Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cupid's Book

What Doctors, Nurses and Women Who Use


Think of It for Feminine Hygiene


Takara Laboratories, Portland, Oregon:
Enclosed find $1.00 for which please send me a box of TAKARA Powder. Does any drug store in Seattle handle the TAKARA preparations? I have inquired at many drug stores here and have been offered many powders which they said were just as good. However, I do not agree with them.

Mrs. C.M.D.

Takara Laboratories, Portland, Oregon.
Dear Sir:
I have used all kinds of antiseptics but have found TAKARA to be the very best as it is safe to use and you don't have to be afraid of the children getting poisoned on it. Ever since I found out about TAKARA I have used nothing else altho I only discovered it two years ago by my sister getting one of the samples. It is a wonderful thing to have at all times. None of these women whose names I am sending have ever used it. Will you please send each one a sample, hoping they'll like it as well as my sister and I do. The best is none too good and we're satisfied that TAKARA is the best ever.

Mrs. R.M.L.

Takara Laboratories, Portland, Oregon:
Have you an agent here in Sioux City for TAKARA? I bought a box of it in Waterloo, Iowa, over a year ago and I think it is the best antiseptic power that was ever made. I thought that if you did not have one here, I would try to sell some. Have given several samples of mine away and my friends are anxious for more. Hoping to hear from you by return mail, I am,

Mrs. E.G.O.

Takara Laboratories, Portland, Oregon:
Permit me to compliment you on having produced in your TAKARA POWDER an article of real merit. It is a pleasure to be able to recommend a preparation of this character--which I do, as a routine procedure, in cases requiring this form of medication. It is my experience that the use of TAKARA POWDER gives patients more general satisfaction than any similar preparation on the market. It is particularly effective in Leucorrhea and all forms of catarrhal infection of the vaginal tract--as well as ulcerative conditions around the neck of the uterus. I have no objection to your making use of this letter as advertising material if you so desire,

W.E.S. (M.D.)

Takara Laboratories, Portland, Oregon:
Having used TAKARA Powder and knowing how wonderful it is, I am recommending same to a friend in Los Angeles. Would you please send a 50c box of the Power and a small box of the suppositories to her C.O.D.?

Mrs. R.M.J.

"Personal Hygiene for Health"

TAKARA HYGIENIC POWDER is an ethical treatment prepared by expert chemists, using only the purest ingredients. Its chief use is in the treatment of inflamed, ulcerated or catarrhal conditions of the mucous membranes.

Practically every woman finds it necessary to use medicated douche, and for this purpose, NOTHING HAS BEN DISCOVERED THAT EQUALS TAKARA HYGIENIC POWDER.

It has a cleansing, cooling and soothing effect that is indescribable, and it adds wonderfully to the personal comfort of the user.

NO Disease is So Common to Women as Leuccorrhea or Whites

There is none that is so generally dreaded. Nearly every woman knows its danger.

A Few Treatments With Takara Hygienic Powder Will Relieve Any Ordinary Case

TAKARA HYGIENIC POWDER is superb for the treatment of diseases of women, such as VULVITUS, VAGINITIS, CERVICITUS or an infection in the genito-urinary tract.

Before TAKARA HYGIENIC POWDER was placed on the market, women ran terrible chances by using dangerous poisons for douches. Instances are known where women have been dangerously burned with carbolic acid, causing abcesses and blood poisoning. Now, women need have no fear of poisoning or burns, for they can use TAKARA as a douche and know that is is better in every way.

The disagreeable odor of some, as well as the terrible danger from poisoning and burns through having carbolic acid or bichloride of mercury tablets in and about the home, are forever done away with when TAKARA HYGIENIC POWDER is employed, because it is absolutely NON-POISONOUS, HAS A PLEASANT ODOR, and is PERFECTLY SAFE, if it should fall into the hands of children by mistake.


DOUCHE--The usual strength prescribed is a teaspoonful, dissolved in a quart of hot water. Use in a fountain syringe, night and morning.

CYSTITIS--Douche of one teaspoonful TAKARA POWDER to two quarts of very warm water, two times a day. Take douches slowly in a reclining position. Warm sitz bath on retiring.

OVARIAN IRRITATION--Take TAKARA DOUCHES regularly, night and morning. Insert TAKARA ANTISEPTIC SUPPOSITORY on retiring. Follow above directions persistently and an operation may be avoided.

SORE THROAT, COMMON--Gargle throat every two or three hours with solution of one teaspoonful of TAKARA POWDER to a pint of water, hot or cold, as desired.

BAD BREATH--Use a solution of one level teaspoonful of TAKARA POWDER to a pint of water, use as a gargle and mouth wash, three times a day.

CANKER--Apply TAKARA POWDER direct to canker, or put one half a level teaspoonful of TAKARA POWDER in a half-cupful of water and use as a mouth wash before and after meals.

DEODORANT--Use a solution of one heaping teaspoonful of TAKARA POWDER to a pint of water.

SKIN IRRITATIONS--Usually skin irritations are caused by heat, cheap soap, or tight clothing. Sometimes, they are due to acid fruits, food, or liquids. To allay itching and inflammation, bathe affected parts frequently with a solution of one-half teaspoonful of TAKARA POWDER in half a pint of warm water.

AS A FOOT BATH--For tender, aching or sweaty feet, dissolve one teaspoonful in a gallon of warm water, soaking feet a few moments. Let dry without wiping.

Do not take a chance by using the old-fashioned ordinary tissue destroying germicide. Ask your physician or druggist. He will tell you how healing, soothing, refreshing TAKARA is. It is a boon to womankind.

Cupid's Book, TAKARA DOUCHE advertisement, 1929

Sachet in Which the Queen Packed Her Dresses

Kirsten Schilling, the creatrix of all things aromatic at Arabesque, is on a mission of recreating perfumes of the past, perfumes which tell tales of past lives, of queens and courtiers, of love and hope and expectations.

Sachet in Which the Queen Packed Her Dresses

There is a heavenly vintage, otherworldly fragrance wafting from the sachet. It gives the impression that it's very old, like something your great aunt Permalia received and coveted from her great aunt Ophelia, who received and coveted it from her grandmother Germania, who was gifted it by the King of Prussia. Or some such romantic notion. The scent is spicy sweet, slightly floral, and nostalgic. Kirsten developed the sachet contents from a recipe dated in the 1560's, one which the queen Isabel did indeed pack her dresses. It arrives tidily knitted up in heavily decorated brocade, a neat little package ready to slip in between the most delicate of lacy undergarments.

Serafina Eau de Parfum

Straight from the bottle, this parfum yelps bright florals and juicy citrus. Applied to the skin is another story altogether ~ Serafina becomes purely floral, twining jasmine kissing the delicate petals of gardenia, an Eden in the heaven of our hearts. There is a lush headiness in Serafina which prevents it from being too feminine, too "girlie", though not so heady that it becomes overwhelming and too grown up. The dry down is just as astonishing as the opening, keeping in tune with the theme of floral, the scent becomes a bit heavier, not headier, as if you'd tucked a gardenia in full bloom behind your ear and forgot about it until you caught of a whiff and thought, "Oh! That's me who smells so lovely!"

Find these and all the other deliciously scented parfums, oils and candles at Arabesque Aromas/Aromatics at Etsy.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Feminine Things Giveaway

Mixed CD (great music is always chosen) and some perfume samples are on the roster at Feminine Things -- enter for your chance to win!
"Sometimes I've believed in as many as six impossible things before breakfast" ~ The Red Queen, Lewis Carroll

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Old Things

Old perfumery stuff, even if it is synthetic, is cool. The bottles are cool, the handwritten labels are cool, the typed labels are cool! Way vintage stinky. Nauseating, to be honest. There are a few bottles of honeysuckle, a bottle of lilac, rose, all fake of course, and then there are full bottles of lemon, lime, bergamot and orange, all real, but so far gone no self-respecting NBP would ever consider using them for anything except museum pieces. What will I do with these? Share half with my co-conspirator, and put the rest on a shelf because they are museum pieces!

Winning Stuff

I recently won a gift certificate to The Perfumed Court via Feminine Things' blog and it took me a while to decide which samples I'd like to order. I did get the usual -- my absolute favorite non-natural perfume, Tea for Two by L'Artisan created by Olivia Giacobetti. Just a vial of the lovely tobacco~y spiced tea. I still had a few dollars left on my gift certificate, so I scoured the perfume blogs to see what people were writing about, what stuff seemed unique, and decided on Tom Ford Gray Vetiver. I'm glad I did. It's a man's parfum but I'd be more than thrilled to wear it -- and I have! It doesn't embody the rough, dirty, earthy vetiver we Natural Botanical Perfumers have come to know and love. It's refined. Almost delicately vetiver~y. It's very nice to my nose and sinuses too. A perfect gentleman, in fact.

Monday, January 17, 2011


For Christmas I received an aromatic treasure from Eleneetha at Etsy (aka Anastasia Angelopolous) ~ a packet of handmade kyphi. What you get when you order this strange looking object is a little cookie of resins, raisins and herbs, so beautifully scented you're almost afraid to burn it. But do! From the first wisp of magical smoke to the last, this kyphi inspires. A thousand blessings spring from the ether, setting your sore mind at ease. This is the kyphi of the ancient Egyptians, the offering to the gods, the homage to Kings and Queens, the hopes and dreams of the common man.

Kyphi is for everyone these days ~ go get you some!

Big Sale at The Scented Djinn Etsy Apothecary

Read more about it here, or just go straight to the apothecary to pick your poison-- um -- lush aromatic skin care product.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beginning Soap Making

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with my oldest grandchild, Sara, who turned 10 last September, and we made soap using the m&p soap making kit I gave her for Christmas. She was given free rein over the entire process, not that I had much of a choice. My part in all of this was strictly supervisorial, with a little soap making wisdom thrown in here and there. What she chose to make were, in my opinion, amazing considering her level of expertise -- the first batch she chose to use some of the mica coloring I had in my goody bag over the little sample included in her kit. She chose one fragrance, some fragrance oil stuff with "French" in the name, for her first batch and chose lavender mailette layered with badian for the second batch. The layers on the first batch were colored deep beige and pinkish, the second batch was white and purple/gray. Needless to say, we had a lot of fun, the entire process was completely stress free (we managed to slip in a batch of cupcakes while the soaps hardened in the mold) and we spent some quality family time together, something we rarely have the opportunity to do. One thing, though, her grandpa came into the room to check out how she was getting along and asked her, "Are you going to be a soap maker like your grandma when you grow up?" And she replied, "No, I'm going to be famous." I believe I have been dissed.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Honey Bee Essential Oil Extractor

Okay, it's just a glass tube with nifty end stoppers, each with a hole in it, securely clamped with these -- clamp thingies -- to the glass rod. One opening is an innie, the other an outie (you'll recognize the innie end by its distinctive red corky nipple-- that's where the butane goes in), and the outie is just an opening on the other end of the extractor rod. It uses 50 pt micron screens at the outie end to prevent the butane from shooting raw material through the outie hole and into your extract. I no sooner had the packaging torn from this cool low tech apparatus when one of my older sons came traipsing in to try and lay a claim. No way, buddy. Not gonna happen. Tomorrow I'm planning to run a batch of ambrette seeds through -- I'll take pics (if I remember to) and post them here.

If this is something you're interested in fooling around with, you can make your own by googling 'honey extractor' for instructions, or search for them ready-made on ebay by searching 'butane extractor'. If all goes as planned, I may be stepping up to the bigger 200 gram stainless steel jobber within the year. If not, I'll happily extract small personal use aromatics with -- well, what shall we call it? Every odd object requires a special name, right? My distillation unit is named Albert, and my ultrasonic cleaner is named Sonya, so . . . what should I name the extractor?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tangled Garden II

I recently received my order from Sustainable Seed Co. and am anxious, all of us, the entire family, to get these seeds in the earth! My daughter's boyfriend is determined to turn our backyard into a cornucopia of edible delights, and I'm going to let him. This young man hasn't spent even a minute on a real farm, but he's got a knack for planning, planting and growing, so much so, he's considering working his way into Fresno State's world-renowned Agriculture Department as a green conscious farmer. He receives a deep sense of satisfaction being self-reliant, and growing his own food to eat or barter for goods is something he sees in his future. It starts in my backyard, I guess.

In a few weeks, maybe by mid-February, we'll be laying down the spring greens bed with Paris Island lettuce, a hardy romaine-like variety; leafy green lettuce; cucumbers and a few delicate herbs, the winter thyme, German and Roman chamomile, chives, basil and red clover. Then in April we'll lay down the early summer beds and fill them with purple carrots, cabbage, chard and kale. Then on to the mid to late summer beds and load them up with corn, potatoes and more varieties of tomatoes than you can shake a stake at - red pear, Cuostralee, Auld Sod, Black Seaman, Columbian Wildform, Earl of Edgecomb (an orange tomato, my absolute favorite), Ben's Ivory Pear, and some tiny yellow grape tomatoes transplanted from mum's garden. Somewhere in all of that I have to find space for onions, a mimosa tree my mom's started, and a yard full of lavender.

Some of these goods, the tomatoes in particular, and some of the herbs, will make their way into skin care at The Scented Djinn Etsy Apothecary. The rest will be happily eaten, preserved or traded.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

The skies 'round here are gloomily gray, thanks to high floating all day long fog. Some mornings we get the regular, on the ground tule fog that wreaks havoc with school buses and creates the school kid's happiest of days, foggy day schedules. But for now, it's just dark and depressing with no indication of time of day -- 8 am looks exactly like 3 pm. It's disconcerting, this loss of the sun compass. Can't even feel good about going out to dig up the vegetable beds in preparation of planting, even though the newly christened "bulb bed" is showing signs of life. Little green tentacles are beginning to reach out of the dark loamy soil and by late February we'll have fat-headed purple hyacinth, sparkling bright jonquil and a smattering of paperwhites. They are all being groomed for a trip to the new glass butane extractor I scored on Ebay. I don't expect to get any significant amount of absolute from any of these, but the experimentation is well worth the results, however small.

These gloomy dark days are filled with kit building here. I am currently working on another round of essence evaluations' kits for NNAPA, and have I said before how tedious and mind-numbing it can be? It can also be inspiring too. I'm working on the RF and F series, the rose florals and the florals, and it's quite nice reacquainting myself with some friends I don't always get to play with. The tedium, or rather, the disgust will arise when I get to the animalics, the A series, the group of aromatics which embody the lovely smells of butts, feet, hooves, and hoo-hoos. The life of a perfumer never sees a dull moment. So I'm barely into the kits, with a deadline of one week (self-imposed) and approximately 385 1.5 ml vials to fill, each kit comprised of 55 separate and individual essences, each vial individually labeled, each grouping bagged by fours into fourteen weeks, also labeled. Woe is I.

Not really.

Someone recently suggested I write down all the recipes I tweak using aromatics and bind it into a little booklet, and I may do that. It will require digging through notebooks and cookbooks for loose bits of paper and ink notes written on the pages. I know there are a couple of cookbooks out there utilizing aromatics, but hey, it's a cookbook. How many cookbooks are too many cookbooks? Did I mention at any time during the 6 or so years writing this blog that I also collect cookbooks? My all-time favorite has to be 'Julia's Kitchen Wisdom' by, of course, Julia Child. Everything is simplified yet so very, very elegant. Plus Julia Child herself reminded me of my crazy aunts; witty, brilliant, funny as hell, and talented. If it weren't for Julia, my meatballs would still turn out soggy.

I, with the help of a dear friend, managed to score something of a rarity this winter -- a few grams of antique orris root oil. Technically it isn't an oil, more like a powdery resin or flaky butter. I even scored the original bottle, an old brown squatty Fritzsche Brothers bottle with label intact. The orris itself is beautiful; fatty, violety, sparkly, like carbonation, a cream soda. I have yet to do any work with it as it's -- it's just too pretty. I don't want to use it up, as is my normal mode of operation. Good orris butter is hard to find, and fortunately I've managed recently to get my hands on several examples of antique orris, so my stock is full. For now. I also scored a vintage bottle, about 30 or 40 years old, of patchouli oil. I haven't evaluated that one either. I tucked it away, decanting just a few mls to use in a couple of projects. Some things aren't meant to last forever, and other things you just can't let go. My miser mode is kicking in, I guess.

Well, it's a new year and everything feels the same. Let's hope it gets better and better, yes? More jobs out there, less unemployment, more self-reliance, less mindless consumerism. It's a lesson we'd all better learn from.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Junk in My Trunk

Please allow me to 'splain ~ I have an enormous amount of trimmings from an old olive grove, organically grown, of course, spilling out of the trunk of my little Kia. Ripe, black olives included. Ready for a wash and a dip in organic extra virgin olive oil. The distillation is complete. I have a liter (I know, I was going for two, but I'm not quite that patient) of purely gorgeous rose geranium/rose petal "flavored" hydrosol illuminated with hydrosol of olive leaf. The possibilities are fathomless. Rose geranium is used in the treatment of acne, dermatitis, eczema, oily skin and ringworm. Rose is wonderful for delicate mature skin, and olive leaf is reported to be antibacterial with anti-aging properties. I can't attest that these claims are true, but I can tell you that this particular tonic hydrosol is a beautiful skin treatment, refreshing, fragrant and soothing.

On to the oil extraction.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Ah, 2011 ~ finally!

For some reason, it seemed that the last few days of 2010 lingered. Now that we're into 2011, it feels-- it feels-- the same, really. Exactly the same, only wetter. Much, much wetter. As much as we need the rain here, I am so ready for it to end. At least for a week or two. I just discovered a leak in the studio, in the corner by the printer, away from the blending bench and bottles. Though I love the sound of rain, I'm not thrilled hearing it INSIDE the house. There is a bucket collecting the drops for now, and in a few days (before next Sunday when we expect it to rain again) I'll have someone go up and locate the leak and plug it. Or I may have to put a nice shiny raincoat on the house until the Spring when I can get it professionally cared for. In the meantime, *plop*, *plop*, *plink* (that one hit the side of the bucket) *plop*.

Been a'distillin' since Friday. I asked the Distillation Queen, Ms. D.R., about it taking so long to distill a 2.5 liter batch and though I'm stretching the time way out, she said I'm not messing anything up. I take about 8-12 hours to distill one batch, and I guess if I turned up the heat, I could do it in 3-4 hours. Day one I distilled freshly picked organically grown olive leaves. Day two I distilled rose geranium leaves, also freshly picked, using the olive leaf hydrosol to fill the water chamber. Day three (today), I'm re-distilling the rose g./olive leaf hydrosol with fragrant rose petals and more rose geranium leaves. I hope to get back two liters of super scented triple distilled olive leaf, double distilled rose geranium leaf, single distilled rose petal leaf hydrosol. I promise that won't be the title of the end product ~ ha! So far, so fragrant.

Next up is an infusion of fresh olive leaf into extra virgin organic olive oil which will in turn be made into a balm or butter, or left as an oil. I already have a liter of olive leaf alcohol extract that is super potent -- that too will be added to some skin care this year. I am in the throes of a love affair with olive. Always have been. As a child I'd read books in the arms of an old olive tree, picked olives for curing every season, threw overripe black olives at my sister and brother and watched the purple stains accumulate on their clothes -- the first game of paint ball was played using overripe black olives. Olive juice.

I am reformulating a few perfumes. Atay and Khodum. I don't like them now. Atay's too, too sweet, and Khodum isn't scary enough. So. They get redressed. I don't like that I made a mistake with both of these perfumes and then released them into the world anyway. It shows a lack of restraint on my part, or perhaps exhaustion. Twenty-ten was an exhaustive year. But that is no excuse for making sub-par parfum. I promise to do better.


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