top of page
  • Writer's pictureJord


Crafting your own potpourri is a fun way to decorate and scent your living space but you may not have fragrance oils to hand, or you may just want to try something new with your favourite perfume. Potpourri is easy, clever good fun you can have with your perfume.


This guide will show you how to quickly make potpourri with leftover perfume, for a similar effect to the traditional scented oils. This guide will also cover the trade-offs compared to traditional potpourri and how to mitigate them.


What is Potpourri?

Modern potpourri consists of dried, porous materials coated in or naturally containing scented oils.


This is because the modern usage of potpourri comes from 17th century France, and literally translates to “rotten pot”. Old flowers and herbs would be placed in a pot for a fragrant effect, which would naturally decompose over time.


The dry and porous material ensures the scented oil is held across an absorbent medium over a wide surface area. The effect of this is slow but sustained scent release, from a medium that doesn’t decay or decompose for this duration.


Why do People Use Potpourri?

People use potpourri to simultaneously decorate and deodorise their space. It’s an attractive alternative to the harsh fragrances in traditional air fresheners and cleaning fluids.


Potpourri can also promote social and personal wellness, influencing human behaviour with calming and focusing scents such as lavender and jasmine, as well as for ambiance and wellness.


Potpourri can also foster community, be this evoking the seasonal spirit at holiday gatherings or bonding through DIY crafting and gifting.


Can Perfume Be Used in Potpourri?

Yes, with a few compromises. Perfume contains the same essential and fragrance oils that are used in modern potpourri and contained in fragrant flowers and herbs.


However, perfumes contain alcohol and other solvents that can evaporate quickly. The alcohol content may degrade certain plastics and woods, or cause inked materials in your potpourri to bleed.


Where Can I Use Potpourri?

Once your potpourri is ready, display it in open containers or decorative sachets throughout your home. Once your potpourri is ready, display it in open containers or decorative sachets throughout your home.


Olfactorily, potpourri is a subtle way to scent and deodorise your home. Particularly communal spaces but also forgotten and hard to reach places like furniture, luggage and storage.


Visually, potpourri bowls can be the decorative centrepiece of a table or room, or used to accentuate the features of a space like a mantelpiece or windowsill.


Socially and financially, potpourri jars make cheap and thoughtful handmade gifts for loved ones and guests.


What Ingredients Are Generally Used in Potpourri?

When selecting ingredients for your potpourri, dried flowers, herbs, and whole spices complement each other in both scent and appearance.


Additionally, incorporating a few drops of perfume oil can enhance the fragrance and longevity of your potpourri. Some popular choices for perfume oils include lavender, rose, vanilla, and citrus scents.


What Are Some Alternative Potpourri Ingredients?

Perfume can also evoke more specific, sentimental scents from your potpourri than essential oil. Gifting your potpourri is a waste-free way to use up leftover and unwanted oils or fragrance.


Aroma beads are designed for sustained scent release and can be dyed and scented however you wish, making them a great substitute for dried flowers and herbs and spices.


Instead of spice sticks, consider the dried herbs and kitchen spices in your kitchen cabinet. Dry toasting them will help release and mix the scented oils in these spices, adding complex and gourmand notes to your potpourri.


You can also use paper waste instead of dried herbs and flowers in your potpourri- such as scrap paper, packing pellets and old boxes as a container. This is a fun way to recycle and achieve an elevated rustic effect in your home. You can go further by scrunching or ripping and shredding for shape, or opting for coloured and hand drawn elements on your paper waste.


How to Make Potpourri With Perfume



- Base material (i.e. dried flowers and herbs, aroma beads, scrap paper, packing materials)

- Whole or powdered spices

- Fragrance of your choice

- Decorative container or bowl



1.        In a mixing bowl, combine your chosen base material and spices in desired proportions. Mix well to distribute the ingredients evenly.


2.        Add a few sprays or drops of fragrance to the dried mixture, adjusting the amount based on your preference for scent intensity.


3.        Stir the potpourri mixture thoroughly to ensure the fragrance is evenly distributed.


4.        Transfer the scented potpourri into a decorative container or bowl, arranging it in an attractive display.

How Can I Make My Potpourri Last Longer?

To refresh the fragrance, simply give your potpourri a gentle stir every few days, coating the mixture evenly with a few drops or spritzes of scent to preferred strength. Placing your potpourri indirectly near a heat source, or in direct sunlight, can also help release the scent more effectively.


How Can I Make My Potpourri Smell Stronger?

Your potpourri may smell weak due to a lack of scent in your potpourri. Simply add more scented oil or perfume to your potpourri, mixing well to spread the scent evenly throughout your potpourri.


If this doesn’t work, spread your potpourri throughout your space. Try splitting your potpourri into multiple bowls or jars and spreading these throughout your room. You can also tuck individual pieces in different corners of your space.



Creating potpourri with perfume allows you to infuse your living space with scent memories, for a deeper comfort and joy than may be had with scented oils. With perfume you can craft beautiful and fragrant potpourri that delights the senses and enhances the ambiance of your home.


Get the entire perfume range of 6 handcrafted EDPs, from CELIE & COUCH. Free UK shipping.


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating



Granular perfume design and nuanced perfume industry critique.

*Terms apply. By subscribing I agree to these and privacy policy.

Welcome! You'll now be notified when a new post goes live.

bottom of page