How do I make a scarf smell good?
August 2, 2011 6:53 PM   Subscribe

I've crocheted a wool scarf form my sister-in-law. When I ship it, I want to put something in the box that will make it smell pretty by the time it reaches her.

Does anyone have any ideas of something small that I can stick in the shipping box that will leave the scarf pleasantly scented during the 3-5 day trip it will take to get from North Carolina to Seattle? Caveat: she doesn't like patchouli.
Thanks in advance.
posted by msali to Grab Bag (35 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
A little sprig on lavender!
posted by Sweetmag at 6:58 PM on August 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lavender soap leaves are what I'd try for. Doubles as a little gift!
posted by wowbobwow at 6:58 PM on August 2, 2011


Whatever you use, put it in a piece of cheese cloth, a (stapled over) coffee filter or some other filter type material -- getting bits of plant matter out of wool would probably not be fun.

(I'm voting for lemon verbena or peppermint)
posted by jaimystery at 7:03 PM on August 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


If she has a favorite high-end perfume, go beg samples from the perfume counter and put them in the box as an extra treat.

If she likes cinnamon, tie together some cinnamon sticks with yarn and put them in the box. Other spices that can be easily tossed in a box: bay leaves, nutmegs.

Lavendar sachets and tied sticks are pretty easy to find and make.

You can also get some scented soap or scented votive candles (those add to the weight of shipping though).

Favorite tea bags may smell nice, depending on the tea.

Some people like the scent of cedar and it's easy to find moth-repellant cedar balls and sachets.
posted by girlhacker at 7:03 PM on August 2, 2011


Any kind of good smelling soap. Lavender, cotton, lemon verbena, green tea, eucalyptus, ginger orange. This site has a variety of suggestions.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 7:04 PM on August 2, 2011


Rosemary springs hold their awesome scent for ages!

Technically weed would too but I suppose that is a bad idea, all things considered.
posted by elizardbits at 7:04 PM on August 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Favorite tea bags may smell nice, depending on the tea.

Ooh, I love this idea. But I'd worry in the gross sticky summer that high humidity might cause the teabags to stain the fabric.
posted by elizardbits at 7:06 PM on August 2, 2011


My first thought was a dryer sheet. A used one. The fresh-out-of-the-box sheets are a bit too strong on their own.
posted by simplethings at 7:08 PM on August 2, 2011


Get some loose lavender buds and tie them up in a pretty, vintage hanky. Afterwards, she can use it in a drawer.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:10 PM on August 2, 2011


Lavender sprigs, indeed. Natural, beautiful, and their longlasting scent is incredibly sweet and old-fashioned.
posted by Miko at 7:10 PM on August 2, 2011


The lavender sounds awesome! Excuse my ignorance, but where would I acquire lavender sprigs?
posted by msali at 7:12 PM on August 2, 2011


Ooh, I'm voting for rosemary.

Make sure your sister likes lavender if that's the route you choose to go. I *hate* lavender, even to the point where using the bathroom after someone has used lavender-scented soap (even up to an hour later!) is really unpleasant for me. My mom and grandma are the same way. Maybe it's genetic or something, I don't know. But I would be very sad if I had to de-stink a lovely handmade scarf for a few weeks before I could get even near it.
posted by phunniemee at 7:14 PM on August 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


I feel somewhat the same as phunniemee about lavendar, but maybe it's a small minority of us. I love rosemary.
posted by bread-eater at 7:16 PM on August 2, 2011


I would do rosemary and sage together. Or sage and mint... or black tea and mint... Man this is a good idea!
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:17 PM on August 2, 2011


Yeah, I really dislike lavender, too.

I was going to suggest some vanilla pods, but I don't know how you could package them as to protect the pods and let the scent out.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 7:18 PM on August 2, 2011


I think checking with her is a good idea in general. Some folks are sensitive to some/all perfuming agents. I, for one, would probably prefer a scarf that smelled like wool than anything else.
posted by supercres at 7:23 PM on August 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


My farmer's market sells lavender springs. You might have luck at an organic grocery or New Age/apothecary style store.

I guess it makes sense to choose something the person likes, but I'd say for everyone that dislikes lavender, there's also someone that dislikes rosemary, rose, vanilla, etc.
posted by Miko at 7:23 PM on August 2, 2011


Don't worry, already cleared with the S-I-L. The only thing I have been banned from using is patchouli.
posted by msali at 7:29 PM on August 2, 2011


I would personally go with cedar. It's a subtle scent, and is positively associated with clothing, particularly wool. They make fragrant little blocks of cedar to keep moths out of drawers -- you could fold the scarf around one of those, and by the time it arrived it'd have a lovely scent (and the block would protect the scarf for some time to come, too).
posted by vorfeed at 7:43 PM on August 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Cedar's a great idea--light and fresh. If you rough up a cedar block (check the laundry aisle of a Target or Bed Bath type place) with sandpaper you'll intensify the scent.

Sandalwood would be a similar vibe, but a little more intense.
posted by padraigin at 7:57 PM on August 2, 2011


A higher-end grocery store might have dried lavender blossoms in the herbs and spices section, as it's gaining popularity among more adventurous bakers.
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:05 PM on August 2, 2011


Lavender and rosemary grow as ornamentals in a lot of yards around here.

If they don't grow in your area, perhaps there is something that smells nice and does?
posted by aniola at 8:12 PM on August 2, 2011


If you have access to a Trader Joe's, they sell lavender sachets for your clothes dryer. Toss them in with your laundry to make it smell nice-nice. They are already in little packets for you and will not leak or anything.

Then she can use it in her dryer, or sprinkle on her carpet before vacuuming.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 8:28 PM on August 2, 2011


I recently went to a wedding where we threw lavender at the couple instead of rice -- bride had lavender stuck all over her dress, but I digress -- maybe you could find a packet at a wedding supply place? Ours were packaged in pretty pouches, I'm not sure if they are sold that way or if someone packaged them by hand, though.
posted by theRussian at 8:31 PM on August 2, 2011


You should be able to get lavender sprigs in one of those big garden stores that have a gift shop, or just buy a little pot of it and snip what you want.
posted by BoscosMom at 8:37 PM on August 2, 2011


You can buy dried lavender in the bulk herb section at Whole Foods. At my WF they also sell pretty mesh pouches near the soap by the pound, which would be perfect for making a sachet.

If you don't live near a Whole Foods you could also get it in the herb section at a natural food store or co-op.
posted by apricot at 8:55 PM on August 2, 2011


I love lemon verbena also, but cloves are great on clothes (keeps bug out)
posted by Trivia Newton John at 10:12 PM on August 2, 2011


For my birthday, my ex M-I-L sent me a bar of Lemongrass and Ginger aromatherapy soap, amongst other things. I could smell it as soon as I opened the parcel (and it is divine).

I'd be looking for a rich luscious boxed - not plastic-wrapped, obviously - soap to throw in.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 11:14 PM on August 2, 2011


If the problem is that your SIL isn't a fan of the woolly sheepy smell of the scarf, could you wash it in a wool rinse like Soak before you send it? Many yarn stores have single-use packets you can get for a couple bucks, and they smell nice. If you use a lavender-scented wool wash and include a sachet of lavender in the package, it should smell divine when she opens it.
posted by zoetrope at 6:51 AM on August 3, 2011


I think a vanilla candle would be really nice. When I wear scarves I want them to be cozy and vanilla smells cozy to me.
posted by rmless at 7:31 AM on August 3, 2011


I would go with Zum Bar soaps. They have lots of wonderful scents. I can recommend both the Lavender-Mint and the Lavender-Rosemary. I would recommend wrapping whatever bar you select in an absorbent washcloth to prevent the soap from rubbing off on the scarf.
posted by marsha56 at 12:08 PM on August 3, 2011


You can get lavender-cedar balls/blocks at Target. Those are nice and I keep one or two in all my drawers. I also like the idea of peppermint. I'd look for a sachet rather than throwing in twigs/sprigs/leaves. You won't get bits of plant in the scarf, and she can easily toss the sachet in a drawer. Plus they are made to be near clothing so they won't cause damage or stains.
posted by JenMarie at 1:01 PM on August 3, 2011


Here are lavender cedar blocks from the Container Store, and lavender cedar hang ups from Target.
posted by JenMarie at 1:03 PM on August 3, 2011


That's Numberwang!: "If you have access to a Trader Joe's, they sell lavender sachets for your clothes dryer. Toss them in with your laundry to make it smell nice-nice. They are already in little packets for you and will not leak or anything.

Then she can use it in her dryer, or sprinkle on her carpet before vacuuming.
"

This is my suggestion as well. I love to dry my sheets with the little sachets. It adds just the right amount of scent, it's not too strong.
posted by deborah at 7:57 PM on August 3, 2011


Thank you everyone for their answers. I ended up purchasing lavender sachets this morning from Trader Joes, then adding rosemary from my own garden. I know that many of you did not like the lavender option, but please believe me when I tell you that the only scent my sister in law truly despise is patchouli, and even then she is somewhat mistaken....
Much love to all of you and your suggestions. My best answer marked is the response I actually used, despite the fact that many of you had EXCELLENT answers! Much love and many thanks.
posted by msali at 9:20 PM on August 3, 2011


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