Introduction: Pomander

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A Pomander or Pomme d'Ambre is defined by Wikipedia as a ball made of perfumes. It was "worn or carried as a protection against infection in times of pestilence or merely a a useful article to modify bad smells". Apparently it was originally a pagan Celtic tradition which was then adopted by other religions. In my case, 'tis the season!!! It makes the house smell fantastic. And what do you know, but it also keeps moths and other little beasts away. So yay!


  • an orange
  • ribbon
  • pins
  • toothpîck
  • cloves

Check out the video. It's in French, but you get the idea!

Step 1: Ribbon

First, cut a length of ribbon. I like to hang my pomander, so I cut a good meters worth. Find the middle of your ribbon and place it on the orange's navel. Wrap around both sides of the orange. Upon meeting on the opposite side, twist orange 45° and wrap ribbons around again. Tie a nice tight knot.

Step 2: Pin

Now taking the pins, fix the ribbon into the orange on every side. This will keep the orange secured to the ribbon as it cures and shrinks.

Step 3: Poke

Take you toothpick (or knitting needle) and poke a hole about a quarter of and inch into the orange. Next, plug in the whole with one clove. Repeat over and over again. Make sure to not place the cloves too close together, as the orange will shrink as it dries. Be creative with your design.

Step 4: Bow It.

Once you have finished "cloving" the orange, you can tie a nice bow at the top. Or.... tie a knot about 6 inches up and then finish off with a bow.

Step 5: Done.

If you place your pomander in a nice dry area it will begin to shrink and harden as it loses its moisture. At the end of the season, I simply unpin the ribbon and tie it tighter. If the pomander starts to mold, it means it is placed somewhere with too much moisture.

Now give it to a friend or keep it for years to come.

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    5 years ago

    We used to make these every year in after-school care as gifts. They never gave us anything to pre-make the holes, so I remember how my thumbs would always hurt so badly from the cloves after making a bunch. BUT well worth it. :)

    Renarde Rousse
    Renarde Rousse

    Reply 5 years ago

    Ya, I know. I actually did this the first time in a hospital waiting room. Anticipating the arrival of my first niece. To say the least, it was a long night and my poor fingertips were raw. I've done it every year since.

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Great idea to decorate and make the room smell better.

    Renarde Rousse
    Renarde Rousse

    Reply 5 years ago

    thanks.... and its quite festive too.