9 Feb 2009

The Toilet Of Flora

What a find!

While doing my daily lurking at 18c Woman, I stumbled over a true gem, posted by none other than Chole, who is the person behind Slightly Obsessed and clearly quite awesome:

The Toilet Of Flora;
A Collection
Of The
Most Simple And Approved
Methods Of Preparing
Sweet-scented Waters

With Recepits for cosmetics of every kind, that can smooth and brighten the SKIN, give force to BEAUTY And take off the appearance of OLD AGE and DECAY

There's over 300 recipes for everything from snuff to soap to "cosmetic juice" to "An excellent Preservative balsam against the plague" - I can swear the book has everything except a liniment against flesh-eating zombies, but maybe it's because I haven't looked close enough.

Sorry guys, but it says clearly that it is FOR THE USE OF THE LADIES (which makes me ponder about "A liniment to change the Beard and Hair black", but should a lady wish to dye her beard black I suppose it's an excellent method. Unless you're allergic to lead and tar).

I'm so going to try some of these recipes one day soon. I suppose there must be a few that aren't absolutely fatal, and once I figure out what all of the ingredients actually are, and where I can obtain them, I'll report back.

Oh, and the best part about all this? The book is available at Google Books, downloadable as a PDF. Yes, please!

1 comment:

  1. Greetings! Just came across your site and read with interest your comments on the book "The Toilet of Flora." I am an antiquarian book collector on PERFUMES and this is one of my favorites! I have the original 1779 copy and I like the part about getting rid of "wrinkles." Remember this is 1779, open hearth, etc.:


    237. A secret to take away wrinkles

    Heat a Iron Shovel red hot, throw on it some Powder of Myrhh, and receive the smoke on your face, covering the head with a napkin to prevent it's being dissipated. Repeat this operation three times, then heat the shovel again, and when fiery hot pour on it a mouthful of white wine. Receive the vapor of the wine in your face, and repeat it three times. Continue this method every night and morning as long as you find occasion.

    Yikes! That sounds a little dangerous, don't you think? Great reading tho.