Sunday, November 6, 2011

Early Aromatherapy - Ornamental Pomander

One of the earliest uses of aromatherapy was as pomanders.  Pomanders were small apple shaped ornaments made up of resins, herbs and perfumes that were carried or worn in midevil times to repell illness or mask foul odors.  It was also used in religious ceramonies throughout history and many pendants and ornaments were used to carry the ball of fragrance. 

Over time many cultures created there own versions of a pomander some very expensive and scientific and others very basic and cheap.  One cheaper trational version was a hollowed out apple or orange filled with herbs and spices.  Slits or decorative holes pierced this ornament allowing the fragrance to excape the fruit.  Another method is one that I enjoyed creating as a kid.  We took oranges and other citrus fruits piercing the flesh with whole cloves making designs or covering it enirely.  At the top we added a ribbon loop fastened with a pin.  We would then dry the fruit in an area away from sunlight and then either hang it from our Christmas tree or would adorn the staircase or mantel with our handmade decorations.

While this method is a great decorative tradition I have really enjoyed using the more recent vintage ornaments available to encase the wonderful sachet mixes I have been creating.  Many room fresheners have chemicals and containers that you throw away, these little treasures are made with natural products and the reusable ornaments are enviromentally friendly. 

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