Thursday, November 13, 2008

Regency Beauty - Part III

We were interrupted some time ago on this topic, I thought I would come back to it.
Cosmetics were often home made as can be seen from the entries in:
The New Family Receipt Book (1819)

We often here of elderly ladies and even young ones clutching their smelling salts. I have a story planned with a secondary character who uses hers to great effect. If you would like to make some, this is one recipe.

642. To make an excellent Smelling Bottle.
Take an equal quantity of sal-ammoniac and unslacked lime, pound them separate, then mix and put them in a bottle to smell to. Before you put in the above, drop two or three drops of the essence of bergamot into the bottle, then cork it close. A drop or two of ether, added to the same will greatly improve it.

Bergamot is a pear-shaped citrus fruit from south east asia and also grown in Calabria.

Rosewater was a homemade perfume, it is as the name suggests, distilled rose petals.

652. To make Rose Water.
Gather roses on a dry day, when they are full blown; pick off the leaves, and to a peck put a quart of water, then put them into a cold still, make a slow fire under it, the slower you distil it the better it will be; then bottle it, and in two or three days you may cork it.

Finally a recipe for Pomade, which you would put on your hair.

657. To make the celebrated Pomade Divine.
According to Dr. Beddoes, this composition is as follows, viz. beef marrow, twelve ounces steeped in water ten days, and afterwards in rose water twenty-four hours; flowers of Benjamin, pounded storax, and Florentine orris, of each half an ounce; cinnamon, a quarter of an ounce, clove and nutmeg a quarter of an ounce. The whole to be put in an earthen vessel, closely covered down, to keep in the fumes and being suspended in water made to boil three hours; after which, the whole is to be strained and put into bottles.

Can you imagine putting the beef marrow on your hair? It was to make the hair shiny.

I would think so.

Until next time, Happy Rambles