Monday, June 18, 2012

More Adventures of making Gardenia Dusting Powder

The original recipe for Gardenia Dusting Powder that I tried to follow, sort of, called for cornstarch and optional talc in which fresh gardenias were to sit until they faded.

And fade they do. I've dried gardenias before by keeping them in a dark cool place. They lose a little of their whiteness but not to the dark ecru color that they reached when enveloped in a mixture of cornstarch with talc, kaolin and other compounds in the baby powder I added because I hoped its fixatives would hold the fragrance better.

The powder still smells more like babies than gardenias. I discarded the brown flowers and added fresh today. The gardenias are almost done in the garden. The cornstarch mixture was lumpy when I opened the container but it smooths into fine powder at a touch.

A vintage refrigerator dish makes a fine powder-making
 container, I thought.

I saved the discarded blooms for some vintage projecct
not yet thought of, layering them in paper towels to dry.

Now that they're almost gone, I should have tried drying gardenias again for other future notions.
They do lose their fragrance when air-dried and some of their whiteness but hold their shape.

I read a recipe for making essential oil the other day, using a crock pot to 'cook' the blooms, catching the vapors on the underside of the inverted lid and then letting them drain back into a suitable small vessel. Recipes for making dusting powder using essential oil of gardenias use only a few drops, which is probably as much as I could manufacture in a crude evaporator.

 Perhaps I should just return to my long-ago plan of making Irish Crochet Roses in my retirement years. After a wasp popped me on the wrist on Saturday I gave up pruning boxwoods for now and sought indoor activities.There for a day or so my arm felt like a club it was so heavy with edema.

If all else fails, I'll ask for Oscar for my birthday, or White Shoulders.


  1. It sounded like a great idea. I hope adding more flowers increases the scent. :)

  2. Oh I am sorry about that 'edema', i know how it feels as i've had lots of them too. Maybe those dried petals will be good potpouri materials which we can add some scents later, but how do you do that 'crude evaporator'? I would love to do that too here. The conventional evaporators and condensers used in the laboratory are very expensive, but maybe your style will be okay too! Can you share it! thanks.

  3. Oh to be able to capture that gardenia scent.

    Sorry about your wasp sting. Things like that always put a crimp in gardening.

    Have a lovely day ~ FlowerLady

  4. I have many fragrant flowers (roses especially) and leaves (scented pelargoniums). Sometimes I collect them into a basket. In the summer they can air dry. Once the basket is full, the contents return to the garden as mulch. And I start again with fresh fragrant layers.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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