When I went to some yard sales last weekend I purchased some decorative “ginger jars”. As I was looking at them before purchase, I got a great idea, and I’m especially going to pass it on to my students, but I know y’all will love it if you are an aromatherapist, hobby perfumer or serious perfumer. Of course, the perfumista is included in this, although you may not have the many of the primary scenting materials on hand, you’ll make do, I’m sure, if you love this idea too.
In Module 2, my students learn about aromatic groups, and how to compare them via an organoleptic study exercise. They compare various roses for the Rose aromatic group, including rose geranium, rose absolutes and ottos, and different species, like damask and centifolia. For citrus, they’ll look at lemon, lime, orange, mandarin, grapefruit, etc. – you get the idea.
So, I thought, why not put the aromatic groups in distinct porpourri jars and ginger jars, using the old oils that may be not good enough for fine perfumery, but great for potpourri and scenting room purposes?! I love the idea, don’t you?
So, how to use the oxidized, slightly wilted oils? That lemon lost its tang? The mint not so zingy? Well, of course, you can do what has always been recommended by aromatherapists – use them diluted in water to clean surfaces. That’s a great idea, and one I’ve used for decades. Besides making the house smell great, most are disinfectants, so they kill germs, too. But I digress. I want to up the re-use quotient here, and make them room potpourris with little effort. I’ve made lots of potpourris in my day, and of course, I love the ambiance and “throw” (space that is filled when a candle of Room Candy is diffusing).
But what if you want an added level of fragrance, and a different aesthetic to deliver it? My first thought is to use the 100% cotton inexpensive wash cloths as the carrier. We all know that scent lasts long on material, so that’s a good start. I buy packs of those cotton wash cloths at K-Mart for makeup removal, since I like to save the luxury wash cloths for “cleaner” work. I think the K-Mark cloths are 20 for $6.
I’m using a protective glove to hold the cloth while I pour the oils on, almost to the point of saturation. Into the jar it goes, the lid goes on, and when needed, just remove the lid. The jar up high on the wood bookcase by the front door is “naked” in the jar, since few are tall enough to see into it. The one on the table with the Spice aromatic group has cinnamon quills and star anise over the cloth, so when someone looks down, that’s what they see. Nice! Dried citrus peels will work for the Citrusy group, fanciful wood shavings for the Woodsy group, etc. I just remembered I have a lot of dried vetiver root from my last crop, and that would work for covering the cloth of the Earthy group.
Cleanup when you want to change out the jar for another Aromatic Group? Well, I think I’ll keep them for each specific group I create, but a good washing of the jar in hot soapy water and then a rinse with a strong white vinegar solution should do the trick.
Here’s a list of the study kit Eden Botanicals manufacturers for Module 2. It is available as a kit for purchase from the NPI site, and is posted here as a guide if you wish to have an Aromatic Group themed potpourri collection for your home. As mentioned above, it’s a good list, but there are many others you can categorize in here, this is but a guide:
I love this idea of Aromatic Groups potpourri/recycle old oils, don’t you? Do you have any suggestions to add, some creative twist? I’d love to hear from you because sometimes it’s one thing to come up with a new idea on your own, but hearing feedback is great!