Pomanders: an original idea for eliminating odour in the home

February 25, 2016

Are you looking for a way to neutralize an unpleasant smell, or do you simply want to find an original way to perfume your home? Here is how to make your own pomanders.

Pomanders: an original idea for eliminating odour in the home


  • Pomanders are small balls of spices and perfume, which were used from the 14th to the 17th century to mask bad smells and protect against disease during epidemics.
  • They were hung up in rooms, on necklaces, rings or belts.
  • The French term "pomme-ambre" or "amber apple" refers to their round shape and the grey amber added to them.
  • Pomanders were placed in a small filigree container made of metal, ivory or porcelain, which in the late Middle Ages were often decorated with precious stones and enamel, and worn as an ornament.


  • 1 medium or large orange with thin skin
  • 25-30 g cloves
  • 5 g (1 tsp) iris powder (available in most health food stores)
  • 5 g (1 tsp) each of the following ground spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
  • 1 ribbon long enough to wrap twice around the orange and make a loop to hang it
  • Sticky tape of the same width as the ribbon
  • Pins
  • Toothpicks


  1. Use the tape to delineate the orange segments.
  2. Place cloves at regular intervals of three to six millimetres, at random or in a pattern.
  3. If this is difficult, make holes with a toothpick before pushing them in.
  4. As it dries, as the pomander shrinks, and the space between the cloves disappears, carefully remove the tape when all areas are covered.
  5. Mix the iris powder and spices in a bowl or on a paper bag.
  6. Roll the orange in the mixture to cover it completely. (This step must be performed within 24 hours to prevent the orange from rotting.)
  7. Place the pomander in a warm, dry place for two to four weeks, until it is dry and hard. It should be light and sound hollow.
  8. During this period, turn it every day and make sure it is still entirely covered in spices.
  9. Once dry, remove any excess powder.
  10. Wrap the ribbon around the orange and make a loop for hanging.

Did you already know of this technique of hanging spice and perfume balls to eliminate odours? It is undoubtedly an original idea that you will enjoy making.

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