The Odette Toilette Potpourri blend no. 1

Potpourri hasn’t got the greatest reputation nowadays. Potpourri makes me think of a bag stuffed with semi-plastic leaves, unnatural colors, coniferous material and vague laundry scents. Ick, ew, yikes.

The home-scenting fragrant concoction started out at least a few centuries back, with the gathering of fresh herbs and flowers and its layering with sea salt. The mix would be left out to ferment and spices would be added to finish it off and the result would spiff up the house.

Odette Toilette, or Lizzie Ostrom, a perfume lover who organized perfume smelling events around London under the Scratch and Sniff tag, has ventured into scent-making by producing 250 limited-edition potpourri pots.

Darasina Perfume created the mixture by using two litres of rose petals, macerated until heady, lemon verbena, mint, Russian coriander, bay, sweet marjoram and cured lemon peel, resins of benzoin, storax and tonka. The charming black clay pot was done by an artisanal pottery near York.

I expected it to be a big, expansive, overwhelming smell. After all, the raw materials  were sheer quality. What I got is a subdued rose jammy scent, very comforting and pleasant, perfectly suited for the colder months. I imagine if everything stuffed in the pot were to be spread into a larger, open-lidded bowl, the smell would permeate the house a lot more but it would fade away a lot sooner too.  I like it like this, a tiny garden surviving past its due date in my apartment, a ghost of earth and sea within reach.

I am surprised they haven’t sold out. You can buy one on the Odette Toilette site for £45, where you can also check out her series of perfume-related events.