Today’s post is all about something that I have been wanting to write about for quite a while. It’s nothing earth shattering nor big, but it’s something that makes me happy here at FrenchGardenHouse in our own home. It’s a simple thing, and it’s the simple things in life that are the best, right? I’m writing about refreshing your rooms for autumn –  Celebrate the Scent of Autumn with Potpourri.

Celebrate the Scent of Autumn

It’s {finally!} been the first week of autumn temperatures here, so it’s the perfect week to make our house cozy & warm. Since coming home from our trip {we bought amazing French Country antiques for the shop!} I’m in full fall mode.

autumn in French Country Kitchen

French Country antique painted wood carrier

Adding a beautiful Fall “centerpiece” to your kitchen or dining room table makes it feel festive, it brings all the magic of the season to your home. This pretty arrangement of antiques, dishes, linens and potpourri is so simple to create. I set our eat-in kitchen table with one my favorites for this season, this stunning French Country linen runner in chestnut. The napkins fit inside the antique wood country tote, and a little stack of cake plates are nestled on one side.

Celebrate the Scent of Autumn

A large antique wood bowl shows off all the elements of our Epices d’Automne Potpourri. Inspired by autumn in our family’s cottage kitchen in a small town in Europe, this scent infuses oak leaves, baked vanilla, clove, ginger, nutmeg, orange and a hint of pumpkin. It smells as great or better than the best candles out there & the best part is it can be re-used over and over again.  It makes every room smell wonderful,  adding warmth and coziness with it’s natural ingredients. The smell lingers for so long, and our potpourri comes with a bottle of scented oil to refresh your potpourri again and again. It really is perfect to Celebrate the Scent of Autumn!

fall potpourri

 

HISTORY OF POTPOURRI

POTPOURRI Noun

Definition of potpourri

1a mixture of flowers, herbs, and spices that is usually kept in a jar and used for scent.

Potpourri is probably of French origin, since the word is French. It means a jar or pot {pot} in which a mixture of flower petals and aromatic leaves has “rotted” or dried {pourri.}

The use of fragrance is as old as recorded history. Potpourri was first created in the 12th century to freshen the rooms in large chateaus and castles. Since bathing nor washing of clothing was prolific during this century, especially in the autumn and winter months, something that smelled “better” or good was sorely needed. Spices and herbs, flower petals and leaves and anything else that was thought to be aromatic would be placed in a large pot, moistened with spirits, and left to “cure” or rot somewhat. This created a sort of perfume, which could be smelled each time the lid of the pot was lifted.

Dried flower petals of roses, fragrant herbs that had dried, spices and anything else that had pleasant smell were placed in large bowls and baskets in rooms to beautify and decorate, but mostly to make the rooms smell lovely.  The spice trade invigorated the love of potpourri, as mace, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves were added to flower petals. A 1600’s recipe for “A Comfortable Pomander for the Braine” combined rose petals with clove, mace and nutmeg, it resembles the potpourri recipes used today.

Celebrate the Scent of Autumn

 

HOW POTPOURRI IS MADE

The art of making potpourri doesn’t vary that greatly. It’s been done the same way for quite some time. Not with the spirits and the “rotting”….: )

Our potpourri is created by a small family business with dried petals, pinecones, pumpkin pods, scented herbs and dried pods and fruit elements. The petals and natural pods and cones are harvested at their peak, when they have just come into bloom. They are at their prime, and haven’t lost the essential oils. They are all picked after the dew is dry, but before the sun gets too hot. There is an art to picking all the botanicals just at the right time, on a dry day followed by one or two hot clear days so that the petals and pods can dry on screens.

autumn French COuntry Quilt

THE MAGIC IS IN THE MIX

We select our potpourri to bring both the visual and aromatic delight of this season into your home. The potpourri is enhanced with cinnamon sticks, dried orange slices, gilded pods, dried leaves, pine cones, and layered with a natural pumpkin spice fragrance. The oils used in our potpourri is not imitation, it’s a naturally derived scented oil. The most exciting part of our potpourri is the seasonal scents, the mix brings back special autumn memories. Herbs and spices add warmth.

antique French carrier

SEASONAL DECORATING

You may know, if you’ve read me for a while, that we have an orange tree in the back garden. Years long I made dried orange slices, and garlands for the autumn and holiday season. The only problem I have always had is that in our climate they get “icky” after a while, no matter what. Sticky. Attractive to ants {even in zip lock bags!} I have finally found an alternative that I love. These orange garlands are all faux. They bring autumn decorating to the next level!

orangerie garland

They are so light, they’re perfect to place on top of your French armoire, or a wall rack like I have done in our kitchen. There are two kinds, one with the whole cut oranges, one with slices. A little bag filled with oranges and three slices really completes the look. Best part, no ants, and they look amazing in the Christmas tree later one too.

sliced orangerie garland

The oranges are lovely and bring the warmth and beauty of the season to your home in a very easy way.

bowl of faux oranges

Shop potpourri

 

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A BIENTOT

 

Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and above all uniquely yours. Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com