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also pot-pourri, 1610s, "mixed meats served in a stew," from French pot pourri "stew," literally "rotten pot" (loan-translation of Spanish olla podrida), from pourri, past participle of pourrir "to rot," from Vulgar Latin *putrire, from Latin putrescere "grow rotten" (see putrescent). Notion of "medley" led to meaning "mixture of dried flowers and spices," first recorded in English 1749. Figurative sense (originally in music) of "miscellaneous collection" is recorded from 1855.
in pottery, a decorative ceramic vessel with a perforated cover originally made to hold a moist mixture of aromatic spices, fruits, and the petals of flowers that was intended to produce a pleasant scent as the mixture mouldered. The vessel was later used for dried spices and petals. Ball-shaped ones, frequently made of metal, are known as pomanders. See also pouncet-box; vinaigrette