Liquid potpourri, also known as fragrance oil or home fragrance oil, emits its scent through heat or as the liquid evaporates into the air. While formulas for liquid potpourri vary, they all can be used multiple ways to emit a pleasant fragrance in your home. Oil burners and reed diffusers are two ways to utilize your liquid potpourri, or pour a little onto dried materials such as pine cones or old dry potpourri to freshen it up with a new fragrance. Keep your liquid potpourri away from pets and small children, as the substances may be harmful if ingested, or may make a mess if spilled.
Oil Burner Basics
Oil burners, often made of stone or metal, feature a small bowl on top of a structure that holds a tea-light candle beneath the bowl. Pour a little water into the bowl -- almost enough to fill the bowl -- and several drops of a non-flammable liquid potpourri. In some cases, the potpourri may already be mixed and water may not be needed; read the container's instructions to be sure. Place a tea-light candle in the candle chamber beneath the bowl and light it. Within minutes, the potpourri fragrance emanates through the room. Keep an eye on the liquid level in the bowl, as the water evaporates, much like boiling a pot of water on the stove. Blow out the candle and add more water as needed. An electric aroma lamp works in the same fashion as an oil burner, using a light bulb in place of a tea-light candle.
Reed Diffuser Room Refresher
Make your own reed diffuser using a narrow-mouthed vase or jar, reed diffuser sticks and your favorite liquid potpourri. An old reed diffuser may also be used, replacing the reeds with fresh ones after you wash out the vessel. Pour the liquid potpourri into the container, add the reed diffuser sticks and flip them after an hour or two to speed up the process. Reed diffusers emit a slight fragrance and work well in small areas such as bathrooms.
Homemade Air Freshener
Make your own gel-style air freshener using gelatin and liquid potpourri. Warm a cup of a non-flammable liquid potpourri in a pot that you do not need for cooking. Add two packets of plain gelatin and a teaspoon of salt, stirring until the gelatin dissolves. Carefully pour the liquid into glass heat-safe jars such as canning jars. Allow the jars to cool completely before handling. Leave the lid off or drill small holes in a lid to keep the solution from drying out or evaporating quickly.
Freshen up existing dry potpourri or make your own using items such as pine cones and dried apples. Pour a little liquid potpourri onto the dried items atop a paper towel inside a glass bowl; the paper towel absorbs excess oil. Use the liquid-treated items only in a material such as glass or ceramic to avoid damage; the potpourri may discolor or stain other items such as wooden bowls.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.