The popular ribbon sachets (1910)

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The popular ribbon sachet

The little ribbon sachet is becoming more and more popular for the lady of fastidious ways, especially since the use of strong perfumes has been tabooed by people of good taste.

Who does not love the faint, elusive odor of violet in one’s lingerie, or the good old fashioned lavender which our grandmothers used in their linen closets? In the good old times, they grew their own sweet herbs. Their gardens contained the fragrant rose geraniums, lemon verbenas, orris, lavender and pink sweet clover, out of which they fashioned their little “scent bags” and laid them in the dresser drawers or in the closets where they kept their linens.

Today we buy our sachet powders of heliotrope, violet or whatever our favorite perfume may be, from the drug store at so much an ounce. We buy cotton wadding and fancy ribbon and bits of lace and make all of these dainty and desirable “scent bags” for ourselves and as gifts for friends.

The popular ribbon sachets (1910)

They are used in a thousand ways: For the dresser drawer of the lady, for her corset cover, to tie around her waist, to attach to her coat hanger, for her glove, veil and handkerchief boxes, and her stationery box, and for various boxes in which are kept different belongings. Large pads for the dresser drawers are made of china silk. Cut two sheets of silk the size of the drawer and place between them a sheet of wadding in which you have sprinkled the sachet powder. Bind and tie as you would a small comforter and lay fiat in the bottom of the drawer. These can be made of sheer muslin or even crepe paper.

For sofa pillows, we have the spicy scent of pine, spruce or sweet clover. For gifts sachets may be made in all sorts of fancy shapes. A very pretty one is a flower cluster made of silk or ribbon. A small bunch of ten or a dozen roses makes a very attractive sachet. Make the roses of different bits of colored silk or ribbon, into each one of which has been put a tiny wad of cotton filled with the sachet powder. The wire stems should be covered with green silk and the bunch as a whole tied together with a bow of green ribbon.

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To the girl who can use a brush and water colors there is an endless variety of ways to make attractive and artistic sachets. One shown in a store window not long ago was made of two shades of narrow ribbon about one and a half inches wide. It was made as a pansy, using the pansy colors. It was made with five petals, three of the lighter yellow and two of the darker. The ribbon was arranged to represent the petals, but it was the few touches of water color that completed it, making it perfect.

Other flower sachets can be made of ribbon or silk. Or designs outside of the flower world, such as hearts, figures and envelope shapes. A simple heart-shaped sachet may be cut from flowered ribbon, the edges turned in and basted together and finished round the edge with ilainty lace or buttonholed with embroidery silk. The sachet powder is put in the cotton filling inside. Or still more quickly made is a sachet in envelope shape with the edges bound round in bright color. The point of the envelope is fastened with either ribbon ties or a tiny buttonholed loop and a covered button.

In our grandmother and great grandmothers’ time, they used spiced apples for scent. A small apple was stuck full of cloves. When the skin was dry, the apple was ready for the linen box or the dresser drawer. Like all other good old fashioned things, this idea has been revived. Besides the apple, they now use a small round orange or a tangerine. In fact, it is sometimes called the tangerine, though it is the same as the spiced apple or the scent apple. Remove from the cloves the small crushable centers. With a darning needle, punch a hole in the fruit and insert a clove. Continue this until the surface is evenly and thickly covered and then put in some warm place to dry the skin. If you desire to make them more attractive, run a cord through the apple with a needle, leaving short ends outside.

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Original sachet photo from The San Francisco Call, November 17 1912

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