Orange and Clove Pomanders

Orange and Clove Pomanders

Although there are many different ways to make a pomander, one of the easiest methods involves using an orange and some cloves.

What you need

1 – medium sized orange, firm and unblemished
Bottle of whole cloves (approximately 1/2 ounce)
Sharp pointed object, such as an ice pick or small knitting needle
About a 1/4 cup of dried spices – a combination of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and coriander is a nice mix
About a half teaspoon of orris root (used as a fixative, you can leave this out if you can’t find it, but your pomander will not hold its smell as long without it)
A piece of ribbon or yarn, large enough to create a hanging loop


Pomanders are often used to provide a pleasant scent to drawers, closets and rooms. Although these pleasantly scented balls are often associated with the Christmas season, they are equally lovely any time of the year. Make several so that all your closets will smell of sweet citrus and spicy cloves.

1.    Start by using the sharp object to make a small hole in the skin of the orange. Insert the stem of the clove in the hole, pushing it down far enough so that the head of the clove rests on the skin of the orange. Test to make sure the hole is sized correctly so that the clove doesn’t fall out easily. If the hole is the wrong size, adjust the size of the rest of the holes accordingly.

2.    Repeat the process of punching holes in the orange and inserting cloves until the entire surface of the orange is covered. You’ll want to space the holes approximately 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch apart. The orange will eventually dry and shrink, so you don’t want to put the cloves too close together.

3.    Mix the spices together in the bowl and add the orris root. Roll the clove-studded orange in the spices until it is completely covered.

4.    Place the orange in a dry location at room temperature. Allow it to sit and dry for several weeks. Turn the orange periodically so that it can get equally dry on all sides. If you need to speed up the process, you can place the orange in a gas oven with the pilot light on, or at the lowest possible setting in any oven. Be careful not to let the temperature get too high, or the orange might cook.

5.    Once the orange has dried, it will be smaller than before. The cloves will also be more tightly packed together.

6.    Wrap the ribbon around the orange, starting at the top, crossing at the bottom, then tie at the top, just as though you were wrapping a ribbon around a present. Tie the loose ends into a pretty bow. Then, tie a loop at the top with a second small piece of yarn or ribbon and hang your pomander. regularly features articles by Alyssa Davis on decorating with western metal wall sculptures and Kokopelli metal wall art.

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