Sachet powder


Look up sachet in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

For the single-use packaging, see Packet (container). For the surname, see Sachet (surname).

Sachet cushion of the 16th century

A sachet is a small scented cloth bag filled with herbs, potpourri, or aromatic ingredients.[1][2][3][4][5] A sachet is also a small porous bag or packet containing a material intended to interact with its atmosphere; for example, desiccants are usually packed in sachets which are then placed in larger packages.

A sachet can be defined as a small soft bag containing perfumed or sweet-smelling items also referred to as an ascent bag,scent bag, sweet bag, sachet bag, sachet de senteurs, spiced sachet, potpourri sachet, scented sachet, perfume cushion, smelling cushion, scented cushion, fragrant bag, pomander and "dream pillow."[6][7][8][9][10][11]

In general usage, a satchet is a small packet containing material for a single use.

Cultural history[edit]

During the Chinese Warring States period a scented sachet was an ornament worn on the body and used to absorb sweat, repel insects and ward off evils.[11] In the Han Dynasty both boys and girls wore sachets and in the Tang Dynasty and Song Dynasty scented bags gradually became preferred only by women.[11] A scented sachet became a love token in the Qing Dynasty.[11]

In medieval Europe the sachet was known as a "plague-bag". These were generally worn around the neck, or dangled from the waist. It was believed that they provided protection against parasites and miasmata. These "sachets" contained sweet powders, aromatic calamus, benzoin, storax, galingale, cloves, and other fragrances from a herb or flower garden.[12]

Queen Isabella of Spain used fragrant sachets consisting of dried rose and carnation petals, orris and calamus root, and other ingredients like powdered coriander seeds.[13] In the nineteenth century a sachet filled with hops was called a "Pulvinar Humuli" and used by George III of Great Britain and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg to help induce sleep.[14]

In modern times, a small cloth bag filled with potpourri may be laid among garments in a dresser.[15]

In various Indian cuisines, a "potli bag" is used to contain whole spices, so that they may be easily separated from the food after cooking. They are also used as fashion ornaments unto themselves.


Scented sachets are for containing odorous substances to be laid among handkerchiefs to perfume them. They are also used to make undergarments and outer garments sweet smelling as well as placed amongst linens.[16] Scented sachets are also hung in closets and cupboards. They are also put into briefcases and luggage. Some are used in stationary packets and others are put under pillows to help one sleep.[12] Scented sachets are "sweet bags" (an old name for a small sachet cloth bag) and are put in automobiles, clothes dryers, clothes closets, inside or about children's stuffed animals, on the backs of chairs, and on doorknobs.[17] Sachets with herbs like hops and lavender act as a sedative.[18] These type of sachets are often put in closets and dresser drawers for their scents.[19] The word has also been used to mean a small bag of any material, e.g., paper, foil, or plastic, used to package doses of medication, for example, sleeping powders.

Some "dream pillow" types of scented sachets (i.e. "hop pillows") are made with sleep inducing ingredients like hops, chamomile, valerian, skullcap, and lavender that help promote sleep.[10][20][21][22][23][24] These scented sachets of aromatic herbs are also referred to as "herb pillows" or "sleep pillows" and are designed to overcome sleeplessness.[25][26][27][28][29][30]

Ram's 1606 booklet Little Dodoen gave a sachet formula to take to bed to help one sleep:

Take dry rose leaves keep them in a glass which will keep them sweet and then take powder of mints, powder of cloves in a grosse powder. Put the same to the Rose leaves then put all these together in a bag and take that to bed with you and it will cause you to sleep, and it is good to smell unto at other times.[31]

Certain herbs used in these type sachet "sleep pillows", like hops, have a soporific and a slight narcotic effect.[32] These herb filled sachets are even called "dreamtime pillows".[33] There are formulas using rosemary seeds to fill sachets and these are to be hung in a bedroom to promote sleep.[32] The traditional method to treat insomnia with herb filled sachets of hops or lavender is to place them in, under or near your sleeping pillow.[34][35][36][37][38] The "dream pillow" or "sleep pillow" sachet concept has been used for decades to help overcome sleeplessness.[39] These "sleep pillows" have a therapeutic effect and hops as an ingredient to this type of sachet are considered best at inducing sleep.[40] One type of "sleep pillow" sachet recipe by herb and flower author Penny Black calls for violets, rose petals, rosemary, tonka bean, vanilla bean, and a drop of lemon oil.[41]


Scented sachets are many times homemade and come in many sizes, styles, shapes and fragrances. A typical size would be approximately 4 inches square or thereabouts - some as small as a one-inch ball and others as large as an 8 inch square.[10] Many are in the shape of a plump little pillow.[42] The potpourri mix put inside the sachet can be herbal items or flower parts.[43] Some sachets that are made from spices like allspice, aniseed, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla beans are referred to as "spiced sachets."[44] A scented sachet used as a pot holder that is stuffed with allspice, cinnamon and cloves will release an apple pie smell when a hot dish is put on it.[10]

Other scented sachets are made from the winter savory, lavender, rosemary, tops of hyssop, chippings of cassia ligna, cedar, and sassafras.[45] This type is not only used to make garments sweet smelling but keep away destructive insects and worms.[46] Sachets with dried moth-repellent herbs like wormwood, southernwood, costmary, lavender, pennyroyal, lemon verbena rosemary, rue, sage and tansy are called "moth bags."[5][47]

A sachet base can be made where you can add certain aromatic or perfumed oils later to make various sachets. Some types of sachets are called "Patchouli Sachet" (that goes with woolens and blankets); "Florida Sachet" (which ingredients are fruity); "Oakasia Sachet"; "Orange-rose Sachet"; and "Sweet Bag of linen".[48] Some scented sachets even have names like ""Heliotrope Sachet" and "Tonka Bean Sachet."[49] Others still are called "Provencal pillows", "Country pillows" and "Pillows for Love".[32]

Some are even made into Sweet Bag necklaces.[50] Some are decorated with embroidery, beads, buttons, ribbons, and fancy cloth. The oldest formula printed for a list of ingredients in an America scented sacket comes from a Colonial Williamsburg book, The Compleat Housewife, published in 1742.[51]


Scented sachets

  • Crewel sachet 2.jpg
  • Lavender bag 1.jpg
  • Lavender bag in progress.jpg
  • Lavender bag 2.jpg
  • Cedar filled bags for BA.jpg
  • Crewel sachet.jpg
  • Lavender Sachets.jpg
  • Blue Corduroy Lavender Sachets.jpg
  • Cream Linen Lavender Sachets.jpg
  • Deco Rust Lavender Sachets.jpg
  • Gold Lavender Sachets.jpg
  • Lime-ade Flowers Lavender Sachets.jpg


  1. ^Simmonds, p. 324
  3. ^Duff, p. 34
  4. ^Online Etymology Dictionary. "small perfumed bag," 1838, from Fr. sachet (12c.), dim. of sac (see sac). A reborrowing of a word that had been used 15c. in the sense "small bag, wallet."
  5. ^ abOster, p. 54
  6. ^Hunter, p. 4080
  7. ^Sweringen, p. 341
  8. ^Gasc, p. 500
  9. ^Tibbins, p. 943
  10. ^ abcdNatural Remedies
  11. ^ abcdCultural ChinaArchived 2010-08-22 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ abHemphill, pp. 24-26
  13. ^Garland, p. 223
  14. ^Gutenberg ebook Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure
  15. ^Merriam-Webster definition
  16. ^Fettner, p. 91
  17. ^Booth, p. 121
  18. ^Buchanan, pp. 322, 333
  19. ^Sisko, p. 31
  20. ^Garland, p. 268 Pillows stuffed with dried hops are an old treatment for insomnia.
  21. ^Chopra, p. 40 A sachet of hops is traditionally placed under a child's pillow to deliver sleep-inducing aromatherapy.
  22. ^Lust, p. 370 A small pillow filled with dried hops and slept on is a well-known folk remedy in many European countries for inducing a calm, restful sleep.
  23. ^How To Make Herbal Pot-Pourris, Sachets And Pillows
  24. ^Here's How To Make a Dream PillowDream pillows are used to promote restful sleep and pleasant dreams. They are small and flat, placed in a standard pillow, and stuffed with a sachet of calming and sleep-inducing dried herbs... George Washington reportedly used one filled with hops...
  25. ^Walter, p. 123 The "herb pillows" of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (little sacks of aromatic herbs thought to be a remedy for sleeplessness) always included lavender, clovepinks and costmary as principal ingredients.
  26. ^White, p. 111 There are several herbs that have a reputation for easing insomnia, and by creating a blend of these leaves and flowers, you can make small "herb pillows" to help you sleep.
  27. ^Murphy-Hiscock, p. 159 Sweet Dream Pillow - This pillow is designed to encourage relaxation and soothe restless sleep.
  28. ^Dream Pillows
  29. ^Making herbal pillows
  30. ^Dream Pillows
  31. ^Rohde, p. 29
  32. ^ abcGarland, p. 229
  33. ^Knapp, p. 61
  34. ^Calbom, p. 211
  35. ^Williamson, p. 191
  36. ^Mitrea, p. 31
  37. ^Kothe, p. 46
  38. ^Foster, p. 212
  39. ^Bond, p. 265
  40. ^Oster, p. 55
  41. ^Black, p. 66
  42. ^Black, p. 96
  43. ^Black, pp. 57-71
  44. ^Seton, p. 54
  45. ^Freeman, p. 172
  46. ^Cox, p. 259
  47. ^Garland, p. 222
  48. ^Strobell, p. 139
  49. ^Freeman, p. 173
  50. ^Cox, p. 279
  51. ^Fettner, p. 95


  • Black, Penny, The book of potpourri: fragrant flower mixes for scenting & decorating the home, Simon and Schuster, 1989, ISBN 0-671-68210-5
  • Bond, Annie B., Home Enlightenment: Practical, Earth-Friendly Advice for Creating a Nurturing, Healthy, and Toxin-Free Home and Lifestyle, Rodale, 2005, ISBN 1-57954-811-3
  • Booth, Nancy M., Perfumes, splashes & colognes: discovering & crafting your personal fragrances, Storey Publishing, 1997, ISBN 0-88266-985-0
  • Buchanan, Rita, Taylor's guide to herbs, Houghton Mifflin, 1995, ISBN 0-395-68081-6
  • Calbom, Cherie, The Juice Lady's Guide to Juicing for Health, Avery, 2000, ISBN 0-89529-999-2
  • Chopra, Deepak, A sachet of hops is traditionally placed under a child's pillow to deliver sleep-inducing aromatherapy., Random House, Inc., 2000, ISBN 0-609-80390-5
  • Cox, Janice, Natural beauty from the garden: more than 200 do-it-yourself beauty recipes and garden ideas, Macmillan, 1999, ISBN 0-8050-5781-1
  • Duff, Gail, Natural Fragrances: Outdoor Scents for Indoor Uses, Storey Publishing, LLC, 1991, ISBN 0-88266-683-5
  • Fettner, Ann Tucker, Potpourri, incense, and other fragrant concoctions, Workman Pub. Co., 1977, ISBN 0-911104-97-6
  • Fleming Charles, Royal dictionary, English and French and French and English, Volume 2, Firmin-Didot and Company, 1885
  • Foster, Steven, National Geographic Desk Reference to Nature's Medicine, National Geographic Books, 2008, ISBN 1-4262-0293-8
  • Freeman, Sally, Ageless Natural Beauty, Barnes & Noble Publishing, 2002, ISBN 0-7607-3373-2
  • Garland, Sarah, The Complete Book of Herbs and Spices, frances lincoln ltd, 2004, ISBN 0-7112-2374-2
  • Gasc, Ferdinand E. A., Dictionary of the French and English languages: with more than fifteen thousand new words, meanings, etc.., H. Holt and Company, 1876
  • Hemphill, Rosemary, Fragrance and flavour: the growing and use of herbs, Angus and Robertson, 1960, Pennsylvania State University
  • Hills, William Henry, The Writer, Volume 6, The Writer, 1893
  • Hunter, Robert, Universal dictionary of the English language: a new and original work presenting for convenient reference the orthography, pronunciation, meaning, use, origin and development of every word in the English language ..., P. F. Collier, 1897
  • Knapp, Jennifer, Beauty Magic: 101 Recipes, Spells, and Secrets , Chronicle Books, 2004, ISBN 0-8118-4222-3
  • Kothe, Erika B, Jewels from Heaven , iUniverse, 2004, ISBN 0-595-31718-9
  • Lust, John, The Natural Remedy Bible, Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0-7434-6642-X
  • Mitrea, MD (Eur), ND Liliana Stadler, Natural medicine mosaic, Natural Medicine Books, 2007, ISBN 0-9784947-0-9
  • Murphy-Hiscock, Arin, The way of the green witch: rituals, spells, and practices to bring you back to nature, Adams Media, 2006, ISBN 1-59337-500-X
  • Oster, Maggie, Ortho's all about herbs, Meredith Books, 1999, ISBN 0-89721-420-X
  • Pereira, Jonathan, Title The Elements of Materia Medica and Therapeutics: including notices of most of the medical substandces in use in the civilized world, and forming an Encyclopaedia of Materia Medica, Volume 1, Longman, 1854
  • Rohde, Eleanour Sinclair, Rose Recipes from Olden Times, Courier Dover Publications, 1973, ISBN 0-486-22957-2
  • Rose, Jeanne, Herbs & Things: Jeanne Rose's Herbal, Last Gasp, 2002, ISBN 0-86719-525-8
  • Seton, Susannah, Simple Pleasures of the Home: Comforts and Crafts for Living Well, Conari, 2002, ISBN 1-57324-854-1
  • Simmonds, Peter Lund, The dictionary of trade products, manufacturing, and technical terms: with a definition of the moneys, weights, and measures of all countries, G. Routledge, 1858
  • Sisko, Eileen, Nature power then and now, Mason County Historical Society, 1984, ISBN 0-911377-07-7
  • Strobell, Adah Parker, Like it was: Bicentennial games 'n fun handbook, Acropolis Books, 1975, ISBN 0-87491-059-5
  • Sweringen, Hiram V., A dictionary of pharmaceutical science: a guide for the pharmaceutist, druggist, and physician..., P. Blakiston, 1882
  • Walter, John T., hints & pinches, Hill Street Press, 2002, ISBN 1-892514-98-2
  • Webster, Helen, Herbs - How to Grow Them and How to Use Them, READ BOOKS, 2008, ISBN 1-4437-3632-5
  • White, Susan, Herbs Teach Yourself Book, NTC Pub. Group, 1993, ISBN 0-8442-3928-3
  • Williamson, Karen, Sleep Deep: Simple Techniques for Beating Insomnia , Perigee, 2007, ISBN 0-399-53323-0

Flocculant/Disinfectant Powder

A P&G™ sachet,  Proctor and Gamble

A P&G™ sachet (Proctor & Gamble)

Flocculant/Disinfectant Powder Cdc-pdf[2 pages]

The Procter & Gamble Company developed P&G Purifier of Water™ in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). P&G™ sachets are now centrally produced in Pakistan, and sold to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide at a cost of 3.5 US cents per sachet. The P&G™ product is a small sachet containing powdered ferric sulfate (a flocculant) and calcium hypochlorite (a disinfectant). P&G™ was designed to reverse-engineer a water treatment plant, incorporating the multiple barrier processes of removal of particles and disinfection. To treat water with P&G™, users open the sachet, add the contents to an open bucket containing 10 liters of water, stir for 5 minutes, let the solids settle to the bottom of the bucket, strain the water through a cotton cloth into a second container, and wait 20 minutes for the hypochlorite to inactivate the microorganisms.

Lab Effectiveness, Field Effectiveness, and Health Impact

The flocculant/disinfectant powder P&G™ has been proven to remove the vast majority of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, even in highly turbid waters. P&G™ has also been documented to reduce diarrheal disease from 90% to less than 16% incidence in five randomized, controlled health intervention studies. P&G™ also removes heavy metals—such as arsenic—and chemical contaminants—such as pesticides—from water. Studies showing the efficacy of P&G™ have been conducted for highly turbid water in the laboratory, in developing countries, in rural and urban areas, refugee camps, and include all age groups.

Benefits, Drawbacks, and Appropriateness

Process for PUR Purifier of Water system   Proctor and Gamble

Process for P&G™ purifier of water system (Proctor & Gamble)

The benefits of Flocculant/Disinfectant Powder are:

  • Proven reduction of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in water
  • Removal of heavy metals and chemicals
  • Increased free chlorine protection against contamination
  • Proven reduction of diarrheal disease
  • Visual improvement of water and acceptability
  • Transport of sachets easy
  • Long shelf life of sachets

The drawbacks of Flocculant/Disinfectant Powder are:

  • Multiple steps are necessary—requires training or demonstration
  • Requires a lot of equipment (2 buckets, cloth, and a stirrer)
  • The higher relative cost per liter of water treated

P&G™ is most appropriate in areas with a consistent supply chain for sachet resupply and in urban, rural, and emergency situations when educational messages can reach users to encourage correct and consistent use.

Implementation Examples

Woman with PUR sachets in Haiti, D. Lantagne, CDC

Woman with P&G™ sachets in Haiti (D. Lantagne, CDC)

Social marketing organizations, such as the NGO Population Services International, sell P&G™ sachets in multiple countries.

Local organizations use the socially marketed P&G™ sachets in their own programming to provide safe drinking water. In western Kenya, students in schools are taught how and why to use P&G™, and safe water clubs treat drinking water for all the students. Also in Kenya, HIV self-help groups sell P&G™ sachets and storage containers as an income-generating activity.

P&G™ sachets have been widely used to respond to emergencies – from the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia to flooding in Haiti to cholera epidemics in Africa. The Procter & Gamble Children’s Safe Drinking Water program has been given numerous awards, including the Ron Brown Presidential Award for Corporate Leadership in 2007, the EPA Children’s Health Excellence Award in 2007, the Grainger Challenge Bronze Award in 2007, and the Stockholm Industry Water Award in 2005.

Economics and Scalability

Turbid water in Kenya treated with PUR, G. Allgood, Proctor and Gamble

Turbid water in Kenya treated with P&G™ (G. Allgood, Proctor & Gamble)

Each sachet of P&G™ is provided to global emergency relief organizations or non-governmental organizations at a cost of 3.5 US cents, not including shipping from Pakistan by ocean container. Transport, distribution, education, and community motivation can add significantly to program costs. Sachets are generally sold at product cost recovery for 10 US cents each, for a cost of 1 US cent per liter treated. Currently, P&G™ projects operate either on partial cost recovery (charging the user only for the product, and subsidizing program costs with donor funds), or fully subsidized free distribution such as in emergency situations. Procter & Gamble sells the P&G™ sachets at cost, makes no profits on P&G™ sales, and donates programmatic funding to some projects.


Chiller TM, Mendoza CE, Lopez MB, Alvarez M, Hoekstra RM, Keswick BH, Luby SP. Reducing diarrhoea in Guatemalan children: randomized controlled trial of flocculant-disinfectant for drinking-water.External Bull World Health Organ. 2006; Jan 84(1):28-35.

Crump JA, Otieno PO, Slutsker L, Keswick BH, Rosen DH, Hoekstra RM, Vulule JM, Luby SP. Household based treatment of drinking water with flocculant-disinfectant for preventing diarrhoea in areas with turbid source water in rural western Kenya: cluster randomised controlled trial.External BMJ. 2005; Sep 3 331(7515):478.

Luby SP, Agboatwalla M, Painter J, Altar A, Billhimer W, Keswick B, Hoeskstra RM. Combining drinking water treatment and hand washing for diarrhea prevention, a cluster randomized controlled trial.External Trop Med Int Health. 2006; Apr 11(4):479-89.

Reller ME, Mendoza CE, Lopez MB, Alvarez M, Hoekstra RM, Olson CA, Baier KG, Keswick BH, Luby SP. A randomized controlled trial of household-based flocculant-disinfectant drinking water treatment for diarrhea prevention in rural Guatemala.External Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2003; Oct 69(4):411-9.

Doocy S, Burnham G. Point-of-use water treatment and diarrhea reduction in the emergency context: an effectiveness trial in Liberia.External Trop Med Int Health. 2006 Oct; 11(10):1542-52.

Additional Resources

For more information about flocculant/disinfection systems for developing countries visit:

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[ sa-sheyor, especially British, sash-ey ]

/ sæˈʃeɪ or, especially British, ˈsæʃ eɪ /


a small bag, case, or pad containing perfuming powder or the like, placed among handkerchiefs, lingerie, etc., to impart a pleasant scent.

Also sachet powder.the powder contained in such a case.



We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.

Question 1 of 8

Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?

Origin of sachet

1475–85; <Middle French, equivalent to sach- (combining form of sacsack1) + -et-et


sachet , sashay, Sasha

Words nearby sachet

sacerdotalism, sac fungus, sachem, Sacher-Masoch, Sacher torte, sachet, Sachs, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, sack, sackable Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use sachet in a sentence

  • A little rose-scented sachet powder may be sprinkled on this cotton to add perfume to the blossom.

    Make Your Own Hats|Gene Allen Martin

  • The aroma of new-sawn timber and sawdust began to be mingled with the feminine odour of sachet and flowers.

    The Octopus|Frank Norris

  • Clematis frowned and sneezed as the infinitesimal particles of sachet powder settled in the lining of his nose.

    Seventeen|Booth Tarkington

British Dictionary definitions for sachet


a small sealed envelope, usually made of plastic or paper, for containing sugar, salt, shampoo, etc

  1. a small soft bag containing perfumed powder, placed in drawers to scent clothing
  2. the powder contained in such a bag

Word Origin for sachet

C19: from Old French: a little bag, from sac bag; see sack1

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012



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