Pomanders are wonderfully fragrant, natural room and closet fresheners. They make great gifts or festive tree and package decorations.

Orange Pomander

Fragrant for weeks
The basic premise is simple: stud whole cloves into pieces of fruit. Generally speaking, the more your fruit is covered in cloves, the longer it will last. Simple clove studded fruit (like in the photo at right) should last a few fragrant weeks. You'll find directions below for making pomanders that last months, even years!

You will need:

  • An assortment fruit: oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines,kumquats; you can also make pomanders using apples or crab apples, but I find they don't last as long as citrus fruit
  • Whole cloves
  • Assorted ribbons or metallic pipe cleaners, artificial holly berries, etc. for hanging and decorations
  • Wooden cooking skewer or thin knitting needle
  • Straight sewing pins

Optional ingredients for longer lasting pomanders
1/4 cup ground cinnamon
1/4 cup ground cloves
2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons ground all spice
1/4 cup powdered orrisroot (this ingredient is optional but will help the pomanders last extra long -- find it in well stocked drug stores and herb shops.

Take the wooden skewer or thin knitting needle and poke holes in the fruit where you want the cloves to go. You can make patterns (like the swirled orange at right) or just randomly stud the fruit with holes. Insert a whole clove into each hole.

Use sewing pins to attach ribbon to the pomander (just press a pin through the ribbon into the fruit at top and bottom of pomander). Tie a decorative bow at top.

Make miniature pomanders from kumquats or crab apples. These make wonderful natural tree ornaments. Metallic pipe cleaners or small artificial holly berries make easy, decorative hangers for these.

Longer lasting pomanders
To make your pomanders last longer, cover your citrus fruit in whole cloves, then place in a large bowl and cover with the optional cinnamon/spice mixture. Allow pomanders to "cure" for several weeks before attaching ribbon hangers. These "cured" pomanders will last for months, even years. They make delightful gifts are especially nice for bringing fresh scent to closets.

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Comments on "Easy-to-make pomanders"

Mary February 07, 2014 | 5:18 AM

Wilfred, set a trap for the mice. Then remake the pomanders. When done, remove the mice from the traps, dress them up in little elf or angel costumes, and hang them on the tree along with the pomanders. You can loop their tails for this purpose. If the mice begin to smell, roll them in all spice, nutmeg, and cinnamon, just as you did the oranges. We did this last year after mice ate OUR pomanders too. Of course we then had a problem with snakes coming into the house to eat the mice on our tree, but we set a snake trap, rolled the snakes in allspice, nutmegs and cinnamon....

Sosaid Nic Uidir December 28, 2013 | 2:31 PM

i've been making these pomanders for years now and Thankfully had no problems . just great comments from visitors and requests to mak some for them.

Wilfred Garrett December 14, 2013 | 5:04 AM

I made these pomanders following all your steps and they were a complete disaster. They attracted mice who ate the oranges!

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