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

Admire-and-sniff ornaments, wreaths, mini-tree Delightful seasonal fragrances fill homes during the holidays. Butyou can go beyond the traditional smells of fresh-cut boughs, hot cider,or baking cookies and create an olfactory cornucopia with scenteddecorations that can grace a tree, a door, or a dining table.

Displayed above and on page 134 are small ornaments that containspices and potpourri mixes. Because air can circulate easily around thescented elements, each ornament releases its own aroma. The traditional pomander with its clovestudded citrus center has arich, penetrating smell. You can start with oranges, lemons,grapefruit, or limes, mark a pattern with a pen, and push the clovesthrough the skin. Place the pomander in a bowl containing a spicemixture made of 2 tablespoons each ground cloves, ground cinnamon,ground allspice, and ground nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon each ground gingerand orrisroot. Turn the pomander to coat evenly, then turn it daily fora week. Hang on sturdy branches or display in wreaths, centerpieces, orgarlands.

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Store where air can circulate around ball so fruit will dryout thoroughly. The wooden wreath of different sizes of triangles adds an unusualfragrance to a room. It’s made of thin incense cedar paneling soldto line closets. You can find the wood at most lumberyards, sold inpackages for about $20 that cover about 20 square feet. Since the3/8-inch-thick boards have a tongue-and-groove edge detail, you’llhave to rip the boards down before cutting the triangles.

Start the wreath by arranging the largest triangles (ours have a3-inch hypotenuse) in a circle (ours is 16 inches in diameter); thenoverlap and glue on the next layer with woodworker’s glue. Keepadding layers, working from the largest triangles to the smallest; ourwreath has four layers. Use gossamer-thin material such as fine silk, cheesecloth, or laceto make sewed or gathered containers.

More rigid plastic or fabricneedlepoint canvas can make simple boxes that are light enough so treebranches don’t bend. (Use coarser spices or potpourri mixes in themore openweave plastic canvas.) Your garden can supply other unusual holiday scents. Use fresh-cutrosemary 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 cardboardring covered with potpourri Photo: Cinnamon sticks’ dusty russet color and red ribbonstand out against green branches Photo: Pomander ball gives off aroma of cloves dotting surface oforange Photo: Serrated edges of wooden wreath are softened with boughs andribbon. You cut incense cedar paneling into triangles, then gluetogether Photo: Square of silk, gathered with thick yarn, contains 2tablespoons of potpourri Photo: Tiny house, of plastic needlepoint canvas with yarn edging,holds coarse potpourri Photo: Delicate lace sachet has gathered edging topstitched toheart shape.

A lavender mixture fills the 4-inch-wide ornament Photo: Styrene-foam ball, 2 inches in diameter, is covered withlayers of lavender held on with coats of craft glue Photo: Wooden rings sandwich pieces of needlepoint fabric and aloop of ribbon. Cloves fill the center Photo: Diminutive aromatic tree has bunched branches of rosemarysprigs masking 12-inch-high foam cone (above). Paint the cone green;fasten bunches with floral-arranging pins. The tree sits in a wreath ofcinnamon sticks


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