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The Washington herald. (Washington, D.C.) 1906-1939, December 31, 1911, MAGAZINE SECTION


Part Two

Fascinating Use Of Sandalwood

The use of heavy perfumes is to be decried, particularly those which we obtain from animals, such as musk, civet and ambergris. These odors should never be used except to develop and make more permanent the cleansing odors of vegetables and flowers.

Personally I prefer perfumes which have the slightest modicum of animal odor. I think that the individual woman will, however, find the kind of perfume which suits her personality best. It is only the imitator who bus violet water because her friends are using it. Her friend may be the kind of woman who would remind you of a violet, delicate, modest, fragrant; and the imitator her direct opposite - a woman perhaps who would remind you of the languorous yet brilliant poppy; for her should be selected some of the perfumes of the Orient.

I have a friend who is dark, with a clear, smooth skin and dark brown eyes and hair. She has little color, but for all that is vivacious and full of life. Wherever this woman goes there is left behind just the faintest possible odor of sandalwood. I have never seen her use an extract of her favorite perfume, but her face powder, her talcum and her soap are all impregnated with the odor, and among her clothes in her bureau drawers and upon the shelves of her wardrobe there are chips and pieces of the spicy wood. As a rule sandalwood is a perfume too aggressive for most people, but
in the way that it is used by my friend it has a sweetness as well as an intangibility that is most fascinating.

Use of the Sachet Bag

The ordinary way of using perfume by drenching your handkerchief with it I consider a vulgar habit. Lay a sachet bag among your handkerchiefs, or put your perfume on them while they are still, in the box, allowing all the crudeness of the odor to disappear. If you care to use extracts or toilet, waters, put some on the roots of your hair after washing, touch the tip of your finger wet with the odor to your eyebrows and the lobes of your ears, pour some in the center of your palms and close them tightly until it dries, for there is nothing more delightful than a white, fragrant, well kept hand extended in welcome.

A hand of this kind has a moral as well as a health ful significance, as witness Lady Macbeth after the murder of Duncan when she said, "All the perfumes of Araby will not sweeten this little hand!"

Many women wear a sachet bag of their favorite perfume inside the corset but I do not care for this. A fragrance about a woman should be as intangible as the fragrance of a flower. Some women achieve this by lining the walls of their closets with a thick layer of cotton, over which their favorite sachet powder is sprinkled, and then covering this with alkaline or cheesecloth. Their bureau drawers or any other receptacle where clothing la kept are treated in the same manner.

Frangipani sachet powder is fine if it is used in this way, provided, one likes a slightly oriental perfume. The formula is orris root two pounds, sage four ounces, sandalwood four ounces, vetiver four ounces, musk two drams, civet one dram, oil of neroli twenty-five grains, oil of santal twenty-five grains, oil of rhodium-twenty-five grains. Mix the oils with the finely ground sandalwood and then mix with the whole mass.

Formula For Violet Water

A friend of mine who used violet odors was so enraptured with the blooming violet fields at Grasse that she seemed to be unable to tear herself away and she said to the man who was with her, "I have never had enough violets in my whole life," and he answered with characteristic American generosity, "This is the time that you shall have them," and violets were sent to her hotel literally by the bushel. Her maid was packing preparatory to leaving for Nice and she ordered that the flowers should be crushed in between the folds of all her garments. "When she arrived at Nice she found that her gowns held the fragrance of the violet, but alas! they were covered with purple stains from the flowers as well. Her magnificent wardrobe was ruined and she evidently got her fill of violets, for she is now using a different perfume.

If you care for violet water, you may take extract at violet ten drams, extract of cassia ten drams, tincture of orris root twenty drams, tincture of civet four drama, oil of bitter almonds twenty drops, oil of rhodium forty drops, alcohol (85 per cent pure) one quart, and rose water twenty-five drams. Turn the oils into the alcohol and allow them to stand, shaking twice daily for one week, then add the tinctures.

A delicious heliotrope sachet powder can be made without the heliotrope flowers. Rose petals one-half pound, tonca beans one-fourth pound, orris root one pound, vanilla one ounce, musk one dram, oil of bitter almonds eight grains; mix and allow to stand for couple of weeks in an airtight receptacle.

When compounding perfumes for ones own use you must remember that certain odors kill each other, while others develop and mingle together. Neroli, lemon, and verbena will mix harmoniously, as will almond, heliotrope and vanilla; or tuberose, cassia, and bitter almond. Oil of santal, neroli, rose, and orris will mix; cloves, bergamot, vanilla, and cassia.

If a woman bathes carefully, taking five minutes daily in the tub, and then scrubs herself with plenty of soap, rinsing off with a shower or cold sponge, dries her body carefully, and sprinkles it with talcum powder scented with her favorite perfume, and proceeds to dress herself in clean clothing which has the same intangible scent, she will not only look clean, smell clean, but she will be clean.

A clean mind demands cleanliness and a cultivated olfactory nerve will never find a substitute for it; but perfume adds to its attractiveness, however, and this applies to men as well as women.