14 April 2010

A "Scent-sational" Idea...Sachets!

During our recent move, I discovered an item that may be small and easily overlooked, but is not only charming, it is practically an essential in a new home. This little item is the sachet. While they are not very common in our modern smell loaded world, sachets are wonderfully useful. Unlike all the commercial scented items out there, sachets have a particular nostalgia and elegance about them. Their natural scents are not overpowering, yet effective. They are often dainty, but can easily be manned up for the gentlemen in the house. They really are a little treat!

The sachet actually became useful to me prior to our move. I was concerned that our linen items and clothing left in storage were in danger of being an attractive meal for any sort or vermin or creepy crawly. But I had an inspiration. Knowing that most creepy crawlies are not overly enthused about strong smells, I thought I would give our clothes a good dosing of something smelly. Well, there are always the time tested, yet not so lovely, mothballs. But who really wants to smell like an old mothball anyway? I sure didn’t, but I thought lavender might do the trick and I actually love the soothing scent of lavender. So I went to the herb shop and bought a big bulk bag of lavender buds, whipped up a few mesh bags on my sewing machine and I popped several little flower filled lovelies into my linen and wardrobe boxes. *Note: You too can easily do this! Just buy some bulk lavender and grab some of the little favor bags that most craft stores sell and fill them up!

I am pleased to report no meals were served while our things sat in storage. While I can concede that this may not be fool proof, at the very least my clothes and linens came out of their boxes smelling sweetly of lavender! But the useful little sachet didn’t stop there! I know many people would not think to mind the odors left behind by previous homeowners, but no matter how small, I wish things to smell as I please…not at anyone else pleases. So I quickly stashed my little bundles of lavender buds in the closets and drawers, so that when we put our wardrobes and linens in their new homes they would smell how I wished them to smell. And it is really a delight to open a drawer and find, well smell, a charming little sachet!

Sachets come in all shapes, sizes and smells. Some are very fancy and some are very plain. They all smell like something, but what can be up to you! As I suggested, one of the easiest ways to create your own sachets is to purchase bulk lavender at a natural foods market or herb shop and fill the small favor bags you find at most craft stores. Many shops and catalogs also sell sachets. The possibilities are practically endless.

While many sachets are lavender filled, one can fill sachets with a wide variety of items to please different noses! Gentlemen are not usually too thrilled to go around smelling of flowers, so for the fellows one can fill the little pockets with cedar shavings, pine needles, even sprigs of dried herbs. In fact, the Victorians were very fond of making pine needle pillows, or sachets, during their country holidays so that they could return home with the scent of the forest. Women who are not overly fond of lavender might try dried rose buds or petals, the leaves of scented geraniums, cloves, dried citrus peel, or even wood shavings scented with a favorite essential oil. We must be careful, however, when using certain fillers to be careful of where we place our sachets as oils could leach onto our precious items.

I have both plain mesh bag sachets, as well as delightful little muslin pillows dressed up with lace, ribbons and silk flowers! They are so lovely to come across when I open up a drawer or hat box, that it always brings a smile to my face! And I always use lavender, as it is such a soothing scent! It is not overly strong on my clothes and does not overpower the perfume I choose for the day! It transports me to an era past, a time for gracious living. Just one more of those things Mrs. Merl Must Have!

Special Note: If you are interested in sachets to purchase, I sell the little muslin, lace and silk flower designs on my Etsy page, Trystette! And there is something extra useful about my sachet design! Please have a look and let me know what you think! I am always pleased to receive suggestions!