liquid lowers I just add more water. Oh my! I love the Christmas scent that takes over the house.

    The ingrediants should be changed every few days.

    Tip *during the year when you eat fruit you can freeze the peelings therefore sealing in the oils that will release when heated in the simmering pot*

    Great gift idea, Suzanne. :yes:

  14. 12-17

    I have already started making my list for next Christmas. I really want to do a totally homemade Christmas next year so I better get going on some things now. I will definitely be putting this on the list. Great instructions! Thanks so much!

  15. 12-17

    This is fabulous, Suzanne. Hopefully I’ll feel more energetic next year and will again try some homemade gifts! :catmeow:

  16. 12-17

    How very awesome – you are inspiring Suzeanne!

  17. 12-17

    Uh, Suzanne, this is your long, long, lost great aunt Abiga/Karen twice removed, left abandoned once, found again but wandered away. When is my potpourri arriving? :lol: Blessings.

  18. 12-17


    My brain has grown tired of trying to think of unique teacher gifts. I love to present home made sugar cookies, but I am dreading the work–I’ll do marathon baking for the family, though.

    Your potpourri is just the ticket for the teachers this year!!

    Thank you soooo much! Your blog is awesome and an inspiration to me each morning!!

    Working hard at

  19. 12-17

    That is fun. We used to do the clove-covered orange pomander balls when I was a kid. I see you’ve just used a few placed around the orange. That’s a good thing because I just checked out the price of whole cloves at the grocery store. YIKES>

    Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

  20. 12-17

    Yes, the more traditional thing would be to completely cover the orange with cloves, but that would be more expensive plus a huge project, LOL.

  21. 12-17

    That is so pretty and festive. Add some candles and I see a beautiful centerpiece for my table

  22. 12-17

    :typing: That almost makes me want to make more Christmas prezzies! But I’m done, and time’s up. When my kids were growing up, we always did homemade gifts. It really does my heart good to see them continuing that tradition with the next generation rather than succumbing to the lure of commercialism.

  23. 12-17

    You really need to do “workshops”. You could charge a fee that would cover the “craft” & you could even include a light lunch or snack. Have 52 build you a building & you could have your “workshops” out there along with items that you might have for sale. I think people would travel to be able to enjoy & relax doing something they like. :treehugger:

  24. 12-17

    Brilliant Idea, you are a creative crafter, how pretty too. I envy the fact that you have a hickory tree on your property. My grandparents had one in their yard, years ago as a child, my cousin and I would gather them up bring them inside and crack them with the old cast irons, and nut pickers for getting the meat out. I searched online for hickory trees to find that it takes something like 25 to 30 years to produce the fruits from these trees. How lucky you are!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe, it really is pretty and I bet it smells splendid!

    Blessings, Mel

  25. 12-17

    Oh, my grandma makes potpourri and her ingredients are just about the same as the ones you use! :thumbsup:

  26. 12-17

    My mom used to make homemade potpurri and the pomanders as well! She would wrap a ribbon around the pomander so that it could be hung.

  27. 12-17

    So festive looking!

  28. 12-17

    I think because I’ve had allergies for so long that my smeller doesn’t work well anymore – I always buy a live tree and others say they smell it but I don’t :no:

  29. 12-17

    Suzanne, I love the Dollar Store too and all the Fred’s and Dollar Trees…LOL But, just don’t buy personal items there, such as toothpaste – they found things in it, like freon..make out of this country, if you get my drift. Knock -offs.
    What a neat idea!!!!!! Not only PRETTY but practical and frugal and wonderful smelling…I love that! :mrgreen:

  30. 12-18

    I can’t wait to try t his. I am going completely organic next season and I am anxious to start on new things. Thanks Suzanne ;)

  31. 12-27

    At midnight and unable to sleep, I came in here to search the net again for (whatever). Decided to try my luck at Citrus Potpourri for some reason and read many links & instructions before yours. However, your instructions make easy sense on HOW to actually do it myself, without ingredients that I have never heard of and would have to track down. (one page had me go from link to link just to find out what some ingredient was). Thanks for using the K.I.S.S. method. (Keep It Simple Sam).

  32. 7-25

    I want to make this real soon, can’t wait.

  33. 12-28

    I wish I’d had this recipe a month ago! But, I’m trying it now, using lemons, oranges, & grapefruit from backyard. I had to settle for ground cloves, but I jabbed in some cinnamon stick pieces to see how that works. I also added rose hips & some lavender I found as well. It’s in the oven drying now, & starting to smell wonderful. I’ll take a walk soon to look for pine cones.

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