Forget the cloying scents and chemical additives of air fresheners or scented candles. Freshen up your surroundings with naturally made sachets instead. You can go the easy route and purchase ready-made sachets, or you can make them yourself.
Event planner Debi Lilly of Chicago's A Perfect Event likes to make sachets using vintage handkerchiefs she picks up at flea markets. "We lay the handkerchief out, iron it, scoop a handful of dried flowers, herbs or spices into the center, and then pull all the corners to a point on top," Lilly says. "Last, we tie the sachet with vintage ribbons and trims."
Sachets long have been used to freshen up clothing inside closets and drawers. Here are some more unexpected ways to use the aromatic pouches.
1. In the car. Tuck a sachet beneath the driver's seat to freshen the car interior and revive and relax the driver. Botura, a new sachet scent from Hillhouse Naturals ($2.80, hillhousenaturals.com) contains vetiver (a perennial grass), orange and geranium.
2. In the laundry hamper. "Fresh, airy scents would be great at the bottom of a laundry hamper," says Peggy Batts, Hillhouse Naturals' founder. Batts likes the uplifting notes of citrus for this purpose, or their own Fresh Linen sachet ($2.80), which contains bergamot, lemon and orange.
3. In the fireplace. In a twist on the traditional sachet, Lilly ties together cinnamon sticks and dried lavender in small bundles and tosses them into the fire.
4. At the office. Both Lilly and Batts love the idea of lavender in a desk drawer. "I'm a lavender-a-holic, in general, but it's a good one for public spaces," Lilly says. "Jasmine is a good one here as well," Batts adds. "It is said to be as relaxing as lavender, and good for combating exhaustion too."
5. In the gym bag. For those in-between periods when your shorts and socks must sit in the bag a day or two before you're able to take them home: Toss in a packet of something fresh and clean, such as lemon.