You need to gather your rose petals (any flower petals will work, but rose have proven to be the best as they are large and retain much of their size once dry). Wait until a hot, dry day to do so, when your roses are ready to drop their petals.
On a large surface, lay your newspaper out and scatter the rose petals onto it. The newspaper will protect your surface and aid the drying process. Ensure that the petals are well spread out.
The petals should be left to dry for a few days. You will need to toss them at least once a day to ensure that they dry evenly. When tossing the petals daily, inspect for any insects which may be eating your petals and remove them.
Did you know: Iris plants should be divided every 3-4 years otherwise the clumps will become woody and produce fewer flower spikes. Splitting the clump is best done straight after flowering, or in late August - September. As you do this you will notice that the youngest and healthiest rhizomes are on the outside of the clump. These are the pieces to replant. The old pieces of rhizome can be used for your fixative.Harvest an older section of rhizome from the Iris plant.
Don´t worry too much about destroying the plant as they are quite hardy and don´t mind being handled.
Use your kitchen grater to finely grate this section of rhizome (root). Spread this over newspaper and allow to dry. Ensure that the root and petals do not mix at this stage if you are drying them on the same surface. The Iris root will help hold the fragrance, as well as providing a base scent for your pot pourri.
After two weeks, when the petals and root are properly dry, place them in a bowl with salt and mix it all up. At this point you can add some pencil sharpenings and some small bits of bark. With all elements of your mixture together, you can go ahead and add a small bottle of aromatherapy oil to the mixture. Once added, give the mixture a thorough mix through.
Cut out a piece of fabric to 40 cm x 20 cm
Fold the fabric length-ways in half, right sides in.
Using your sewing machine or needle and thread, sew the long side closed, and then sew one end closed.
Turn the bag inside out, so that it is the right way round.
Tuck half the fabric, from the open side, back into the bag with the right side showing. Tip: this is done so that there is a double layer of fabric, the inner layer of fabric will help to soak up the oils from the content of the bag and prevent the outer layer of fabric becoming spoiled.
Fill the bag with the potpourri mixture to about 5cm from the top of the bag
Tie a ribbon around the top of the bag to close it. Tie it so that you can re-open the bag and re-do the potpourri after a few months when the smell dissipates.
Hang your bag of potpourri in your closet, or place them on a door handle around the house to make the house smell nice. Remember that lavender is a wonderful deterrent for moths, so make a bag or two with lavender chopped in and you won't have any need for moth balls. Place one or two bags onto your book shelves to help prevent your books from being eaten by insects.