Spiced Christmas Pomanders

Jul 31, 2023Aeran Schmid

This clove studded fruit is an excellent Christmas craft for kids and adults! The best part about Christmas Pomanders is that they are a natural way to bring the smell of Christmas to your house. This craft is inexpensive and gorgeous. The first time I made a Christmas Pomander one of my friends showed me how, but I was convinced that the orange would rot and make a huge mess. She assured me it would not. Part of the magic of ornament is that is “cures” and preserves itself. I was astounded that this ornament retained its fragrance and shape for a long time.

This pretty decoration has been made for centuries and was considered a sacred craft. Pomander is derived from the french pomme d’ambre, which meant pomme or apple and ambre which originally was ambergis. Ambergris which is waxy substance from the intestines of a sperm whale used in perfume making. If you have ever wondered about ambergris (I mean who hasn’t?) this is something that will blow your mind. Ambergris is a whale waste product from the sperm whale from all the indigestible squid parts like beaks. It is known as “floating gold” by fisherman and is used by high end fragrance companies to make perfume. Although its use has been banned by many countries because of the endangered status of the sperm whale, but  it is still used by some companies. Gives you a new perspective to that fancy Chanel perfume. Chunks of this product have been found washed up on the beach and can be worth $20,000. Anyways back to the pomander.

Pomanders can be made of any citrus fruit like oranges, grapefruit, lemons, or limes but apples can also be used. The skin is pierced and decorated with whole cloves and sometimes the whole thing is dusted in ground spices. The spices are natural preserving agents and prevent the orange from rotting and instead it turns into fragrant dried natural piece of decor. After making your pomanders allow them to fry for a week then use ribbon or twine to hang them.

What you will need:

Draw your your design first on the orange with fine tipped marker. Pierce the skin with the toothpick and insert whole cloves. You can also use a zester to make fancy designs in the skin. Be creative. If you want to make the pomanders into hanging decorations allow them to dry for a week on newspaper in a warm area. Then use ribbon or twine to string them up. If you want to arrange them on a serving dish or bowl then use them immediately. 

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