10 December 2009

The {Rustic Chic} Oranges of Christmas

A Christmas tradition from my southern childhood, creating pomander balls by sticking cloves into oranges (or, more quickly, into limes and lemons) then hanging by ribbons or piling into a silver bowl, is a soothing, low key way to spend the rare quiet evening during the hectic holidays. I spotted these yesterday at Emily Joubert in Woodside, one of my favorite go-to shops for rustic elegance and naturally decorative things.

Pile these lovely creations into a silver bowl for chic and thrifty
elegance...photo courtesy of Emily Joubert in Woodside

The word pomander comes from the French "pomme d'ambre, meaning apple of ambergris." The ambergris was placed in decorative cases of gold, silver, ivory, or wood and worn around the neck or waist to protect against evil spirits and to sweetly scent the wearer. They originated in 16th Century France. Today they are a stunning, thrifty and chic way to add fragrance and atmosphere to a citrus-inspired Christmas!

An antique silver pomander,

of spherical form on domed foot,
divided into six segments released
by a turning top,
the exterior depicting dense foliage and flowers,
the interior engraved with hatched floral motifs,
each segment numbered and with slide-off cover

The Low Countries,
circa 1640

courtesy Wartski

This little lemon is covered completely
with cloves, and thus, will last
for years, giving wonderful
scents to closets and drawers.

Should you wish to gather the family around a fire and good music, with perhaps a raclette and some Nouveau Beaujolais for sustenance while you create, Organic Made Easy has a post on just how to make scented pomander balls!

Raclette, yum!

Nouveau Beaujolais

Single pomander gracing silver branches
courtesy of Gail Bartel, That Artist Woman!


for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic
Chic Provence Interior Design


  1. Wow, I just did a post a couple of days ago on my orange pomanders! They still smell so divine and they looks so festive. Lovely post!

    Best wishes, Natasha.

  2. Hi Natasha, thanks for visiting, I just looked at your beautiful blog and saw your Christmas house, fabulous! we share the spirit of the season! and your orange pomanders..spot on!

    Joyeaux Noel! I am now following you!

  3. I love pomanders, but don't think the Beaujolais Nouveau is especially good this year.

  4. Orange pomanders smell so wonderful!... It has been a couple of years since I've made any... thanks for the reminder.

    I look forward to seeing the rest of your blogs...

  5. HI Beth, thanks for stopping and love your home tour...gorgeous!

  6. Hi Terri, they are eco-friendly too! yes the scent is so welcoming...thanks for the visit. I like your blogs, too...


  7. Thanks for sharing this useful information with all of us.Keep sharing more in the future.Have a nice time ahead.

  8. I just love your blog and I think your article is so awesome!! I love antiques and what a way to go green!! I think the towels would just be so adorable also. Thanks for sharing the story about how it was made. Makes it that more special! Take care, Fran.

    Susan Graham


I would love to hear what you think! merci!


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