Fragrant Pillows

Pillows made of the tips of balsam fir are refreshing to lay one's head upon, breathing the air of the piney woods, and soothing one to sleep with its balmy perfume. Sweet clover also is used for filling pillows, as also is lavender. A friend of mine had a fragrant pillow which she always called her “olla podrida,” (miscellaneous collection) pillow. For the bulk of the filling fir tips were used, but mixed with it were sprays of every fragrant herb to be found, lavender, thyme, sage, Sassafras and bergamot. It made a curious medley but the odor was pleasing and no one could tell what it was until told. A hop pillow is not agreeable to every one, and perhaps cannot be recommended for its fragrance, but it is one of the best known remedies for sleeplessness and can be used for a long time without being renewed. Those of us who are blessed with a grate, where we can have an open fire at some seasons of the year, can save many small scraps which will produce a fragrance in our rooms. Small pieces of the branches of the wild cherry, tips of evergreen, cedar and juniper berries, plum, cherry and peach pits and the hard, woody stems of lavender. These latter are often made into small fagots, being plaited together with narrow strips of fancy paper. They have a charming appearance when made up in this way, and the fragrance is much stronger than one would suppose it could be from burning such dry sticks. Doubtless there are many other odorous things that might be used in the same way, and we can find them out by experimenting.
Vick's Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume 19-1895

In some sections of sunny Italy it is customary for a bride to make what is known as her fragrant pillow. Into this silken bag she puts the sweetest flowers. Year by year, as time flows on, she adds to them. And when, soon or late, she lies in her coffin, this fragrant pillow, wrought of flowers gathered through the bright and stormful years, is placed under her quiet head. And what is character—the soul's diploma—but life's perfumed pillow? More ethereal than ether, more elusive than odour, yet character is more powerful than radium, more pervasive than oxygen, more durable than the stars!
The Enchanted Universe: And Other Sermons
 By Frederick Franklin Shannon-1916
Charming souvenirs of rambles or outings are made by filling pillows with various sweet-scented flowers and leaves gathered and dried during the Summer. These will provide a delightful breath of the woods or country in the city flat or room that will amply pay for the slight trouble their preparation costs. The sweetest and daintiest of these cushions is the rose-pillow. It is a mistake commonly made to prepare the dried rose-leaves for a pillow the same as for a rose-jar. Instead of adding spices and what-not to obtain the real rose fragrance, get your druggist to mix three drops of oil or attar of roses with half an ounce of alcohol. Spray the rose-leaves with this before putting them in their thin cotton tick and add a few pinches of rose sachet. A genuine faint odor of roses will be exhaled in the room that will be a joy, if not forever, at least for many months. The oil of roses in alcohol will cost only a trifle, and will suffice for quite a large pillow. A wonderfully attractive rose-pillow cover recently made was of white linen lawn embroidered with wild roses. The pillow itself was covered with pale-green silk, over which the pink roses showed beautifully. The double ruffle of the lawn was lined with pink silk and caught in at the four corners with rosettes of narrow green ribbon. A pretty idea conceived by a girl graduate was to fill a pillow, made from the same material as her gown, with the dried roses of her graduation bouquets. At a June wedding the ring was borne in on a cushion made of the material of the bridal gown and filled with rose leaves saved from bouquets which the groom had sent the bride during their betrothal days. Another girl, whose taste shows a very decided trend to violets. has a charming orris-scented cushion filled with the dried bunches of those beautiful fragrant little blossoms, which
was sent her on the occasion of her d├ębut and her first ball. A pillow bound to induce dreams of the cool, fragrant woods is one whose filling is of fir needles and bits of cedar and hemlock. Make a plain cover of green denim, and in wood-brown silk embroider on it the words, “Give me of thy balm, O fir tree.” Another use for dried “needles” is to make a real Christmas pillow of them. Embroider the cover with wreaths of holly tied with red bow-knots, put a bright-red cord around it and you have a bit of Christmas cheer, with the “greens” inside and the holly outside, to send to the dear one who cannot be home for the holidays, or the friend who may live where holly and evergreen cannot be procured. For a cushion reminiscent of drowsy days in the meadows dry the fragrant sweet clover and fill the tick loosely with it. A cover made of cool gray linen, with red clover in natural colors and large bumble-bees hovering over, is pleasing and realistic, or a few straggling sprays of red clover and the words, “Sweet is the clover the wide world over,” will be effective. Similar pillows made from wild sweet peas, properly dried, give a sweet, spicy odor about the couch. A hop pillow has long been considered a sedative for tired nerves. Pongee silk in the natural color, with a straggling hopvine worked diagonally across, makes a serviceable and comfortable cover, or, as hops are supposed to have a somnolent effect and poppies produce sleep also, a touch of color may be given to the room by working on the pongee a bunch of scarlet poppies, being sure to have a few of the seed pods which produce the narcotic drug. Few of these pillows are naturally more ornamental than comfortable, but to a couch already possessed of a pile of downy cushions each is a happy addition. KATHERIVE E. MAXWELL.
The Delineator, Volume 54-1899