Admire-and-sniff ornaments, wreaths, mini-tree Essay

Admire-and-sniff ornaments, wreaths, mini-tree

Delightful seasonal fragrances fill homes during the holidays. But
you can go beyond the traditional smells of fresh-cut boughs, hot cider,
or baking cookies and create an olfactory cornucopia with scented
decorations that can grace a tree, a door, or a dining table.

Displayed above and on page 134 are small ornaments that contain
spices and potpourri mixes. Because air can circulate easily around the
scented elements, each ornament releases its own aroma.

The traditional pomander with its clovestudded citrus center has a
rich, penetrating smell. You can start with oranges, lemons,
grapefruit, or limes, mark a pattern with a pen, and push the cloves
through the skin. Place the pomander in a bowl containing a spice
mixture made of 2 tablespoons each ground cloves, ground cinnamon,
ground allspice, and ground nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger
and orrisroot. Turn the pomander to coat evenly, then turn it daily for
a week. Hang on sturdy branches or display in wreaths, centerpieces, or
garlands. Store where air can circulate around ball so fruit will dry
out thoroughly.

The wooden wreath of different sizes of triangles adds an unusual
fragrance to a room. It’s made of thin incense cedar paneling sold
to line closets. You can find the wood at most lumberyards, sold in
packages for about $20 that cover about 20 square feet. Since the
3/8-inch-thick boards have a tongue-and-groove edge detail, you’ll
have to rip the boards down before cutting the triangles.

Start the wreath by arranging the largest triangles (ours have a
3-inch hypotenuse) in a circle (ours is 16 inches in diameter); then
overlap and glue on the next layer with woodworker’s glue. Keep
adding layers, working from the largest triangles to the smallest; our
wreath has four layers.

Use gossamer-thin material such as fine silk, cheesecloth, or lace
to make sewed or gathered containers. More rigid plastic or fabric
needlepoint canvas can make simple boxes that are light enough so tree
branches don’t bend. (Use coarser spices or potpourri mixes in the
more openweave plastic canvas.)

Your garden can supply other unusual holiday scents. Use fresh-cut
rosemary or bay leaves to make a tree centerpiece as shown at left;
staple them to sturdy cardboard rings to create almost instant wreaths;
or use them in arrangements.

Photo: Miniature wreath, 4 1/2 inches in diameter, is a cardboard
ring covered with potpourri

Photo: Cinnamon sticks’ dusty russet color and red ribbon
stand out against green branches

Photo: Pomander ball gives off aroma of cloves dotting surface of

Photo: Serrated edges of wooden wreath are softened with boughs and
ribbon. You cut incense cedar paneling into triangles, then glue

Photo: Square of silk, gathered with thick yarn, contains 2
tablespoons of potpourri

Photo: Tiny house, of plastic needlepoint canvas with yarn edging,
holds coarse potpourri

Photo: Delicate lace sachet has gathered edging topstitched to
heart shape. A lavender mixture fills the 4-inch-wide ornament

Photo: Styrene-foam ball, 2 inches in diameter, is covered with
layers of lavender held on with coats of craft glue

Photo: Wooden rings sandwich pieces of needlepoint fabric and a
loop of ribbon. Cloves fill the center

Photo: Diminutive aromatic tree has bunched branches of rosemary
sprigs masking 12-inch-high foam cone (above). Paint the cone green;
fasten bunches with floral-arranging pins. The tree sits in a wreath of
cinnamon sticks


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