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POT-POURRIS, SWEET BAGS, AND POMANDERS
A BAG TO SMELL UNTO, OR TO CAUSE ONE TO SLEEP
TAKE drie Rose leaves, keep them close in a glasse which will keep them sweet, then take powder of Mints, powder of Cloves in a grosse powder. Put the same to the Rose leaves, then put all these together in a bag, and take that to bed with you, and it will cause you to sleepe, and it is good to smell unto at other times.—Ram's Little Dodoen 1606.
TO MAKE AN ESPECIAL SWEET POWDER FOR SWEET BAGS
TAKE of Red and Damask Rose-leaves of each two ounces, of the purest Orris one pound, of Cloves three drams, Coriander seed one dram, Cyprus and Calamus of each halfe an ounce, Benzoin and the Storax of each three drams; beat them all save the Benzoin and the Storax and powder them by themselves, then take of Muske and Civet, of each twentie graines, mix these with a little of the foresaid powder with a warm Pestle, and so little by little you may mix it with all the rest, and so with Rose leaves dried you may put it up into your sweet Bags and so keepe them seven yeares.—Sir Hugh Platt. Delights for Ladies 1594.
TO MAKE SWEET POWDER FOR BAGS
TAKE of Rose leaves dryed two handfuls, of Orris four ounces, of dryed Marjarom one handful, Cloves one ounce, Benjamin two ounces, of white Sanders and yellow of each one ounce; beat all these into a gross powder, then put to it of Musk a dram, of Civet half a dram, and of Ambergreece half a dram, then put them into a Taffety Bag and use it.—Gervase Markham. The English Housewife 1625.
FOR A SWEET BAG
TAKE of Damask Rose-leaves six ounces, of Orris as much, of Marjerom and sweet Basil of each an ounce, of Cloves two ounces, yellow Sanders two ounces, of Citron pills seven drams, of Lignum Aloes one ounce, of Benjamin one ounce, of Storax one ounce, of Musk one dram; bruise all these and put them into a bag of Silk or Linnen but silk is the best.—Gervase Markham. The English Housewife 1625.
A PERFUME FOR A SWEET BAGG
TAKE 4 pecks of Damask Rose leaves, a peck of dryed sweet Marjerum, a pretty stick of Juniper shaved very thin, some lemon peel dryed; half a pound of Cypress roots, a pound of Orris, 3 quarters of a pound of Rhodium, a pound of Coriander Seed, 3 quarters of a pound of Calamus, 3 oranges stuck with cloves, 2 ounces of Benjamin, and an ounce of Storax. Let all these be powdered very grossly for the first year and immediately put into your baggs; the next year pound and work it and it will be very good again.—Mary Doggett. Her Book of Receipts 1682.
SWEET SCENTED BAGS TO LAY WITH LINEN
EIGHT ounces of damask rose leaves, eight ounces of coriander seeds, eight ounces of sweet orri-root, eight ounces of calamus aromaticus, one ounce of mace, one ounce of cinnamon, half an ounce of cloves, four drachms of musk-powder, two drachms of white loaf sugar, three ounces of lavender flowers and some of Rhodium wood. Beat them well together and make them in small silk bags.—Mrs. Glasse. The Art of Cookery 1784.
AN AGREEABLE SWEET-SCENTED COMPOSITION
TAKE Rose-wood six ounces, Florentine Orris a pound and a half, Calamus Aromaticus half a pound, Gum Benjamin five ounces, Cloves half an ounce, and Cinnamon an ounce; beat the whole into powder and fill your bags with it.—TheToilet of Flora.
BAGS TO SCENT LINEN
TAKE Rose leaves dried in the shade, Cloves beat to a gross powder and Mace scraped; mix them together, and put the composition into little bags.—The Toilet of Flora.
PERFUMED BAGS FOR SCENTING DRAWERS
TWO ounces of dried Rose petals, two ounce dried Lavender flowers, two ounces yellow sanders, two ounces Coriander seeds, two ounces Orris root, two ounces Calamus aromaticus, two ounces Cloves, two ounces Cinnamon bark, and one pound oak shavings. Reduce all to a coarse powder and fill linen bags with the mixture. These bags remove any musty smell from old furniture.—Nineteenth century recipe.
RECIPE FOR POT-POLIRRI ASCRIBED TO
LADY BLESSINGTON (1790–1845) DRIED pale and red rose petals, one tumblerful of lavender flowers, acacia flowers, clove gilliflowers, orange-flower petals, one wine-glassful of mignonette flowers, one teaspoonful of heliotrope flowers, again or two of musk, 30 drops of oil of vetivert, five drops oil of sandalwood, 10 dropsoil of myrtle, 20 drops oil of jonquil. Dry the petals and flowers, add the other ingredients and put into a hermetically sealed jar for some time.
GATHER all the following flowers and herbs on a fine day—Roses, Thyme, Rosemary, Sweet Marjoram, Lavender, Myrtle, Southernwood, Balm, Sweet Basil, Bay leaves. Dry them thoroughly by spreading out on sieves in the shade. When dry rub all to powder and add at discretion pounded cloves, a little musk and Orris root.—A nineteenth century recipe.
A SWEET JAR
FOUR handfulls of Damask Roses.
Four handfulls of Lavender flowers.
Two ,, ,, Orange flowers.
,, ,, ,, Clove Carnations.
Also the flowers of Sweet Marjoram, Thyme, Rosemary, Myrtle and Mint of each one handful. One Seville orange stuck with cloves well dried and pounded, one ounce of Cinnamon and one ounce of Cloves. The rind of two lemons, six Bay leaves. All the ingredients must be thoroughly dried but not in the sun. Mix them all together in a jar with bay salt.—Countess of Rosse's recipe. Nineteenth century.
A DRY POT-POLIRRI
To a bason of dried scented roses add a handful of dried knotted Marjoram, lemon thyme, Rosemary, Lavender flowers all well dried, the rind of one lemon and one orange dried to powder, six dried bay leaves, half an ounce of bruised cloves, a teaspoon of Allspice. Mix well together and stir occasionally.—Recipe. Dated 1895.
POT-POLIRRI RECIPE USED BY ELEANOUR SINCLAIR ROHDE
To a large bason of dried sweet scented rose petals allow a handful of dried lavender flowers, Rosemary, Thyme, Balm, Sweet Marjoram, Southernwood, Sweet Basil, Clove Carnations, Sweet Briar leaves, Wild Thyme, Garden Thyme, Hyssop, Philadelphus flowers, Orange flowers, Mint, Sweet Geranium leaves, Verbena, a few bruised Cloves, the dried and powdered rind of a lemon or orange, a teaspoonful of Allspice, half an ounce of Cinnamon and a good pinch of sandalwood.
Gather and dry the flowers and leaves all through the season, adding any others according to one's fancy but keeping the proportion of a bason of rose petals to a large handful of all the other ingredients put together. Store in a jar with a lid but the jar need not be air tight.
REQUIRED. Sweet scented Rose petals, Lavender flowers, the petals of any other sweet scented flowers and a few bay leaves. Also 1/2 lb bay salt (not bruised) 1/2 lb saltpetre finely bruised with a little common salt. Sixpennyworth of storax, the same of musk and two ounces of cloves.
Gather the roses when the dew has dried off them but before the sun is at its hottest, pick off the petals and rub all flowers put into the jar with common salt. Stir all the ingredients well together and keep closely covered for a month. Stir every day. After a month has elapsed stir occasionally. Made thus the scent remains strong for many years.—A nineteenth century recipe.
TO RENEW THE SCENT OF A POMANDER
TAKE one grain of Civet, and two of Musk, or if you double the proportion, it will be so much the sweeter; grinde them upon a stone with a little Rosewater; and after wetting your hands with rose-water you may worke the same in your Pomander. This is a sleight to passe away an old Pomander; but my intention is honest.—Ram's Little Dodoen 1606.
TAKE Storax an ounce, Cloves two drammes, Benjamin halfe an ounce, Ambergreece halfe a dram, Muske fifteen graines, powder of Violets a little, incorporate them all together with Rose water.—The Charitable Physitian by Philbert Guibert. Esqre and Physician. Regent in Paris 1639.
TO MAKE A POMOS LIKE THOSE THAT ARE MADE IN SPAIN
TAKE Benjamin half a pound, steep it in rosewater, expose it to the sun the space of six weeks, stirring it three or four times a day; and when you see that it groweth dry add still more Rose-water to it. Then grinde it well with four Cloves and a little Cinnamon in powder, and one ounce of Storax, half an ounce of Ambergris, a quarter of an ounce of Civet, half an ounce of the perfumed Italian powder, one ounce of Rose powder, a dram of Musk; boyle this together in as much Rosewater as will just cover it till it be well incorporated together. This proportion will serve for eight Pomos.—Sir Kenelm Digby. Choice and Experimented Receipts 1668.
TAKE a quarter of an ounce of Civit, a quarter and a half quarter of an ounce of Ambergreese, not half a quarter of an ounce of ye spiritt of Roses, 7 ounces of Benjamin, allmost a pound of Damask Rose-buds cutt. Lay gumdragon on rose water and with it make up your Pomander, with beads as big as nutmegs; when you make them up wash your hands with oyle of Jasmin to smooth them, then make them have a gloss; this quantity will make seaven braceletes.—Mary Doggett. Her Book of Receipts 1682.
HOW TO DRY ROSE LEAVES, OR ANY OTHER SINGLE FLOWERS WITHOUT WRINKLING
IF you would performe the same wel in rose leaves, you must in rose time make a choice of such roses as are neither in the bud, nor full blowne (for these have the smoothest leaves of all other) which you must especially cull and chuse from the rest; then take sand, wash it in some change of waters, drie it thoroughly well, either in an oven, or in the sunne; and having shallow square or long boxes of four five or six inches deepe, make first an even lay of sand in the bottom upon which lay your rose leaves, one by one (so as none of the touch other) till you have covered all the sand, then strow sand upon thos leaves till you have thinly covered them all, and then make another laie of leaves as before, and so lay upon lay etc., Set this box in some warme place in a hot sunny day (and commonly in two hot sunny dayes they will be thorow dry) then take them out carefully with your hand without breaking. Keepe these leaves in jarre glasses, bound about with paper neere a chimney, or stove, for feare of relenting. I finde the red Rose leafe best to be kept in this manner; also take away the stalks of pansies, stock gilliflowers or other single flowers; pricke them one by one in sand, pressing downe theire leaves smooth with more sand laid evenly upon them. And thus you may have Rose leaves and other flowers to lay about your basons, windows, etc., all the winter long. Also this secret is very requisite for a good simplifier, because hee may dry the leaf of any herb in this manner; and lay it being dry in his herbal with the simple which it representeth, whereby he may easily learne to know the names of all simples which he desireth.—Sir Hugh Platt. Delights for Ladies 1594.
HOW TO DRY ROSE LEAVES IN A MOST EXCELLENT MANNER
WHEN you have newly taken out your bread, then put in your Roses in a sieve, first clipping away the whites that they may be all of one colour, lay them about one inch in thickness in the sieve; and when they have stood halfe an houre, or thereabout, they will grow whitish on the top; let them yet remaine without stirring, till the uppermost of them bee fully dried: then stirre them together, and leave them about one other halfe houre; and if you finde them dry in the top, stirre them together againe, and so continue this worke until they bee thorowly dried; then put them hot as they are into an earthen pot having a narrow mouth, and being well leaded within (the Refiners of gold and silver call these pots Hookers) stop it with corke and wet parchment, or with wax and rosin mixed together and hang your pot in a chimney, or neare a continuall fire, and so they will keepe exceeding faire in colour and most delicate in scent. And it you feare their relenting, take the Rose leaves about Candlemas, and put them once againe into a sieve, stirring them up and downe often till they be dry: and then put them againe hot into your pots. Sir Hugh Platt. Delights for Ladies 1594.
ANOTHER WAY FOR THE DRYING OF ROSE LEAVES
DRY them in the heat of a hott sunny day upon a lead, turning them up and downe till they be dry (as they do say) then put them up into glasses well stopt and luted, keeping your glasses in warme places; and thus you may keepe all flowers; but herbs after they are dried in this manner, are, best kept in paper bags, placing the in bags close cupboards.—Sir Hugh Platt. Delights for Lodies 1594.
ROSES AND GILLYFLOWERS KEPT LONG
COVER a Rose that is fresh and in the bud, and gathered in a faire day after the dew is ascended, with the whites of egges well beaten, and presently strew thereon the fine powder of searced sugar, and put them up in luted pots setting the pots in a coole place in sand or gravell: with a fillip at any time you may shake off this inclosure.—Sir Hugh Platt. Delights for Ladies 1594.
TO DRY OR KEEP ROSES
TAKE the Buds of Damask Roses before they are fully blown, pull the leaves and lay them on Boards, in a Room where the heat of the Sun may not come at them; when they are pretty dry, let a large Still be made warm, and lay them on the Top of it till they are crisp; but let them not lie so long as to change their Colour. Then spread them thin; and when they are thoroughly dried, press them down into a Earthen Pan, and keep close covered.—John Nott. The Receipt Book of John Nott. Cook to the Duke of Bolton 1723.
TO MAKE ROSE BEADS FOR A ROSARY
GATHER the Roses on a dry day and chop the petals very finely. Put them in a saucepan and barely cover with water. Heat for about an hour but do not let the mixture boil. Repeat this process for the three days and if necessary add more water. The deep black beads made from rose petals are made this rich colour by warming in a rusty pan. It is important never to let the mixture boil but each day to warm it to a moderate heat. Make the beads by working the pulp with the fingers into balls. When thoroughly well worked and fairly dry press on to a bodkin to make the holes in the centres of the beads. Until they are perfectly dry the beads have to be moved frequently on the bodkin or they will be difficult to remove without breaking them. Held for a few moments in a warm hand these heads give out a pleasing fragrance.—Nineteenth century recipe.
PERFUMES AND SWEET WATERS
KING EDWARD VI's PERFUME
TAKE twelve spoonfulls of right red rosewater, the weight of six pence in fine powder of sugar, and boyl it on hot Embers and coals softly and the house will smell as though it were full of Roses, but you must burn the Sweet Cypress wood before to take away the gross ayre.—The Queen's Closet Opened by W. M. Cook to Queen Henrietta Maria 1655.
AN ODORIFEROUS PARFUME FOR CHAMBERS
TAKE a glasseful of Rose Water, Cloves well beaten to powder, a penny weight: then take the fire panne and make it red hot in the fyre, and put thereon of the said Rose water with the sayd pouder of Cloves making it so consume, by little and little but the rose water must be muskt, and you shall make a parfume of excellent good odour.—A Queens Delight 1662.
TO MAKE PERFUMES TO BURN
TAKE half a pound of Damask Rose-buds (the whites cut off) Benjamin three ounces beaten to powder, half a quarter of an ounce of Musk and as much of Ambergris, the like of Civet. Beat all these together in a stone Mortar, then put in an ounce of Sugar, and make it up in Cakes and dry them by the fire.—Sir Kenelm Digby. Receipts in Physick and Chirurgery 1668.
TO MAKE COURT PERFUMES
TAKE three ounces of Benjamin, lay it all night in Damask Rose buds cut clean from the whites, beat them very fine in a stone Mortar till it come to a paste, then take it out and mix it with a dram of Musk finely beaten, as much Civet, mould them up with a little searced Sugar and dry them very well and keep them to burn, one at a time is sufficient.—The Toilet of Flora.
ROSE PASTILLS TO BURN
TAKE Benjamin three ounces, storax two ounces, Damask Rose-buds one ounce; grind the Roses by themselves, and the rest also: Then take Lignum Aloes, Amber, fine Sugar, Civet, powder of Cypress, half a quarter of a pound; grind these well together. Then mix it with gum Tragacanth dissolved in Orange-flowers or Rosewater and make them up.—Sir Kenelm Digby. Choice and Experimented Receipts 1668.
TO MAKE AN EXCELLENT PERFUME
TAKE half a pound of Damask Rose Buds cut clear from the whites, stamp them well, and add to them two large spoonfuls of Damask Rose-water, put them into a Bottle, stop them close, let them stand all night, then take two ounces and a half of Benjamin beat it fine, add twenty grains of Musk and (if you please) as much Civet, mingle these with the Roses, beating all well together, make it up in little Cakes, and dry them between Sheets of Paper.—The Receipt Book of Charles Carter. Cook to the Duke of Argyll 1732.
Excerpted from ROSE RECIPES from Olden Times by ELEANOUR SINCLAIR ROHDE. Copyright © 1973 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
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