The Woman Beautiful Book Antique. This 1901 book is absolutely chock full of all things woman. It is really quite scarce, and is certainly a favorite find. Inside it has many formulations for perfumes, cosmetics, complexion tips, hair care, exercises, bathing rituals and potions, advice on dress and fashion, just a wonderful compilation of Victorian beauty items.
The cover has a lady within an oval, surrounded by long-stemmed red roses, captured in a beautiful fin de siecle design. This book dates to 1901, right at the turn of the century, and has all things Victorian inside that a woman would need to concoct her own cosmetics and beauty regimen. The author is Ella Adelia Fletcher.
The Chapters include:
The sources and power of a woman's beauty.
The evolution of taste.
Health, the cornerstone of beauty.
Correct breathing and walking, the care of the feet.
The baths of luxury and of hygiene.
Woman's crowning glory.
The fascination of a beautiful hand.
The visible seat of emotion, the mouth, lips, teeth, nose, and voice.
The soul's window, the eye.
This so ponderous flesh and the opposite condition.
The principles of taste in dress and its influence upon character.
Nature's blest restorer, sleep.
Above all, the Cosmetic and Therapeutic Formulae laid within is so very scarce to find, and in this book are all the ingredients and instructions needed to make the concoctions below. Women just couldn't run to the druggist or store to quickly buy what they needed, many times one had to make it at home, especially when you consider women often lived quite a ways from town in rural settings. Some of these are still used today, and you can make these up yourself and try them out!
FOR BATHS AND MASSAGE: Almond meal, ammoniated lavender water, angel water, anti-rheumatic bath, aromatic bath, lavender vinegar, massage emollient, salts bath, toilet vinegar, astringent lotion, basis of good toilet soaps, beauty cream, camphorated bath, cinnamon soap, farina cologne, cream of pond lilies, creole oil, cucumber milk, double distilled rose water, Eau de beaute, eau de cologne supreme, eau de framboise, eau de heliotrope, eau de lavande amber, eau de violette de parma, elder flower cream, herb bath emollient, emollient for flesh making, English saponaceous paste, Florida water, flower and her toilet waters, glycerine cream, glycerinated iodine lotion, Hanover cosmetic powder, honey balsam paste, hygienic powder, iodine pomade, iris cream, Kentucky cold cream, Lait virginal antiseptique, lavender soap and water, lettuce cream, hives lotion, marshmallows powder, milk bath, myrtle water, oatmeal bath bags, oat straw baths for kidney troubles, orange flower cream and vinegar, pomade Raffermissante, poncine soap, poudre d'Amandes Amere, reviving bath for the tired woman, rondeletia soap, rose water, royal soap, saponaceous cosmetic paste, savon a la rose, sea water bath, sedative her baths, simple lavender vinegar, astringent pomade and bath, fine veloutine, Vichy bath, Viennese cosmetic water, Vinaigre a la Violette aromatique, Vinaigre de lavande, des quatre voleurs and tonique, violet soap.
FOR THE COMPLEXION: Acne lotion and ointment, rosacea lotion, almond bloom lotion meal milk powder and soap, ammoniated lavender water, amygaline, angel water, lait virginal antiseptique, aqua mellis odorifera, arsenical cosmetic lotion, astringent lotion, magnolia and violet balm, honey balsam, basis of good toilet soaps, beauty cream, eau de beaute, bleu vegetal, liquid blue paint, bleaching lotion, almond bloom, bloom of roses, mercurial ointment for boils, camera make up, camphor julep, carmine paste, for chronic couperose, cinnamon soap, eau de circe, cold creams, cologne, comedone lotions and ointments, compound iodine lotion, cosmetic lotions, creams from/for cucumber elder flower fossati glycerine healing iris colds lanoline lettuce orange flower pond lilies sultana, mole salve, French rouge devoux, double distilled rose water, eau anti ephelide, eau de bayaderes beaute circe cologne supreme framboise heliotrope la Reine d'Hongrie lavande amber Lisbon celebre romain de Violette de Parma, elder flower cream and water, English acne lotion, face powder flower perfumed hygienic talcum rondeletia veloutine fine zinc and chalk, famous mercurial lotion, farina cologne, Florida water, flower and herb toilet waters, flower vinegars, strawberry foam, formula for various toilet waters, Fossati cream, freckle lotion, French rouge, glycerine cream, glycerinated iodine lotion, glycerinated lemon and mercurial lotion, Guibert's eau incomparable, Hanover cosmetic powder, Hardy's freckle lotion, harmless balm, healing cream, pomade of hebe, honey balsam paste, horseradish lotion, Hungarian water, internal remedies for pimples, a Moyen age invigorant, magnolia balm, manipulation of cold creams, mercury ointment for boils, almond and cucumber milk, mixing rouge for different tints, mole salve, moles and moth patches, myrtle water, Naevia healing cream for paint to conceal and paste to remove, orange diet for complexion, orange flower cream and vinegar, Oriental rouge, oxide of zinc ointment, to conceal liquid blue paint, paste to remove carmine, for premature wrinkles, pimple specific, pistachio meal, Pokitonoff ace ointment, poncine soap, remedies for red nose, to make salicylic acid, salicylated Vaseline, savon a la rose, for summer rash, treatment for tanning, borated Vaseline, fine veloutine, Viennese cosmetic water, violet soap and vinegar, water of youth, zinc and chalk face powder.
FOR THE EYES, EYEBROWS, AND EYELASHES: Acute inflammation from cold, alum and egg paste, alum lotion, balsam water to preserve sight, borated Vaseline, camphor julep, cherry laurel lotion, teinture Chinoise, cintrine ointment, infusion of corn flowers, La Forest's cosmetic lotion, lotion for falling eyebrows and watery eyes, yellow oxide of mercury ointment, morphia treatment, mucilage for the eyebrows, treatment for opthalmia, Oriental eyebrow and eyelash darkeners, other methods of darkening the brows and lashes, alum and egg paste, stye pomade, preventive measures against styes, quinine ointment, eye stimulant, treatment of a stye, Vaucaire's eye pomade, vinegar lotion.
FOR THE FEET: Aromatic foot bath, astringent powder, treatment of bromidrosis, bunion lotions, chilblain balsam lotion ointment pomade powder, treatment of chilblains, collodion corn solvent, cooling lotion for chilblains, lotions for corns and bunions, corn pomade, Creole oil, lotion to remove false nails, lavender foot lotion, orris foot powder, treatment of hyperhidrosis, Legoux' lotion for moist feet, corn remedy, to correct offensive perspiration, powder for perspiring feet, astringent powder, swollen feet powder, soft corn treatment, wounds on the toes treatment.
FOR THE HAND AND MANICURING: Almond meal powder and soap, ammoniated lavender water, amygdaline, toilet vinegar, astringent lotion, to cleanse from bad odors, balsam honey, basis of good toilet soaps, treatment of blisters, treatment of bruises or slight cuts, burns and scalds lotion and powder, treatment and pomade for chapped hands, French treatment for chilblains, cinnamon soap, French glove cleaner, cooling lotion, pastes for cosmetic gloves, cucumber and glycerine cream, wart pomade, emollient powder, flower and herb toilet waters, ice treatment for burns, treatment for ivy poisoning, nail powder, rouge powder, oxide of tin powder, pistachio meal and pomade, spermaceti ointment, treatment when nail is lost, Viennese cosmetic water, to remove white spots on nails.
PERFUMES: Absorption method of extraction, aqua mellia odorifera, cloux fumantis, extract of pink clove, supreme farina cologne, Cyprus powder, extract of damask rose, method of distillation, Eau de Bayaderes Beaute Circe Framboise Heliotrope la Reine d'Hongrie Lavande amber Lisbon Celebre Violette de Parma, East Indian method of absorption, the French method of enfleurage, Essence of Neroli petale, Extract of d'Oeillets of Clove Pink Damask Rose Eglantine Frangipani Heliotrope Mignonette Pink Sweet Clover Tea Rose Violet, French triple extracts, Extrait de Pois de Senteur, Fleurs d'Oranges, Frankincense, French extracts, Cloux Fumantis, Fumigating pastils, Guibert's Eau Incomparable, Hungary water, Imitation of violet extract, Lavender sachet water, process of maceration, Pearls of roses, perfumed beads, perfume sachets, rose potpourri, rose water, Ruban de Bruges, substitute for perfume sachets, extract of tea rose, woodland violet.
FOR REDUCING AND INCREASING FLESH: Alum lotion, an appetizer, iodine for anti fat, astringent pomade, to invigorate atrophied breasts, balm of Venus, banting reduction regime, beauty cream, compound iodine lotion, flesh making emollient cream, infusion drinks of brooklime chickweed lime juice sassafras tea lavender tonic white wine and Vichy, Dujardin-Beaumetz reduction regime, Eau Romain, regime to promote embonpoint, wrinkle eradicator, fig paste, forbidden drinks in obesity, herb drinks, laxative powder, French preventive diet.
WOMAN'S CROWNING GLORY: Internal remedies for alopecia, arsenic prescription, lavender bandoline, nerval baume, bleaching methods, camphor julep lotion, cantharides tonic, cinchona pomade, cologne lotion, color restoratives, color olla podrida pomatum, the brighten the color, lanoline cream, shampoo cream, curling preparations, dandruff cures, depilatories, dyes, egg shampoo, English shampoo, Gelee cosmetique, preventive lotion for gray hair, herbal oil, herb tea lotion, henna paste, saponaceous jelly, jaborandi treatment, lanoline hair cream, lavender bandoline, liquid shampoo, Macassar oil, pilocarpine treatment, pomades, pomatums, powder for the hair, quillia bark shampoo, secretage curling method, rhubarb shampoo, tonic and stimulating preparations, tonic cream, Vaseline pomatum, violet curling fluid, walnut leaf decoction, wine and egg shampoo, wine and iron lotion.
THE VISIBLE SEAT OF EMOTION: THE MOUTH, LIPS, TEETH, NOSE, AND VOICE: Perfumes and remedies for impure breath, ammonia prescription, cachous aromatisees, charcoal tablets, lime water, removing odor of onions, Oriental lotions, breath pastils, permanganate of potash, canker specific, lip salves, Peruvian lip salve, teeth and gums areca nut charcoal, areca nut paste, astringent tonic gargle, camphorated chalk, dentifrice antiseptique, eau de botot, lime water lotion, myrrh lotion, precipated chalk treatment, salicylated mouth tincture, savon dentifrice, treatment for ulcerated gums, tonic tooth powder, toothache remedies, Arabian voice sweetener, Oriental voice sweetener, Lotions to relieve hoarseness.
MISCELLANEOUS: To prepare cucumber juice, fig paste, lavender tonic, preparation of lime water, sassafras tea, test of pure water.
Oh my, this book is loaded with all sorts of things one can only wonder about, that is, whether it really worked, or was `quack medicine'. The book opens with a phrase `a notable change in modern thought is the entirely different attitude...beauty as a symbol of excellence within...these end-of-the-century days have freed us...that beauty's mission should be an exalted one'. It glorifies the mission of woman's beauty, and her quest for perfection. Interestingly enough, it recognizes that health was an important component of beauty, and used the term `better an ounce of prevention than a pound of cure'. How progressive one thought they were at this period in history, now looking back, one can see how very prejudiced and backwards their thinking was at times!
In addition to all the remedies and formulas laid out above, there is quite a historical account of beauty from many different societies. The chapter on obesity is quite insightful, talking about what the obese woman misses out on, how her body rules her mind, the French remedy, and how it is easier to avoid obesity than to cure it. In this same chapter, it discusses the vile corset and its morbidities.
Can you imagine how women guarded against wrinkles? Now remember, they are `modern' in their thinking at this time, and say: "the cheeks must be gently manipulated by a rotary motion between the thumb and first and second fingers, placing the thumb inside the cheek. The makes the firm muscle and wears off fat". Then you can use a concoction of: mutton tallow, glycerine, benzoin, camphor, alum, isinglass, and orange flower water...cook it up and you're all set with a homemade prescription!
Exercise is mentioned as greatly beneficial, and bicycling is at the top, although it mentions that `stints of distance are perilous', as it can induce `the bicycle face, the enlarged ankles, feet, and broadened hands'.
Perfumery was such an art at the time, and history on the subject is included, and even `why perfumes stimulate memory'. The origin of attar, the depth of the smell of a perfume, and what favorite perfume to choose are covered...'the fastidious woman should and generally does ascertain what odor is to her the sweetest and best of all, and then fix her affections firmly upon it...Violet is, preeminently, the favorite perfume of the day'. The sensitiveness to odors, and the penalty of suffering attached to a keen sense of smell enters the preference for a perfume.
As if it wasn't enough, taste in dress and ornamentation was a concern of the Victorians. Suitability depended upon social norms and convections, and to dress accordingly was very proper, so as to not appear repugnant and vulgar.
Conditions that warrant the use of narcotics, such as morphine, are warned against, as they were often disguised with sugar and peppermint. Mercury is dismissed as a hinderance, even though it could still be purchased as easily as a cake of soap.
If you had insomnia, there's a simple cure...'select the most comfortable posture, and glance upward as in devout prayer...if you are steadfast in looking upward, there will be the briefest blissful lingering on the border of slumberland, and then blessed sleep will enwrap you in its soothing folds'.
What a comprehensive volume of pertinent and entertaining information! This hardbound book, is in VG condition, with some bumping, soiling, and wear to the cover board corners and spine. The inside flyleaf pages are clean, and the pages have a nice aged patina. The text block is tight and holding very well, and one page has been turned back at a favorite passage from long ago. Overall, both outside and inside is VG. This is a scarce, highly-sought after book. Overall size is aprox 6 x 8.25 inches, about 535 pages.
Antique Rose Prints, Paul de Longpre, Catherine Klein, Etiquette and Medical Books, Yard Long
Layaway. Antique Victorian Rose Prints, Yard Long, Etiquette and Medical books. Combined shipping.