Orange and Clove Pomander

Citrusy Orange and Clove Pomanders have an aroma redolent of Christmas spice but are delightful to scent rooms throughout the year.  These Pomanders, or Clove Oranges, are an aromatic legacy of medieval times when strongly scented decorations made every-day life a little sweeter.  But I think they’re just as useful today as a natural, organic approach that tantalises our olfactory senses with added visual charm.

Preserving Compound       

50 g ground Cinnamon

35 g ground Cloves

35 g ground Allspice

35 g powdered Orris Root

20 drops Clove Essential Oil

10 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil

10 drops Orange Essential Oil

  1. Mix all ingredients together to create the Preserving Compound.

  2. This quantity is enough for 6 Pomanders and can be stored in an air-tight container until needed again.


One large fresh Orange – select one without soft patches or bruises

1 cup whole dried Cloves – approximately, the exact quantity will depend on the size of the Orange and how close you place the Cloves

  1. Make holes in the Orange with a skewer and press a Clove into each hole right up to the head of the Clove. The Orange will shrink a little as it dries, so leave some space between the Cloves to allow for this. 

  2. Continue until the entire Orange is covered in Cloves. This will take longer than you might think but I find it’s quite rhythmical and therapeutic.

  3. Place the Pomander and the Preserving Compound together in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Gently roll the Orange around so it is covered in the Compound. 

  4. Seal with the lid and then leave it for at least 2 weeks, turning the Orange in the Compound every day or so.   The longer you leave it, the greater the depth of scent.  The Orange will shrink and become quite dry during this time.

  5. Dust off any loose Compound from the outside of the Pomander, being careful not to damage the delicate Clove heads.

  6. The finished Pomander can be tied with ribbon or raffia to hang in a cupboard or on a coat rack to create a welcoming scent. They’re also beautiful placed in a decorative bowl with potpourris or other aromatics to scent your home.

  7. These attractive, aromatic, studded balls will last for many years and continue to delight.

  8. To enhance the scent of an old Pomander, add a few drops of Clove and Orange essential oils. Alternatively, sprinkle the Pomander with a little pure alcohol (vodka is a good choice) and place it back in the container of Preserving Compound for a few days.

  9. Enjoy!

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