A pomander is simply a fruit, like an apple or orange, embedded with whole cloves. It’s a throw-back from the Victorian era when no one washed (ew, right?) and scented fruit was welcomed to off-set the stink of unwashed humans. Bathing in the middle ages was thought to be a prelude to sin, so the people found ways to mask the odour of unwashed bodies. A good way to do this was to carry a pomander. Other than that, making a pomander is a very fun project to do with kids and let’s face it, kids also hate bathing, so it’s a win-win.
Cloves are typically placed in a pattern or design, and the effect is a lovely decorated piece that makes the whole room smell good.
Since I am planning a project for a fall classroom party, I decided to use some fresh, firm Gala apples that were on sale. Apples are a good choice for children, as kids can poke through the skins easily with minimal effort. Oranges may prove to be a bit more challenging for the younger set, and you will need a toothpick to ‘pre-make’ the clove holes.
I purchased cloves at Whole Foods, and then realized I should of ordered online for bulk. It’s much cheaper, even with shipping. Here is one place I found that is inexpensive: Bulk Herbs and Spices
As my sample clove pomander, I made a ‘jack-o-lattern’ pattern with cloves on a medium yellow-red apple. My kitchen already smells nice, and I know the kids will have a great time coming up with their own creations.
Tip: When making a fruit pomander, make sure to put it on a paper plate/or napkin, especially if this is a craft project at school. The juice squirts out when you poke the whole cloves through!
Tip: Make sure to send a note home with children informing parents what the creation is. There are many parents out there who don’t know what a pomander is, plus you don’t want this one sitting on the bottom of a backpack for a few weeks. It may smell nice now, but in a few weeks — pee-uuuu. They should also we aware that this is a decorative project and NOT a snack!