Meet the Welsh florist bringing back a once essential interior item and giving it a fresh makeover for today’s reed-diffuser and scented-candle generation.
Walk into any home in the 1990s and early 2000s and you would have found the ubiquitous bowl of pot pourri. Once a sign of comfortable, middle-class status, its presence in homes soon fell out of favour for a new trend led by a certain American candle company who brought their highly-scented flames to UK shores. By 2011, according to analyst Mintel, sales of pot pourri had plummeted by 14% as sales of scented candles and reed diffusers went up 5% to £41m.
But are things about to change?
After collecting dust for almost two decades, Welsh florist Peter Thomas aims to take pot pourri away from its old-fashioned image of coloured wood shavings into a must-have fashionable home interior product once again.
Peter runs www.ginghamflorals.com, a flower and fragrance house, and began making his company’s pot pourri with leftovers from his florist business. ‘Gingham Florals creates small, fresh-flower posies for delivery across the UK and at the end of each day we have a lot of leftover flowers and materials, so I decided to begin experimenting with drying techniques to utilise the flowers we had left.’
It wasn’t plain sailing though as Peter explains: ‘The complexity of drying natural materials to the point where they don’t just crumble or lose their colour and essence is way more complicated and involved than you would imagine. After many attempts and methods, including numerous bowls of petal dust, after two years of experimenting I was able to develop a unique and exclusive drying and curing process that led to the creation of our handcrafted pot pourri.’
With a continuing environmentally-conscious consumer market, the company bills the pot pourri as an eco-friendly and exclusive alternative to scented candles.
Pot pourri is no modern trend and in fact dates back from the 17th century when, in the early days of the trading empire, it became fashionable to use exotic perfumes to evoke far-off lands.
Gingham Florals hopes that its reinvention of pot pourri with fragrances such as Pumpkin Butter, Woodlands and Shoreline will bring back this timeless product to a new generation.