Saturday, October 3, 2009

Receipts for Beauty: Pearl Water

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Loretta reports:

Pearl Water, for the face Put half a pound of best Spanish oil soap*, scraped very fine, into a gallon of boiling water. Stir it well for some time, and let it stand till cold. Add a quart of rectified spirit of wine, and half an ounce of oil of rosemary; stir them again. This compound liquid, when put up in proper phials, in Italy, is called tincture of pearls. It is an excellent cosmetic for removing freckles from the face, and for improving the complexion.

1825
Samuel Adams & Sarah Adams, THE COMPLETE SERVANT

*Castile soap

(The illustration is of much later date, but the "pearliest" one I could find.)

5 comments:

Ingrid said...

It sounds like you would end up with liquid soap.

Ms. Lucy said...

Did this actually work? Poor little freckles!

Loretta Chase said...

My grandma believed in lemon juice for spots. She also used Vaseline and baby oil. Her skin was much nicer than mine, for all my modern cosmetics. What I like about this mixture is that I probably wouldn't mind putting it on my face. It contains no known toxins. Does "rectified spirit of wine" mean a sort of alcohol?

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Most likely the main ingredient for beauty products of the past as well as the present is "wishing and hoping." I should know, having purchased more than my share over time. *g*

i'd guess that "rectified spirit of wine" must be alcohol, though maybe it's heated or something until the alcohol evaporates, leaving only the essence? (in other words, I don't have a clue.)

Kristina said...

According to google , "rectified spirit of wine" is distilled alcohol.

This recipe sounds interesting.

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