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Pomander How-To

Martha Stewart Living, December 2004

Place a rubber band around the middle of a pink grapefruit or orange. Use it as a guide to make an even ring of cloves around the fruit, piercing the skin first with a wooden skewer or nail. Remove rubber band, and make additional rows. If desired, use a hot-glue gun to attach star anise; let the glue dry.

To encourage pomanders to dry evenly and retain their scent for up to one year, shake each in a plastic bag of powdered orrisroot (available at health-food stores) before displaying. Stack the pomanders in a pyramid, using clear plates between the layers and tucking in greenery, such as this mountain laurel, as you go.

Comments (6)

  • rinnaeverlasting 24 Sep, 2013

    I've made these loads of times with no trouble at all. The trick is to hang them before display. I usually tie ribbon around the oranges (as Martha says with a rubberband) but I leave it on after I add my decoration of cloves. Then I hang the pomander in a cool closet or dark place for a week or so for it to dry out and THEN display the dried pomander. The smell is great and no mold! Also, you can keep the pomander out for all of fall and winter if you make them in September.

  • Lynnette59 31 Dec, 2012

    I make clove/orange pomanders this year. Three days after I made them, my daughter picked one up to admire it, and to my embarrasement there was mold all over the bottom. When I looked at the rest of them they were all covered in mold too. What did I do wrong?

  • MckennaHammock 11 Nov, 2010

    ive only been able to find orrisroot powder online at expensive prices, does anyone know where else to buy it?

  • AllisonBrown 20 Dec, 2009

    My secret to perfect pomanders is to cover the orange with cloves as completely as possible. I usually use masking tape in a vertical criss-cross pattern much like a wrapped gift and fill in the four "slices" between.
    After completing all four sections, I leave my pomander to DRY IN THE FRIDGE for about a week before attaching ribbons with hot glue. Your orange should shrink a bit, and the masking tape should be slightly wrinkled and loose before you leave it out.

  • hfoglio 16 Dec, 2007

    wish i had seen this article before making mine. they have all molded:(

  • southernrose2648 6 Dec, 2007

    Try This