Part of my problem in pinning things down, I realized, was thinking in terms of a specific product for a specific purpose, as we have today: hair sprays, gels, lotions, creams, mousses, Moroccan oils, and so on.
What they had in the early 19th century were hair oils and pomades/pomatums. Bear grease was a popular pomade, but it seems that not all bear grease in England came from bears. If you want to make your own bear grease, though, Wild Edible will tell you how.
My recent research tells me the most popular pomatums were made from lard. Certainly the exact same recipe appears in one publication after another. As our loyal readers are aware, copyright was not protected, and publications stole freely from one another.
Parisian Pomatum was one I came across again and again, in all kinds of books and magazines. I'm listing several here, to show both variations and the extent of "borrowing."
A New Supplement to the Pharmacopoeias of London, Edinburgh, Dublin, and Paris: Forming a Complete Dispensatory and Conspectus; Including the New French Medicines and Poisons (1833). Recipe here.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.