Prepare roses for drying by pruning them when the buds open halfway, or bringing rosebuds inside and allowing them to open in a vase filled with water. Crafter Louise Gruenberg suggests using red rose petals and pink rose buds, but follow your own preferences.
Bundle the roses in groups of six, tie the stems loosely with a string, and hang them in a cool, dry place for at least two weeks.
Separate the petals and buds from the stems and compost the remaining plant material.
Put the petals and buds on a cookie sheet, screens or newspapers for two more days to ensure that no moisture remains.
Place the heavier potpourri ingredients--the fixatives--in the bowl first. Use 1 cup oak moss and a total of 1 1/2 cups of any of the following: benzoin gum, orris root, sandalwood chips and tonka beans.
Measure out either 3 1/2 cups rose petals and 1 1/2 cup rosebuds, or 5 cups rose petals, into a glass, ceramic or stainless steel bowl.
Add 5 cups, total, of any of the following dried ingredients: lavender buds, rose geranium leaves, woodruff, pennyroyal, orange blossoms, violet leaves, balm of Gilead buds, cinnamon sticks and star anise pieces.
Blend 2 additional cups of dried plant material for flavor and color. Heather flowers, yarrow, feverfew, clover blossoms, small pine cones, linden leaves, rose hips, juniper berries and malva flowers all make good choices.
Begin slowly to add dropperfuls, or gently drizzled teaspoons, of a total of 3 teaspoons of essential or fragrance oils. Use rose and/or rose geranium, carnation, and jasmine or ylang ylang.
Evaluate the scent after adding about half of the essential oil blend. If it already seems overwhelming, stop. If not, finish adding the rest of the 3 teaspoons of the blend. (You can also decide to replace some of the second half of the blend with a spicy or citrus-based essential oil, rather than the rest of the floral blend.)
Mix the potpourri gently and pour into one or several glass jars with screw-top lids.
Set the jars in a dark cabinet for at least two weeks.
Evaluate the final color and scent of your potpourri and make any necessary adjustments.
Display the potpourri in an open bowl or in a clear glass jar with a stopper, which preserves the fragrance when the potpourri is not scenting the room. Package any extra in a pretty jar or box and give as a gift.