I live in a small town, once known for lace weaving and when we moved here, there was almost full employment in the factories which had a thriving trade at home and abroad. It was sad to see the fashion for lace curtains and tablecloths etc. start to fade. Cheap polyester imports replaced the cotton lace this town was famous for. Sadly the town will not recover nor can it turn the clock back to having a thriving industry again.
The smells I associate with lace, are lavender and roses. With the lack of insect sprays for home use, little sachets of lavender were tucked into linen closets and drawers to keep moths at bay. The more serious threat was in the wardrobe when it didn’t take long for the clothes moths to feast on it’s contents. Coats, jackets and suits were expensive, not so easy to come by and had to last a lot longer then than they have to now, so everyone tolerated the smell of moth balls for the sake of preserving their clothing investments.
I have a drawer full of handkerchiefs but it’s too easy to reach for a tissue now so the cotton and lace handkerchiefs never really get used. It seems such a shame to not do something with them. I have used some to create pockets for lavender seeds, and home-made lavender sachets have a more intensive fragrance than the manufactured ones.