simple rose & lavender potpourri

Today I’m making a simple rose & lavender scented potpourri.

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Floral potpourri brings the fresh smell of flowers indoors, adding a hint of scent and color to shared spaces like the living room. It works especially well in compact areas like foyers and bathrooms; the fragrance will quickly fill up a small space.

Although this is a rose and lavender scented potpourri, you can use any type of flower petals as the base. It’s a perfect use for bouquets that are getting past their prime.

There are just three ingredients: flower petals, rose water, and lavender buds. All are fairly easy to find and useful for lots of other projects.

After you’re done making your potpourri, you can use the lavender buds and rose water to make floral desserts like lavender shortbread and baklava. They can also be used in sachets or in bath & beauty projects like body scrubs.

Back to the potpourri!

tools & ingredients

Flower petals will serve as the base of the potpourri. Feel free to use whatever kind of flowers you have available; the other ingredients will add plenty of fragrance. Anything from sunflowers to petunias will make for a beautiful potpourri base. Today I’m using bougainvillea flowers.

Rose water is used as a flavoring, and is usually found by the baking extracts or in the international section at the grocery store. Dried lavender buds will be near the teas or the herbs and spices. The tiny purple buds provide a lot of fragrance for their size, and will do a great job of holding on to the added rose scent.

For display, I recommend a glass jar with a lid. It’s best to avoid plastics and reactive metals like aluminum and copper; they could be damaged by prolonged contact with the flowers’ oils.

making the potpourri

Start by separating the stems from the petals. You’ll end up with a beautiful mound of petals like this:

Next, dry the petals in the oven. Using the oven to dry flower petals is fast and results in very little color loss.

Put the flower petals on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone and bake at 275°F for about 10 minutes.

The time needed depends on how thick they are, so keep a close eye on the petals starting at about 5 minutes. Burnt flower petals would make for a very sad potpourri (unless you’re going for an Addams Family vibe 🙂).

After the dried petals have had a couple minutes to cool, crumble them into a jar.

Next, add your lavender buds and rose water. Scale the recipe below as needed based on the amount of petals you have. I started with two cups of crushed petals, and it shrank to about one cup of potpourri after adding the rose water.

After you’ve combined the ingredients, give them a shake and then let the mixture sit for about an hour with the lid on. This will give the rose water time to soak in.

Your rose & lavender potpourri is ready to display!

I recommend uncovering the potpourri for a few hours at a time. Keep the lid on the jar between uses to give it time to “recharge” and build up fragrance. It’s nice to lift the lid off a potpourri jar and have a beautiful floral scent waft out.

If the scent begins to fade over time, crush the mixture using a mortar and pestle. This will release additional oils and fragrance from the lavender buds. You can also add in more rose water.

Feel free to adjust the ratios as desired to make the potpourri stronger or weaker. You can also add dried oranges, cinnamon sticks, or other dried spices to add complexity to the scent.

If you’re thinking of making last week’s project, vanilla extract, try tossing a few of the vanilla bean ends into the potpourri. This will add a luxurious layer of vanilla to the floral aroma.

Rose & Lavender Potpourri


  • 1 c dried, crushed flower petals
  • 1 T dried lavender buds
  • 1/2 t rose water
  • 40 g dried, crushed flower petals
  • 3.5 g dried lavender buds
  • 2.5 ml rose water


1. If starting from fresh petals: spread petals over lined baking sheet, then bake for 5-10 minutes at 275°F (135°C). Check frequently and remove when crisp.

2. Crumble dried petals into a jar. Add lavender buds and rose water; shake well to combine. Let sit for one hour with the lid on.

3. Display in a non-reactive container with a loose-fitting lid. To use, remove the lid for a few hours. Cover between uses. To freshen, crush with mortar and pestle or add additional rose water.

What kind of crafts have you been working on lately? 

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