Spotlight on Spice: Christmas Pomanders

orange pomander designs

The story of pomanders is a story of magical potions.

In the Middle Ages, the rich would wear gold or silver amulets filled with aromatic concoctions to ward off disease and odors.  These pomanders consisted of a complicated mix of tree and shrub resins, spices, rose water, deer and civet musk, ambergris (a substance from sperm whales), and any other materials deemed both fragrant and potent.

The hypnotic scent of pomanders even entranced Queen Elizabeth I. She wouldn’t leave the castle without wearing one.

orange pomanders

Fast forward to present day - from gold to oranges, from musk to cloves.  What we now know as pomanders are the sweet, warm, clove-studded oranges hanging near the fireplace or on the Christmas tree.  Perpetual air fresheners for all those homes sealed up for the winter.

To create a pomander this holiday season, it is as simple as poking holes all over an orange in any pattern you wish, and then plugging them with cloves. As the orange dries, it shrinks, and reacts with the cloves to produce a welcoming, Christmassy aroma.

Give it a try (invite the kids too), and have a wonderful start to a Holiday Season with Spice!

how to make orange pomanders