Regency Beauty - Part II

First I should let you know that next Monday I will be driving back from the New Jersey conference, so I will not be here. Expect to see me back on Thursday.

Joanna commented on last day's blog and sent along this picture and comment view of a 1788 Chippendale Shaving Stand. What the drawing doesn't show is that there's a plug in the bottom of the porcelain wash bowl. The water drains into a bucket or chamber pot in the cabinet below. Everything folds down to create an innocuous-looking table. Thank you Joanna, it is indeed a lovely piece of furniture and just the kind of think a mechanically minded male might take a fancy too, don't you think.

More about cosmetics this for both genders.

PEARS TRANSPARENT SOAP.Personal beauty depends so much on the appearance and texture of the skin, that whatever contributes to protect it from injury, or to improve it, must be considered an object of importance to all who are solicitous to possess the advantage, which Lord Chesterfield denominates “a letter of recommendation on all occasions; and certainly the present and future ages must feel themselves indebted to the Inventor of the curious Chemical Process by which Soap is separated from all the impure and noxious substances with which, in its crude state, it is invariably united; this refinement is manifested by its Transparency and Fragrance.Prepared and sold by A. Pears, at his Manufactory, No. 55, Wells-street, Oxford-street, London, price 1s and 1s 6d. per square; and in large squares which are perfumed with the Otto of Roses, for 2s 6d. Also Gentlemen’s Shaving Cakes at 2s 6d—But observe that wheresoever or by whomsoever sold, it never can be genuine without the Inventor’s signature, A. Pears, in his hand-writing. For the accommodation of the nobility and gentry residing in the country, it is likewise sold by Mr. Smith, Perfumer, Dry Bridge, Newark; Mr. Hill, Cheltenham; Mr. Buttler, Perfumer, Oxford; and by most respectable Perfumers in Town and Country.

Note, I am unable to date the picture, but obviously it was well-known during the regency.

English Lavender Water. This light, refreshing potion is perhaps the oldest known and most frequently used lavender product. It was mentioned by Jane Austen in her letters and in her books.

* Use as a facial splash morning and night
* Bathing the forehead and temples with Lavender water will help to overcome fatigue and exhaustion.
* a soothing compress for a tension headache. Sprinkle a few drops on your pillow, just see how it helps you sleep. Fleas, flies, and midges, they hate it, making lavender water a natural insect repellent!

This is a home recipe from the Regency era.

Put two pounds of lavender pips into two quarts of water, put them into a cold still, and make a slow fire under it; distil it off very slowly, and put it into a pot till you have distilled all your water; then clean your still well out, put your lavender water into it, and distil it off slowly again; put it into bottles and cork it well.

Do let me know how it turns out.

Until next Thursday, Happy Rambles.

Regency Flora and Fauna - August

Since the is the first day for blogging after August 1, it is time for our monthly article on the plants and animals one might have noticed in the Regency during this month.

The Naturlists Diary says:

"August has its fields of waving corn, its groups of nut-brown reapers". From this we can gather that the weather is warm and sunny enough to ripen grain (not sweet corn as we discussed before). And you will remember the picture of last time of the people threshing so we won't do that again.
"Young broods of goldfinches are now seen."
Interestingly enough we have been watching a young brood of goldfinches here in our garden in Canada. They are quite bold, sitting on the railing of our deck, even when we are out there. But look how different they are. The first picture is the English Goldfinch, and the second is the one we are seeing in our garden, the North American Goldfinch.

"The Jessamine shows its pretty little flowers, and diffuses its fragrant scent." And what in the world is a Jessamine, I ask myself. Well that of course is no good at all. I have to find out. Mutter, mutter, why haven't I heard of a Jessamine before this. Aha. After some digging, I am now sure that this is Jasmine, not the state flower of Carolina, which is apparently something altogether different. Just like my finches above they have only the same name.

"Broom flowers in this month." I often get gorse and broom confused. They both sport yellow flowers, but gorse if very prickly and flowers earlier in the spring. Broom is a much more gentle plant. It was used in the old days as an emblem or a cockade, worn on a lapel or a hat.

I seem to be running into a yellow theme here. Not intentional at all. And it is not surprising that I get confused by broom and gorse, because apparently they are related.

It seems that during the Regency, wasps were as much a pest then as they are now. Here is a remedy provided by our friendly Naturelist to deal with the sting, should you be so unlucky.

"The following antidote for the sting of wasps and other noxious insects, has also been recommended:--Take a leaf or two of the broad-leaved plantain (Plantago major), and bruise it, and rub it on the affected part for about ten minutes, and all pain and inflammation will cease" The first image is of the broad-leaved plantain. I think the name is much fancier than the plant.

I have never heard of this for wasp stings, though we always used dock leaves for stinging nettles. They always seemed to grow next to each other. Apparently they have alkine which neutralizes the acid in the nettle sting. Not so with the plantain it contains a different ingredient becasue wasp stings are alkaline. Enough with the science already. Here is a picture of a dock leaf. It is quite amazing though, that all those years ago these remedies worked just as well as our fancy chemicals do today.

Well that is it from me tonight. Until next time Happy Rambles.