Historical Reprints Science Art of Perfumery : Method of Obtaining the Odors of Plants

Art of Perfumery : Method of Obtaining the Odors of Plants

Art of Perfumery : Method of Obtaining the Odors of Plants
Catalog # SKU1286
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.50 lbs
Author Name G. W. Septimus Piesse


Art of Perfumery

Method of Obtaining
Odors of Plants

With Instructions For The Manufacture Of Perfumes For The Handkerchief, Scented Powders, Odorous Vinegars, Dentifrices, Pomatums, Cosmetiques, Perfumed Soap, Etc. With An Appendix On The Colors Of Flowers, Artificial Fruit Essences, Etc. Etc.

G.W. Septimus Piesse

By universal consent, the physical faculties of man have been divided into five senses,-seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. It is of matter pertaining to the faculty of Smelling that this book mainly treats. Of the five senses, that of smelling is the least valued, and, as a consequence, is the least tutored; but we must not conclude from this, our own act, that it is of insignificant importance to our welfare and happiness.


By neglecting to tutor the olfactory nerve, we are constantly led to breathe impure air, and thus poison the body by neglecting the warning given at the gate of the lungs. Persons who use perfumes are more sensitive to the presence of a vitiated atmosphere than those who consider the faculty of smelling as an almost useless gift. In the early ages of the world the use of perfumes was in constant practice, and it had the high sanction of Scriptural authority.

The patrons of perfumery have always been considered the most civilized and refined people of the earth. If refinement consists in knowing how to enjoy the faculties which we possess, then must we learn not only how to distinguish the harmony of color and form, in order to please the sight, the melody of sweet sounds to delight the ear; the comfort of appropriate fabrics to cover the body, and to please the touch, but the smelling faculty must be shown how to gratify itself with the odoriferous products of the garden and the forest.

Pathologically considered, the use of perfumes is in the highest degree prophylactic; the refreshing qualities of the citrine odors to an invalid is well known. Health has often been restored when life and death trembled in the balance, by the mere sprinkling of essence of cedrat in a sick chamber.

The commercial value of flowers is of no mean importance to the wealth of nations. But, vast as is the consumption of perfumes by the people under the rule of the British Empire, little has been done in England towards the establishment of flower-farms, or the production of the raw odorous substances in demand by the manufacturing perfumers of Britain; consequently nearly the whole are the produce of foreign countries. However, I have every hope that ere long the subject will attract the attention of the Society of Arts, and favorable results will doubtless follow. Much of the waste land in England, and especially in Ireland, could be very profitably employed if cultivated with odor-bearing plants.

Among the numerous gratifications derived from the cultivation of flowers, that of rearing them for the sake of their perfumes stands pre-eminent. It is proved from the oldest records, that perfumes have been in use from the earliest periods. The origin of this, like that of many other arts, is lost in the depth of its antiquity; though it had its rise, no doubt, in religious observances. Among the nations of antiquity, an offering of perfumes was regarded as a token of the most profound respect and homage. Incense, or Frankincense, which exudes by incision and dries as a gum, from Arbor-thurifera, was formerly burnt in the temples of all religions, in honor of the divinities that were there adored. Many of the primitive Christians were put to death because they would not offer incense to idols.

"Of the use of these luxuries by the Greeks, and afterwards by the Romans, Pliny and Seneca gives much information respecting perfume drugs, the method of collecting them, and the prices at which they sold. Oils and powder perfumery were most lavishly used, for even three times a day did some of the luxurious people anoint and scent themselves, carrying their precious perfumes with them to the baths in costly and elegant boxes called Narthecia."

In the Romish Church incense is used in many ceremonies, and particularly at the solemn funerals of the hierarchy, and other personages of exalted rank. Pliny makes a note of the tree from which frankincense is procured, and certain passages in his works indicate that dried flowers were used in his time by way of perfume, and that they were, as now, mixed with spices, a compound which the modern perfumer calls pot-pourri, used for scenting apartments, and generally placed in some ornamental Vase.

310 + pages - 8 x 7 inches SoftCover


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