I've always wanted to make Pomander balls and this Christmas I'm finally going to make some!
Pomanders go back to the 15th century. A pomander, from the French pomme d'ambre, i.e. apple of amber, is a ball made of perfumes. They were worn hung from a neck-chain or belt, where they served as a protection against infection in times of pestilence or merely as a useful article to modify bad smells....
If you fancy having a go at making some yourself this festive season see the method below.
To make 2 balls, you will need:
2 oranges (or try apples, lemons, or lime)
Toothpick or pin to ease the cloves into the orange
Whole cloves, at least 1/4 cup, depending upon your design
Spice mixture (see recipe below)
1.5m of Ribbon
For the spice mixture:
3 Tbs. ground cinnamon
3 Tbs. ground cloves
3 Tbs. ground nutmeg
3 Tbs. ground ginger
3 Tbs. orris root powder (the dried and ground root of certain iris used as a fixative)
Making a Pomander Ball is easy, but can take some time! Simply stick a clove directly into an orange (or any of the other fruits listed above). You may want to use a toothpick or pin to make the first punctures so that the cloves are easier to insert. You don't have to fill the entire ball - try a pattern or design if you feel inspired.
Once the ball is completely studded with cloves, roll it in the spice mixture and set it aside for a couple of weeks in a cool dry spot so that it will dry. Once dried, tie a ribbon around the ball for hanging. Multiple pomander balls also look beautiful displayed together in a large decorative bowl.