Homegrown mint provides an uplifting fragrance, suitable for scenting the home. Fragrances vary among mints, ranging from spicy cinnamon to invigorating citrus. Also available in delicate apple and warm chocolate, mint can enhance potpourri or you can use it alone to add fragrance to the home. Although you can put sprigs of fresh mint in vases to add fragrance, drying mint leaves for later use as air fresheners allows you to savor the scent of mint all year.
Gather mint when buds have formed on the plants, but before they have bloomed. Oils are strongest at this time.
Pick the entire stem in early morning after the dew has dried. The oils in herbs are strongest in cool mornings before they are exposed to the heat of the day.
Rinse the mint in cold water to remove any dirt or insects. Drip dry or pat dry with paper towels.
Gather four or five stems of mint into a bundle. Tie with twine or secure with an elastic band.
Put the bundle into a paper bag and secure the top so the bundle of herbs hangs inside the bag. The University of University of West Virginia Extension Services explains that hanging herbs upside down causes the oils responsible for fragrance to drain downward into the leaves.
Cut or rip holes in the bag to allow air circulation. Hang the bag in a dry, well-ventilated area to dry. Mint leaves tend to drop from the stem as they dry. The bag catches the leaves.
Check the mint every three to four days for any signs of mold or mildew. Mint contains a high percentage of water and molds easily if bundles are too tick or humidity levels are high. Mint dries in 10 to 14 days, depending on the temperature and humidity level.
Remove the leaves from the stem and store in an airtight container in a cool dark location
Place dried leaves in open jars or decorative containers to provide fragrance to any room. You can also simmer dried mint leaves in water or put them in a potpourri pot to release fragrance into the room.