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Orange Pomander

orange pomander 2


As part of my families traditional Christmas, we still use the basic same ornaments that generations before have used. One of these ornaments is the ORANGE POMANDER. During the Renaissance, pomanders were small silver or gold balls that had spices and fragrances in them to ward off infection and body odor. As we all started to bathe a  little more often and modern medicine came around, pomanders were no longer worn.  One modern form of pomander is made by studding an orange or other fruit with whole dried cloves and letting it cure dry, after which it may last several years. The modern pomander serves as freshening the air and to keep drawers of clothing and linens fresh, pleasant smelling, and moth-free.

Pomanders make cute and rustic ornaments by adding a natural element to my Christmas tree. I also use one in the place of mistletoe (yes mistletoe is poisonous) because I have pets in the house. This year my Christmas tree is only 3 feet high so instead of using full sized oranges I used clementines (cuties), so my pomanders would not take over the tree. I also like to use the same ribbon on all my ornaments to give the tree a cohesive look.

Here is what you will need:

Ribbon (wire edged ribbon works best I think) each piece is going to be about 12 to 18 inches long per piece of fruit

fresh citrus fruit like oranges, lemons, clementines, tangerines (think about the size of your ornament compared to your tree size) pick fruit that doesn’t have blemishes

whole dried cloves


Wash and dry your fruit well. Wrap your fruit once with ribbon and tie tightly in a knot on the top, this is what you are going to tie the pomander to the tree with so you will need the extra ribbon length.  With a pencil lightly draw a pattern on the skin of the fruit, this is where you will insert your cloves. NOTE: use basic patterns like simple swirls or stars. Insert cloves into the fruit skin by pushing in the clove stem first. Push until stem is all the way in the skin but the button top is still on the outside of the skin (SEE PICTURE ABOVE). After you have decorated the pomander, tie it to your branches on your Christmas tree, hang as mistletoe or attach to your holiday wreath. MERRY TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS.

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