It wasn’t unusual in the past for women to keep journals full of all kinds of recipes, from how to cook meat to how to treat various diseases, from how to wash clothes to how to make your own perfume. One of the most important recipe books of the seventeenth century belonged to Lady Ann Fanshawe (1625-80), the wife of Sir Richard Fanshawe, a supporter of the Stuart monarchs.
In her book of “Receipts of Physickes Salves, Waters, Cordialls, Preserves and Cookery”, we can find this recipe that explains how “To perfume Damaske Roses”. Here it is:
Take Damaske Roses putt them into a wide mouthed glasse, & stopp them Close with partchement. sett them upon leades in the sunne, or some other very hotte place where the sunn comes, shaking them twise or thrice a day till they be dry, then make a powder thus.
Take Cleare & faire Beniot, Storax, Galean, Lignum Aloes, Amber Grise, Mace of Levanto, Lemon Peele, Cittorn Peele, Orange Peele, Orange Flowers, sweete Marjoram, Lemon time, Myrtell Leaves, bruise the Leathes, beate your Powders, & take what proportions will seve your Roses, & mixe your Quanteties as best pleas your Sence; then putt all your Powders into the Glasse, tye them with paper & parchment & wax, & a parchment over that, that no ayre possibly can gett in, nor sent come out, sett em in the heat of the Sunne as longe as it Lasts & in the Evenings & night keepe it in a Stove, this do for a mounth or five weeks, then you may use it, putt into little sarsenett baggs, & layer amunge your Clothes. it will last longest with woollen. this is a rare perfume putting a little of it into a perfuming pann, with Orange Flower water or Rose water or lemmon time water.
I couldn’t figure out what Beniot is, but it may be an old way of spelling Benzoin, a balsamic resin derived from the Styrax Benzoin Tree. Storax is another resin. It is extracted from the Levant Storax Tree and smells of vanilla. Galean is a type of musk, while Lignus Aloe is agarwood. Lemon time is simply thyme.
You can check out the whole book for free here.
What do you think of this recipe? And would you like to keep a recipe book too?