Just like today, even in the past some women preferred to make their own cosmetics and fragrances instead than buying them. Some of these recipes were passed down from mother to daughter, while others were found in magazines such as The Ladies’ Pocket Magazine. Here are some of the recipes that appeared in the 1829 edition.
EAU DE COLOGNE
A domestic economy is very commendable in all ladies;— those who are in the habit of using Eau de Cologne will find the following substitute not only very trifling in its cost, but far superior to most of the mixtures sold for the “genuine article.” To one pint of alcohol, add sixty drops of lemon, sixty drops of bergamot, sixty drops of essence of lemon, and sixty drops of orange-water. The alcohol may be purchased at any chemists, and the remainder at most perfumers.
TO MAKE ROSE WATER
Put some roses into water, and add a few drops of vitriolic acid: the water will soon assume both the color and perfume of roses.
TO MAKE LAVENDER WATER
Take of rectified spirits of wine half a pint, essentia1 oil of lavender two drachms, otto of roses five drops. Mix all together in a bottle, and cork it for use.
Some of these recipes were used for more than beauty. Lavender water for instance was also used to scent linen and to keep moths and insects away. A similar concoction can be made today too by mixing 20 drops of lavender essential oil, 3 cups of distilled water and 3 ounces of ethyl alcohol.
What do you think of these recipes? Would you like me to post more?