These are muscari bulbs. You may know them as grape hyacinth. I'm writing this to you now because now is when you must get some. If not mascari, maybe hyacinth, if not hyacinth, get daffodils, if not daffodils, get some tulips. Whatever you do, just get your hands on some bulbs.
Maybe I'm being bossy?
Quite bossy. But time is running out and I don't want you to miss this. Imagine yourself, come February, March, and April with blooming pots of spring bulbs all over your house. I probably don't need to say anything more than that.
After finding bulbs of your own (these are from White Flower Farm, as are the paperwhites in the linen bag, but you could probably still find bulbs at your local nursery), you'll plant them in pots, then employ a bit of trickery to force them into bloom.
If you're new to this idea, here's how it works: bulbs need a long span of cold temperatures in order to bloom. This is why they're planted in gardens and landscapes in the fall. Come spring, they're ready to put on their show. But here's the fun part, if you pot bulbs in containers and make them think they've gone through winter, they'll be none the wiser and will bloom indoors wholeheartedly, much earlier than they would outside in northern climates. It makes the middle and end of winter so much brighter.
So maybe you'll join me? I'll be potting my bulbs in succession, every two weeks, starting now. Come February, I'll have a parade of blooms trotting through the house. Imagine!
A fun note about paperwhites: they're in a class all by themselves and are so very easy to force. They don't require a cold period, and will begin to sprout as soon as their roots touch water. Many people bloom them for Christmas, but I always save mine for January. I simply take a shallow container like a terra cotta saucer, a pie dish, or tin and fill it 3/4 full with pea gravel (a tall glass container with 2-3" of pea gravel in the bottom is a great idea, too). I then wiggle the bulbs root-side down just enough to settle them in, and pour cool water into the dish just until I see it come up through the rocks. The bulb's roots need to be touching the water always, but the bulbs themselves shouldn't be submerged. Water regularly. In four to six weeks' time, deeply fragrant blooms will appear.