Sachets are traditionally placed in clothes drawers and closets to scent their contents. Sachets can be filled with dried, fragrent flowers or leaves or with a mixture of dried flowers, herbs, and spices called potpourri. The simpliest sachets are made with frilly handkerchiefs tied with ribbon or lace. You can also sew sachets from fabric scraps and decorate them with ribbon and lace remnants.
For sachets that help repel moths, fill little muslin sacks with southernwood, wormwood, lavender, santolina, or tansy. Put them in pockets or attach them to coat hangers. At Christmas time, make sachets in traditional holiday shapes for package decorations or small gifts.
To make homemade scented mixtures, collect sachet ingredients throughout the gardening season or save the petals from florists’ bouquets. Roses, lavender, and tube-roses retain their scents the best, but other fragrant flowers, such as honeysuckle, carnations, and orange blossoms, can be used.
Before filling sachets, crush petals or herbs and mix them with orrisroot (available at perfumers and some drugstores) to fix their fragrance so that it will last longer. You can also add several drops of an essential oil to intensity the scent.
To make a floral-spice potpourri, use the following: 1 quart dried flower petals; 2 tablespoons dried grated citrus peel (optional): 1 tablespoon each ground cloves, allspice, and cinnamon; 1 tablespoon each rosemary and crushed bay leaves: 3 tablespoons powdered orrisroot; 10 drops of oil of patchouli, jasmine, tuberose, rose, or lilac, or a combination of these. Place petals in a large jar. Add citrus peel, spices, herbs, and orrisroot: mix together gently. Sprinkle the oils on top; close tightly. Shake the container every few days for 3 weeks, or until the mix is mellowed.