My family has always made pomanders using citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, or limes. For a long lasting, fragrant, and beautiful pomander the fruit should be unblemished, nicely shaped, and fairly thick skinned. You will also need whole cloves, powdered orris root, available on-line or through your local health food store, and cinnamon or allspice, depending on your preference. Dried or powdered orris root smells like violets and has traditionally been used to lend a pleasant scent to freshly laundered linens and to potpourri; but all these spices are quite fragrant lending the pomander its lovely aromatic quality.
For convenience sake, find a large plate or bowl to empty your whole cloves into. Working with the fruit over the bowl makes the process less messy. You will be working with citrus and will get sticky fingers, so keep some hand wipes nearby. Stud the surface of your chosen fruit evenly and closely with the whole cloves producing a tight “coat of mail” effect over the entire body of the fruit. To prevent your whole cloves from breaking off use a stiff toothpick to first pierce the skin of the fruit, then inset the clove into this pre-punctured hole . Once you start making your pomander it is important to finish the clove embedding process as soon as possible, otherwise the fruit will begin to dry making it difficult to work with.
When the fruit has been completely studded with cloves lay it in a bowl with the pomander spice mixture made up of equal parts orris root and cinnamon or allspice. Each piece of fruit will require about two tablespoons of the spice mixture. Turn the fruit daily in the spice mixture until completely cured. The length of time required to completely cure will depend on the size of the fruit; be patient. The pulp will dry slowly, the juices will seep out mingling with the spices, and the skin will slowly shrink. When the process is completed the pomander will be light, dry, and quite fragrant. A plus to the curing process is as your new holiday gift cures it emits a beautiful, spicy fragrance, a sort of holiday essence for the household.