To perfume gloves excellently

Following my series of posts on Gervase Markham’s The English Housewife, today’s fragments are some snippets of advice for the housewife on perfuming gloves, making cider, and creating a medicinal salve from a lump of butter.

When our English Housewife is exact in the rules before rehearsed [that is, cooking and home medicine], shee shall then sort her mind to the understanding of other House-wifely secrets, right comfortable and meet for her use.

First I would have her furnish herself of verie good Stills, for the distillation of all kindes of Waters, which Stills would either be of Tinne or sweet Earth, and in them shee shall distill all sorts of waters meete for the health of her Household, as Sage water which is good for Rhumes and Collickes, Radish water which is good for the stone, Angelica water good for infection, Vine water for itchings, Rose water and Eye-bright water for dimme sights, Treacle water for mouth cankers, Allum [mineral salt] water for old Ulcers, and a world of others, any of which will last a full yeare at the least.

Then shee shall know that the best waters for the smoothing of the skinne and keeping the face delicate and amiable are those which are distilled from Beane flowers, Strawberries, Vine leaves, Goats milke, from the whites of Egges, from the Flowers of Lillies, any of which will last a yeare or better.

To make an excellent sweet water for perfume you shall take Basill, Mint, Marjorum, Sage, Balme, Lavender and Rosemary, of each one handfull of Cloves, Cinamon and Nutmegges,  then three or four Pome-citrons [a citrus fruit resembling a large lemon] cut into slices. Infuse all these into Damaske-rose water the space of three daies, and then distill it with a gentle fire of Charcoale, then when you have put it into a very cleann glasse, take Musk, Civet and Ambergreece [OED: A wax like substance found floating in tropical seas] and put into a rag of fine Lawne, and then hang it within the water. This being either burnt upon a hot pan, or else boiled in perfuming pannes with Cloves, Bay-leaves, and Lemmon pills, will make the most delicate perfume that may be without any offence, and will last the longest of all other sweet perfumes.

To perfume gloves excellently, take the oyle of sweet Almonds, oyle of Nutmegges, oile of Benjamin [a sweet tree gum] each a dramme, of Ambergreece one grain, fat Musket (Musk) two graines. Mixe them all together and grinde them upon a Painters stone, and then anoint the gloves therewith. Yet before you anoint them let them be dampishly moistened with Damaske Rose water.

To make very good washing balls take Storaxe [fragrant gum resin] of both kindes, Benjamin [a tree resin], Calamus Aromaticus [fragrant reed?], Labdanum [another gum resin used in perfuming] of each a like, and braise them to powder with Cloves and Arras (?)  Them beate them all with a sufficient quantitie of Sope till it bee stiffe, then with your hand you shall worke it like paste and make round balls thereof.

If during the month of May before you salt your butter you save a lumpe thereof, and put it into a vessell, and so set it into the sunne the space of that moneth, you shall finde it exceeding soveraigne and medicinable for wounds, strains, aches, and such grievances.

Perry is made of Peares only, and your Cider of Apples, and for the manner of making thereof it is done after one fashion, that is to say after your Peares or Apples are well picked from stalkes, rottennesse and all manner of other filth, you shall put them in the presse mill which is made with a mill-stone running around in a circle, under which you shall crush your Peares or Apples, and then straining them through a bagge of haire cloth into close vessels.  You shall save that which is within the haire cloth bagge, and putting it into severall vessells, put a pretty quantitie of water thereunto, and after it hath stood a day or two, and hath been well stirred, press it all again.

© 2009-2012 All Rights Reserved

3 Comments

  • March 1, 2011 - 7:16 am | Permalink

    Good that I found your blog, now I know to make an excellent sweet water for perfume thank yous so much for the information.

    isey

  • March 1, 2011 - 2:23 am | Permalink
  • February 16, 2011 - 7:04 pm | Permalink

    i would dearlie love to write like thatte. fascinating. x

  • Comments are closed.

    All original content on these pages is fingerprinted and certified by Digiprove
    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

    Join other followers:

    © Shakespeare's England 2009-2014