Making Traditional Christmas Orange Pomanders

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

I love looking at photos of Victorian Christmases; it’s probably one of the most iconic eras for Christmas decor. Real cranberry garlands and candles on the tree, cedar bough wreaths and pomanders made with oranges and apples adorning beautiful bowls.

I thought I’d try my hand at making my own Pomanders today. I’ve been slowly getting into the Christmas spirit so I put on my Youtube Christmas playlist and pulled out all the ingredients and got to work. Pomanders are wonderful. They smell delicious and can store for years. They also ward off moths so once the season is over, hang them in your closets to protect and scent your clothes with memories of Christmastime.

You can make your Pomanders as simple or intricate as you like. This is what I used today.

3 – 4 Oranges


Cinnamon Essential oil

Pins (with round heads in Christmas colours)

Ribbons of your choice

Ground Cinnamon

Ground Cloves

Ground Ginger

Ground Nutmeg

1 -2 Paper Bags

1 large bowl and wooden spoon

Cotton rounds or paper towel


Tooth picks (optional)

Start by rubbing the oranges with Cinnamon Essential oil using a cotton round or paper towel. Caution: Cinnamon oil is VERY strong. Be sure to wash hands immediately after using it and avoid touching your nose or eyes.

Search POMANDERS in Pinterest and you’ll get literally hundreds of ideas. With my patterns chosen I started. The oranges are meant to dry out so they will shrink a bit; I used pins to secure the ribbons to the oranges.

Once my ribbons were in place, I started pushing the cloves into the oranges, one by one slowly creating patterns. It’s an almost meditative exercise and as the cloves pierce the orange skin it releases the juice and oils and smells wonderful.

If pushing the cloves into the oranges hurt your fingers you can use a tooth pick to pierce the skin beforehand. I really like how my green tartan ribbon pomander turned out.

Once I was happy with how they looked, I took all the ground spices and combined them in a large bowl.

I then rolled the Pomanders in the spices to coat them well and placed the Pomanders into a paper bag and poured the rest of the spices into the bag. I sealed the bag and stored it in a cool spot away from the heaters.

They will sit in the paper bag with the spices for 2 weeks after which they’ll be ready to use. My plan is to display them on the dining room table in a large bowl with pinecones an candles. They’ll fill the home with the sweet and spicy scent of cinnamon, oranges and cloves.

While I wait: Almond milk hot chocolate an cookies and a Christmas movie on Netflix.

Happy Holidays!!



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