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The Art of Perfumery, and Methods of Obtaining the Odors of Plants   By: (1820-1882)

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Transcriber's note: Footnotes moved to end of text

The Art

OF

PERFUMERY,

AND METHOD OF OBTAINING

THE ODORS OF PLANTS.

[Illustration: DRYING HOUSE FOR HERBS.]

From the rafters of the roof of the Drying House are suspended in bunches all the herbs that the grower cultivates. To accelerate the desiccation of rose leaves and other petals, the Drying House is fitted up with large cupboards, which are slightly warmed with a convolving flue, heated from a fire below.

The flower buds are placed upon trays made of canvas stretched upon a frame rack, being not less than twelve feet long by four feet wide. When charged they are placed on shelves in the warm cupboards till dry.

THE ART OF PERFUMERY,

AND METHOD OF OBTAINING THE ODORS OF PLANTS,

WITH INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF PERFUMES FOR THE HANDKERCHIEF, SCENTED POWDERS, ODOROUS VINEGARS, DENTIFRICES, POMATUMS, COSMETIQUES, PERFUMED SOAP, ETC.

WITH AN APPENDIX ON THE COLORS OF FLOWERS, ARTIFICIAL FRUIT ESSENCES, ETC. ETC.

[Illustration]

BY G.W. SEPTIMUS PIESSE,

AUTHOR OF THE "ODORS OF FLOWERS," ETC. ETC.

PHILADELPHIA: LINDSAY AND BLAKISTON. 1857.

PRINTED BY C. SHERMAN & SON, 19 St. James Street.

Preface.

By universal consent, the physical faculties of man have been divided into five senses, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. It is of matter pertaining to the faculty of Smelling that this book mainly treats. Of the five senses, that of smelling is the least valued, and, as a consequence, is the least tutored; but we must not conclude from this, our own act, that it is of insignificant importance to our welfare and happiness.

By neglecting to tutor the olfactory nerve, we are constantly led to breathe impure air, and thus poison the body by neglecting the warning given at the gate of the lungs. Persons who use perfumes are more sensitive to the presence of a vitiated atmosphere than those who consider the faculty of smelling as an almost useless gift.

In the early ages of the world the use of perfumes was in constant practice, and it had the high sanction of Scriptural authority.

The patrons of perfumery have always been considered the most civilized and refined people of the earth. If refinement consists in knowing how to enjoy the faculties which we possess, then must we learn not only how to distinguish the harmony of color and form, in order to please the sight, the melody of sweet sounds to delight the ear; the comfort of appropriate fabrics to cover the body, and to please the touch, but the smelling faculty must be shown how to gratify itself with the odoriferous products of the garden and the forest.

Pathologically considered, the use of perfumes is in the highest degree prophylactic; the refreshing qualities of the citrine odors to an invalid is well known. Health has often been restored when life and death trembled in the balance, by the mere sprinkling of essence of cedrat in a sick chamber.

The commercial value of flowers is of no mean importance to the wealth of nations. But, vast as is the consumption of perfumes by the people under the rule of the British Empire, little has been done in England towards the establishment of flower farms, or the production of the raw odorous substances in demand by the manufacturing perfumers of Britain; consequently nearly the whole are the produce of foreign countries. However, I have every hope that ere long the subject will attract the attention of the Society of Arts, and favorable results will doubtless follow. Much of the waste land in England, and especially in Ireland, could be very profitably employed if cultivated with odor bearing plants.

The climate of some of the British colonies especially fits them for the production of odors from flowers that require elevated temperature to bring them to perfection.

But for the lamented death of Mr... Continue reading book >>




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