Sachet is a French word that is the diminutive of sac, a small bag or wallet. In modern English, a sachet is a small bundle of scented stuffing or potpourri, covered in fabric, often shaped like a pillow.
Sachets as we know them probably had their origins in the 15th century when the upper class put scented powders and spices into trunks containing elaborate garments. These silks or velvets could not be laundered. In order to keep the body odor at bay, clothes were liberally sprinkled with perfumes. The same school of thought held with perfuming the body, since daily bathing was considered unhealthy.
The problem with raw spices is that their essential oils leach out, staining the clothing. Therefore, people began covering the spices in silk or linen bags that became sachets. These fragrant bags became popular among the European upper crust and continue to be used much as they were 500 years ago.
In general, women use sachets, and they are available almost everywhere home interior goods are sold. Many women use sachets in their underwear drawer, in closets, jewelry boxes and even in their shoes. Sachets may be filled with potpourri, spices or scented fiberfill. They may smell of almost any fragrance, including a favorite designer cologne. Premade sachets can cost US$2 and up.
Sachets are easy to make. With pretty fabric, a needle and thread and scented filler, anyone can make a sachet. The sewer can stitch together two pieces of fabric, right sides together, leaving a hole at the top. Turn the piece right side out and fill. Blind-stitch the opening shut and the sachet is ready.