Pomanders are long-lasting natural air fresheners that look gorgeous as a table centrepiece or a homemade gift. They are usually made using citrus fruits such as orange, lemon or lime. I chose to use limes for their small sizes, meaning I will not need to use as many cloves and it is less costly if they do not turn out well. The green colour of the limes will also contrast well with the cloves.
Pomander-making is stress relieving. There is something about doing repetitive tasks that is therapeutic. In the case of making pomanders, we will be rewarded with fresh, aromatic scents wafting into the air as we pierce the citrus fruit with cloves. It is also a great bonding activity to do with your children and loved ones.
For the pomanders, purchase the best quality whole cloves you can find. Most online articles on DIY-pomanders mention this tip. I thought I was being savvy by buying supermarket-brand whole cloves packaged in a glass jar, which might be less likely to be crushed. But, they turned out to be of inferior quality compared to the whole cloves sold in plastic packages which were even cheaper.
I used about 30g of whole cloves for 5 blemish-free small limes. You can use a thin knitting needle, satay skewer, or toothpick to pierce holes in the citrus fruits of your choice. Just make sure that you pierce the fruits over tea towels or paper towels. It is going to get very juicy.
There are many tips on preserving pomanders. Some suggest simply completely covering the citrus fruit with cloves while others suggest rolling it in a spice mix daily, over a few weeks. As I am all for shortcuts, I might just leave mine as they are and see how long they can last without the spice mix.
See these online articles for the ratio of the spice mix: