Pomanders can be a fun choice for little flower girls walking down the aisle. And as any floral designer can attest, some flowers work better than others. Mini, mini roses are ideal – like these completely adorable ones we used this weekend. Teeny tiny with green and soft ivory at the edges, darkening to pink at the center. Isn’t this adorable? Makes me happy just looking at it!

Adorable Rose Pomander

Adorable Rose Pomander

When we meet with clients and suggest a pomander as one of the many options for a flower girl – we’re often asked, why is it called a pomander? So I’ve finally looked it up and it turns out pomander comes from the French word ‘pomme de ambre’ which translates literally to ‘apple of amber.’

Back in the Middle Ages when there was lots of unfortunate smells and disease, pomanders were used to ward off  such things. They were a mixture of aromatic things like cloves, incense, etc. held in a perforated container that could be carried around one’s neck or waist – as seen in the portrait of a lady below by the painter Pourbus:

An Unknown Lady, Holding a Pomander on a Gold Chain.

An Unknown Lady, Holding a Pomander on a Gold Chain.

Another kind of pomander that dates back to around the 15th century, is an orange embellished with cloves that are tucked into the orange’s peel. This kind of pomander is often part of seasonal Christmas display – but is also a natural air freshener for a home, closet, etc. I still have absolutely no idea how this phrase then became broadened to include flower balls like the one we made above, but it’s still interesting to know the word’s origin!

An orange and clove pomander

An orange and clove pomander

Petalena

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