Intro: Mulled Cider Room Fresheners
The cozy months are here, and what better to pair with your cozy slippers, fireside gatherings, and comfort food than the aroma of mulled cider throughout your living spaces. In this Ible I'll walk you through the making of an all natural air and space freshener as well as several different ways you can use it. All you'll need are 3 main ingredients: Dried Orange Peel, Allspice Berries, and Whole Cloves.
Step 1: Ingredients in Detail
Dried Orange Peel --Available at a variety brick and mortar and online shops that deal in dry goods, teas, potpourri making, soap making, and home decor. I got mine from at Etsy shop that offered combined shipping when purchasing multiple items, which worked out well for this project. Dried orange peel chunks deliver a refreshing citrus aroma without the tart sting you'd get from a fresh orange. I suggest starting with 1/2 pound quantity unless you plan to make a ton of freshener to give away as gifts.
It is possible to dry your own orange peels, if you're really ambitious. If you choose to do so, bake at a low temp and monitor every 20 minutes to ensure you dry the peels without burning them. Also, make sure your peels are totally dry before using them in craft projects. Residual moisture could cause mold over time.
Allspice Berries -- These resemble peppercorns but are actually a dried fruit.While I wasn't very familiar with Allspice before doing this project, I recognized the scent immediately. It's something you encounter a lot around the holidays and has a clove/ cinnamon vibe to it. Again, a 1/2 pound quantity will do nicely.
For the purposes of this project, I recommend using whole berries vs. ground Allspice for cooking. Powdery ground Allspice will be harder to control, messier to handle, and simply won't serve you as well in some of the practical applications of the freshener.
Whole Cloves --Easy to come by at your regular grocery store. I bought an 8oz. jar at Smart and Final and used about half the container in my mix. You'll know the scent of cloves from pumpkin pie and cider (or clove cigarettes, if you were goth in the '90's).
Step 2: Mix It Up
Combine 1/2 lb orange peels, 1/2 lb allspice berries, and 1 1/2 cups cloves in a large bowl.
This yields a little over 24 oz. of potpourri that smells just like warm mulled cider. To give you an idea of how much 24oz is, I was able to make 10 "space freshener" packs (which you'll learn to make in a bit) out of that supply.
Step 3: Method 1: Freestyle Potpourri
The simplest application of your 3 ingredient potpourri is to simply place it around your home in decorative vessels. Suggested locations might be on an end table or on the counter in your guest bathroom.
Since your vessel must be open to the air to release the scent into your space,please consider any pets or small children you may have in the house. Place potpourri well out of reach so that it doesn't get spilled or, worse case, mistaken for a snack.
Step 4: Method 2: Simmering on the Stove
Simmering your 3 ingredients on the stove will flood your home with a mega dose of the cider aroma, without having to worry about making table space for potpourri bowls. This is a great method if you're about to have guests over and want people to walk in and say 'What smells so amazing??" My boyfriend walked in on this photo session and asked what I was baking.
First, make sure there's nothing stuck in or under your burner. A piece of stray post Thanksgiving stuffing under the burning underneath your pot can ruin the atmosphere you're trying to create.
Fill a cooking pot with water.
Add 1/4 -1/2 cup of your dry good mix.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.
Monitor the pot every 30 minutes and top off water as needed.You do NOT want to let the pot run dry because then your ingredients will burn, leaving you with a much different smell than you intended.
SAFETY NOTE: Never leave a pot on the stove if you are not home. Never leave children unsupervised around a boiling pot.Use this method only when you can be home, attentive to the task, and ideally for no more than 2hrs before your guests arrive (so you don't get caught up in other things and forget about it).
Step 5: Method 3: Pre-made Sachets
Want to freshen your closets and cabinets? Filling pre-made sachets with your dry mix is a simple and effective way to go.
Purchase pre-made mesh sachets, which are easy to find in the party or wedding sections of your favorite craft store. Most will have a draw string/ ribbon closure.
Scoop dry mix into the sachet. Fill the sachet comfortably; no need to pack it too tight.
Pull the strings to close the sachet securely, ensuring no dry mix can spill out.
Place in your sock drawer, linen closet, or use the loops of the sachets draw string to hang your freshener from a hanger.
Step 6: Method 4: Custom Space Freshener Packs
This is my favorite option since it is customizable and makes a great gift. I packaged my potpourri mix this way so recipients could use it anywhere they wanted, not just in the home. These packs can work in the car, the office, a gym locker, etc. This is also a great project for using up interesting scrap fabric, since you need so little. Regular cotton on top allows your fragrance to travel, and heavier fabric on the bottom protects the surfaces underneath your pack.
You Will Need:
Thick Cotton or Canvas Fabric
Trace (2) 4.5 x 5.5 inch rectangles --1 on your fancy printed fabric, 1 on your solid thicker fabric.
Cut out the rectangles.
Pin together, "good" sides in.
Sew 3 sides, leaving one short side open. Remember to cut your corners for a cleaner edge when you turn it right side out.
Fill 3/4 full of your dry potpourri mix.
Pin remaining side closed and hand stitch together.
Your freshener pack is ready to be gifted! Choose prints the suit your gift recipients for a customized present that is functional too.
Cabinets and closets are common places you may want to freshen up, but consider putting your pack out in the open sometimes too. Placing the freshener in a sunny location will boost the aroma. Try it on your dashboard for a holiday fresh car ride!
Step 7: Get Fresh!
There you have it --many ways to enjoy this 3 ingredient potpourri powerhouse and share it with your friends over the holidays. Once you've mastered the basic mix, experiment with adding to your recipe. Balsam fir, cinnamon chips (finely broken so they aren't pointy), dried rosemary, bay eaves, and dried lavender can all evoke different seasonal aromas.
If you enjoyed this Ible, please send a vote in the 3 Ingredients Challenge. Post photos below and make me wish I could scratch and sniff the screen!