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 orange
Photo: Serrated edges of wooden wreath are softened with boughs and ribbon. You cut incense cedar paneling into triangles, then glue together
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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|Date:||Dec 1, 1984|
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|Short lengths of dowels or moldings make up these wreaths.|
|Paper and plants, simple and cheerful.|
|Make it a memorable do-it-yourself affair.|