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So often in life it is smell that influences how we feel.  The smell of citrus and spice makes me feel all warm and cozy and inevitably, ‘Christmassy’!

Beth making her first Pomander of 2011

I had a look online to see how other peoples method of making pomanders compares to mine.  Some people do like to make a mountain out of a molehill!!  Infact many of the long winded, complicated methods online have been tried and tested by yours truly and resulted in alot of very pretty, mouldy citrus fruit!!

This is how we make Pomanders in our house.

You will need:

Oranges, satsumas, lemon, lime….basically any citrus fruit!  It is best not to use an older piece of fruit or one that feels like there is space between the fruit and the peel.

Cloves.  Buy these from a Continental or Asian food store.  There’s one in every town and they sell everything you can imagine in bulk for half the price of the supermarket; which is good because the more cloves the better!!

A knitting needle, toothpick or skewer.  No injuries please!

Mixed Spice.  Can be bought ready mixed.

Sandalwood Oil.  Again try the local Continental or Asian food store.

Paper bag.


  • If you are intending to hang the pomander you should leave space for the ribbon.  You can mark this with masking tape if you like.
  • Poke holes in your fruit that are deep enough to fit the whole clove.  The holes should be close together but not touching.
  • Push a clove per hole into the fruit.
As you can see, Beth prefers a slightly haphazard approach to her ‘studding’.
  • Keep pushing more and more cloves into the orange until it is covered.
  • Mix 4 drops of sandalwood with 2 teaspoons of mixed spice to make a paste
  • Rub this into your pomander ( the sandalwood acts as a cure).
  • Place any excess spice and the pomander into a paper bag and leave in a dry space for 3-4 weeks to ‘cure’.
  • Keep checking, if there are any signs of mould then the curing of the Pomander has not worked and should be thrown away 🙁
  • Don’t be alarmed by how much they shrink!!!
  • Once the Fruit sounds hollow it is ready!!
  • You can tie ribbon around them and hang them up or they look lovely in a fruit bowl.  The scent will last for years and is what Christmas would’ve smelt like in Victorian times.
If you want these to be ready for Christmas then the time for making them is NOW.
Let me know how yours turn out??
Love Rachel
PS. Here are some design ideas….





Be a social butterfly...

  • I love these oranges, the way they smell. One Question, the sandalwood and the mixed spice mixture you rub that on the oranges after you inserted the cloves?
    Your blog is fun and i love the vintage pictures with the pin ups and the puppies, i would love to have those pictures for in my grooming shop. Did you paint those? Are they for sale?
    Annick Meuleman

    • Rachel

      🙂 You rub the mixture on after the cloves.
      The images were painted by Gil Elvgren decades ago. The rights to the images are not something i would know about Im afraid. i know that you can buy many of these images as canvases etc. My best advice is to choose your favourites and then search the names on Google, someone will be selling them for sure x

    • VintageFolly

      Hi there, the pin ups are Gil Elvgren and I’m afraid they aren’t mine 🙁 I’m glad you like the blog xxx