Thursday, January 04, 2007

Old Musty

"Rawhz-bireez. Rawhz-bireez. Rawhz-bireez."

Books. Musty, dusty, feathery, moldish tendrils of air spin softy off their opened pages.

Words. 'The Art of Growing Old Gracefully.'

'Beauty doth varnish age as if new born, and gives the crutch the cradle's infancy.'

'Retire with dignity from the struggle, and never pose as a rival to your own daughters.'

Here is a recipe for 'Virginal Milk' from an 1892 French beauty book: Powder of benzoin, 50 grammes; alcohol at 90 proof, 1 pint; good Orleans vinegar, 1 pint. Put the ingredients in a bottle and shake each morning. After fifteen days of macerations, filter through paper.

Ok, here's the recipe for Orleans vinegar ~ ha!

One quart vinegar; roses of provins, 50 grammes; hundred-leaves roses, 50 grammes; jasmin flowers, 20 grammes; flowers of fairy queen, 25 grammes; flowers of melilot, 25 grammes; leaves of citronelle, 20 grammes. If dried flowers are used instead of fresh, three pints of vinegar are necessary. Let it infuse for one month, and then filter.

Some day I'll learn to distill the scent of old books.

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