What Great Grandma Knew II
Toilet Recipes and Tips from 1887
COLOGNE WATER (Superior): Oil of lavender two drachms, oil of rosemary one drachm and a half, orange, lemon and bergamot, one drachm each of the oil; also two drachms of the essence of musk, attar of rose ten drops, and a pint of proof spirit. Shake all together thoroughly three times a day for a week.
JOCKEY CLUB BOUQUET: Mix one pint extract of rose, one pint extract of tuberose, half a pint of extract of cassia, four ounces extract of jasmine, and three ounces tincture of civet. Filter the mixture.
ROSE-WATER: Preferable to the distilled for a perfume, or for culinary purposes. Attar of rose, twelve drops; rub it up with half an ounce of white sugar and two drachms carbonate magnesia; then add gradually one quart of water and two ounces of proof spirit, and filter through paper.
BAY RUM: French proof spirit one gallon, extract bay six ounces. Mix and color with caramel; needs no filtering.
LAVENDER WATER: Oil of lavender two ounces, orris root half an ounce, spirits of wine one pint. Mix and keep two or three weeks. It may then be strained through two thicknesses of blotting-paper and is ready for use.
CREAM OF LILIES: Best white castor oil; pour in a little strong solution of sal tartar in water, and shake it until it looks thick and white. Perfume with lavender.
CREAM OF ROSES: Olive oil one pound, attar of roses fifty drops, oil of rosemary twenty-five drops; mix, and color it with alkanet root.
COLD CREAM: Melt one ounce oil of almonds, half ounce spermaceti, one drachm white wax, and then add two ounces of rose-water, and stir it constantly until cold.
LIP-SALVE: Melt one ounce white wax, one ounce sweet oil, one drachm spermaceti, and throw in a piece of alkanet root to color it, and when cooling, perfume it with oil rose, and then pour it into small white jars or boxes.
FOR DANDRUFF: Take glycerine four ounces, tincture of cantharides five ounces, bay rum four ounces, water two ounces. Mix, and apply once a day and rub well down the scalp.
HAIR INVIGORATOR: Bay rum two pints, alcohol one pint, castor oil one ounce, carb. ammonia half an ounce, tincture of cantharides one ounce. Mix them well. This compound will promote the growth of the hair and prevent it from falling out.
MACASSAR OIL FOR THE HAIR: Renowned for the past fifty years, is as follows: Take a quarter of an ounce of the chippings of alkanet root, tie this in a bit of coarse muslin and put it in a bottle containing eight ounces of sweet oil; cover it to keep out the dust; let it stand several days; add to this sixty drops of tincture of cantharides, ten drops of oil of rose, neroli and lemon each sixty drops; let it stand one week and you will have one of the most powerful stimulants for the growth of the hair ever known.
Another:—To a pint of strong sage tea, a pint of bay rum and a quarter of an ounce of the tincture of cantharides, add an ounce of castor oil and a teaspoonful of rose, or other perfume. Shake well before applying to the hair, as the oil will not mix.
PHALON'S INSTANTANEOUS HAIR DYE: To one ounce of crystallized nitrate of silver, dissolved in one ounce of concentrated aqua ammonia, add one ounce of gum arabic and six ounces of soft water. Keep in the dark. Remember to remove all grease from the hair before applying the dye.
There is danger in some of the patent hair dyes, and hence the Scientific American offers what is known as the walnut hair dye. The simplest form is the expressed juice of the bark or shell of green walnuts. To preserve the juice a little alcohol is commonly added to it with a few bruised cloves, and the whole digested together, with occasional agitation, for a week or fortnight, when the clear portion is decanted, and, if necessary, filtered. Sometimes a little common salt is added with the same intention. It should be kept in a cool place. The most convenient way of application is by means of a sponge.
DYE FOR WHITE OR LIGHT EYEBROWS: Boil an ounce of walnut bark in a pint of water for an hour. Add a lump of alum the size of a filbert, and when cold, apply with a camel's-hair brush.
HAIR WASH: One penny's worth of borax, half a pint of olive oil, one pint of boiling water. Pour the boiling water over the borax and oil; let it cool; then put the mixture into a bottle. Shake it before using, and apply it with a flannel. Camphor and borax, dissolved in boiling water and left to cool, make a very good wash for the hair; as also does rosemary water mixed with a little borax. After using any of these washes, when the hair becomes thoroughly dry, a little pomatum or oil should be rubbed in to make it smooth and glossy—that is, if one prefers oil on the hair.
OXMARROW-POMADE FOR THE HAIR: One marrow bone, half a pint of oil, ten cents' worth of citronella. Take the marrow out of the bone, place it in warm water, let it get almost to boiling point, then let it cool and pour the water away; repeat this three times until the marrow is thoroughly "fined." Beat the marrow to a cream with a silver fork, stir the oil in, drop by drop, beating all the time; when quite cold add the citronella, pour into jars and cover down.
TO INCREASE THE HAIR IN THE BROWS: Clip them and anoint with a, little sweet oil. Should the hair fall out, having been full, use one of the hair invigorators.
BANDOLINE: To one quart of rose-water add an ounce and a half of gum tragacanth; let it stand forty-eight hours, frequently straining it, then strain through a coarse linen cloth; let it stand two days, and again strain; add to it a drachm of oil of roses. Used by ladies dressing their hair, to make it lie in any position.
COMPLEXION WASH: Put in a vial one drachm of benzoin gum in powder, one drachm nutmeg oil, six drops of orange-blossom tea, or apple blossoms put in half pint of rain-water and boiled down to one teaspoonful and strained, one pint of sherry wine. Bathe the face morning and night; will remove all flesh-worms and freckles, and give a beautiful complexion. Or, put one ounce of powdered gum of benzoin in a pint of whisky; to use, put in water in wash-bowl till it is milky, allowing it to dry without wiping. This is perfectly harmless. Cream cures sun-burn on some complexions, lemon juice is best on others, and cold water suits still others best.
BURNET'S CELEBRATED POWDER FOR THE FACE: Five cents' worth of bay rum, five cents' worth of magnesia snowflake, five cents' worth of bergamot, five cents' worth of oil of lemon; mix in a pint bottle and fill up with rain-water. Shake well, and apply with a soft sponge or cloth.
TOILET OR FACE POWDER: Take a quarter of a pound of wheat starch pounded fine; sift it through a fine sieve, or a piece of lace; add to it eight drops of oil of rose, oil of lemon thirty drops, oil of bergamot fifteen drops. Rub thoroughly together.
The French throw this powder into alcohol, shaking it, letting it settle, then pouring off the alcohol and drying the powder. In that case, the perfume is added lastly.
TO REMOVE FRECKLES: The following lotion is highly recommended: One ounce of lemon juice, a quarter of a drachm of powdered borax, and half a drachm of sugar; mix in a bottle, and allow them to stand a few days, when the liquor should be rubbed occasionally on the hands and face. Another application is: Friar's balsam one part, rose-water twenty parts.
Powdered nitre moistened with water and applied to the face night and morning, is said to remove freckles without injury to the skin.
Also, a tablespoonful of freshly grated horse-radish, stirred into a cupful of sour milk; let it stand for twelve hours, then strain and apply often. This bleaches the complexion also, and takes off tan.
PEARL SMELLING SALTS: Powdered carbonate of ammonia one ounce, strong solution of ammonia half a fluid ounce, oil of rosemary ten drops, oil of bergamot ten drops. Mix, and while moist put in wide-mouthed bottle which is to be well closed.
PEARL TOOTH POWDER: Prepared chalk half a pound, powdered myrrh two ounces; camphor two drachms, orris root, powdered, two ounces; moisten the camphor with alcohol and mix well together.
REMOVING TARTAR FROM THE TEETH: This preparation is used by dentists. Pure muriatic acid one ounce, water one ounce, honey two ounces, mix thoroughly. Take a tooth-brush, and wet it freely with this preparation, and briskly rub the black teeth, and in a moment's time they will be perfectly white; then immediately wash out the mouth well with water, that the acid may not act on the enamel of the teeth. This should be done only occasionally.
BAD BREATH: Bad breath from catarrh, foul stomach, or bad teeth, may be temporarily relieved by diluting a little bromo chloralum with eight or ten parts of water, and using it as a gargle, and swallowing a few drops before going out. A pint of bromo chloralum costs fifty cents, but a small vial will last a long time.
SHAVING COMPOUND: Half a pound of plain, white soap, dissolved in a small quantity of alcohol, as little as can be used; add a tablespoonful of pulverized borax. Shave the soap and put it in a small tin basin or cup; place it on the fire in a dish of boiling water; when melted, add the alcohol, and remove from the fire; stir in oil of bergamot sufficient to perfume it.
BARBER'S SHAMPOO MIXTURE: Dissolve half an ounce of carbonate of ammonia and one ounce of borax in one quart of water; then add two ounces of glycerine in three quarts of New England rum, and one quart of bay rum. Moisten the hair with this liquid; shampoo with the hands until a light lather is formed; then wash off with plenty of clean water.
RAZOR-STROP PASTE: Wet the strop with a little sweet oil, and apply a little flour of emery evenly over the surface.
CAMPHOR ICE: Melt together over a water bath white wax and spermaceti each one ounce, camphor two ounces, sweet almond oil, one pound, then triturate until the mixture has become homogeneous, and allow one pound of rose-water to flow in slowly during the operation. Excellent for chapped lips or hands.
ODORIFEROUS OR SWEET-SCENTING BAGS: Lavender flowers one ounce, pulverized orris, two drachms, (60 grains or one eighth of an ounce) bruised rosemary leaves half ounce, musk five grains, attar of rose five drops. Mix well, sew up in small flat muslin bags, and cover them with fancy silk or satin. These are very nice to keep in your bureau drawers or trunk, as the perfume penetrates through the contents of the trunk or drawers. An acceptable present to a single gentleman.
White House Cook Book by Mrs. F.L. Gillette, L.P. Miller & Co. Chicago, copywrite 1887 by F.L. Gillette, pg. 480-4. Reader beware, these household tips are not endorsed by the ENDEAVOR News Magazine or the Annandale Chamber of Commerce, proceed at your own risk. (Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved. (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)