Scented Geranium: The Herb with the Heavenly Fragrance

Listen to Susan’s Scented Geranium Podcast

When is a geranium not a geranium?* Learn where this delightful plant came from, why it spread so rapidly, and how to use it in crafts, in aromatherapy, and in your kitchen.

Recipes from Susan’s Podcast

Scented Geranium Syrup
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup washed, chopped geranium leaves

Mix sugar and water in a saucepan. Stir over high heat until sugar dissolves. Reduce to a simmer, cook about 10 minutes, until syrup thickens. Remove pan from heat and add chopped leaves. Steep for up to an hour. Strain, cover, and refrigerate. Use within two weeks.

Use as a pancake or waffle syrup or in drink recipes, such as margaritas and juleps. Try a lime-scented geranium with a margarita or one of the mint-scented varieties with a mint julep. Or use the syrup in a sorbet.

Scented Geranium Sorbet
16-18 fresh scented geranium leaves (Mabel Grey or rose geranium are both good)
1 cup superfine sugar
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cups cold water

Put leaves into a food processor or blender, with the sugar. Process until the mixture becomes a green paste. Add lemon juice and process for another 15 seconds or so. Add water and give it a final good blending, then strain through a fine sieve to remove any bits of leaf. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s directions. If you like, you might also add a half-cup of lemon balm leaves with the geranium leaves for an extra-lemony touch.

Some ways to use scented geraniums

  • Make flavored sugars by layering clean, dry leaves with sugar in a canister. Cover and place in a warm spot for 3-4 weeks, then sift out the leaves. Use to sweeten tea or in cakes, cookies, etc.
  • Candy small leaves by dipping in egg white and dusting with super-fine sugar. Dry on a rack and use as cake or cupcake decorations.
  • Steep rose- and lemon-scented geraniums in cider vinegar, alone or with mint, lemon basil, or lemon verbena. Use as a dressing for fruit salads, or as a cosmetic vinegar.


To learn more about scented geraniums, check out these links:

*When it is a pelargonium