To me, nothing says Christmas more than the smell of orange and cloves. It’s a really distinctive smell that I have to replicate each holiday, no matter where I am as it reminds me of home and happy Christmases spent with family. Thankfully, it’s incredibly easy to re-create for yourself. I actually never knew they were called pomander balls; I’ve always called them Christmas oranges but whichever name you choose, these are the simplest and most delicious smelling decorations you can make at home in about five minutes: a pomander oranges DIY.
Medieval herbalists used cloth bags full of mixed dried herbs to prevent ill health and to bring good fortune and pomanders were used in Europe during the Black Death to try and freshen the air of disease filled houses. Now, they’re used as decorations, gifts or air fresheners. I love wrapping them in ribbon and having a bowl full of them in the entrance to my house- it makes me feel festive every time I walk in the door.
The cloves can be a little tricky to stick in the oranges so use a toothpick to pierce little holes for easier decorating. Pattern wise, I think a mixture always looks the best. Put a line of cloves in a cross shape on one, swirls on another or just stick them wherever you fancy. Finish off with some festive ribbon and you’re done! As the orange dries it will release the delicious citrusy fragrance but if you want something a bit spicier, roll the pomander in cinnamon, ground cloves or nutmeg. These would also make really unusual tree decorations- I’m all for unique ideas for decorating! Insert a wire through the orange and make a loop at the top to hang it from your Christmas tree. Once they’re dried they can be used as yummy smelling sachets for your drawers or wardrobes.
See my decorated ones below and let me know how you get on with DIY pomander oranges.