Housekeeper's Recipes for the Toilet from Flora Neely, 1879


Excerpt from 'The Toilet' in Hand-Book for the Kitchen and Housekeeper's Guide by Flora Neely, 1879

"For Hardened Skin and Wrinkles.

Any good purgative (compound cathartic pills are generally good). Rub the skin will with sweet oil at night, or an ointment made as follows: put some castor oil to boil, and while boiling grate in an equal quantity of pure white tallow; add rose or any perfume; warm at night and apply to the skin; rub dry; then apply any fine toilet powder in the morning.


Wash with buttermilk in which a little fresh tansy has been left a few hours; if badly burned, melt some clean mutton-tallow, and apply it with old linen.

To Remove Pimples.

 Make a weak solution of sugar of lead, and bathe the inflamed spots, or wet starch in cold water and cover the eruption.

The redness of the skin and various inflammation often is caused by the condition of the blood; a little Epsom or Rochelle salts in lemonade or citrate of magnesia will often prove effectual.

Camphorated Ointment.

Two ounces of olive oil, half an ounce o f white wax, eleven grains of camphor, three drachms of spermaceti; heat the oil to boiling; grate and stir in the wax and spermaceti; when cool, dissolve the camphor, and mix well with the others. To be used for chapped hands.

To Keep the Hands from Chapping.

Wash them well with Colgate's or other fine glycerine soap; then, after drying them well, rub on a very little rose-water and glycerine or olive-oil, and at night wear a pair of soft kid or chamois gloves.

Honey and Almond Paste.

The juice of one lemon, one ounce of oil of almonds, and a tablespoon of honey, beaten to a smooth paste.

To Remove Freckles.

Half an ounce of lemon-juice, quarter of a drachm of borax, half a drachm of sugar, mix well together; let it stand a few days until quite clear. Rub it softly on the face occasionally.

Tooth Powder.

Two ounces of Peruvian bark, two ounces of myrrh, one ounce or prepared chalk or fine charcoal.


Melt four ounces of beef's marrow, one ounce of white wax, six ounces of lard; stir white hot; perfume while cooling.

Another Method.

Cupful of lard, two tablespoonfuls of castor oil, yolk of one egg well-beathen; melt together; perfume.

To Make the Hair Grow.

One ounce of cologne, one drachm tincture cantharides, five drops rosemary, same of lavender. Mix. Rub the scalp well on the roots, then brush.

Another Method.

One pint good brandy, four tablespoonfuls castor oil, one of ammonia, two or three small pieces of blood-root. Mix. Rub well on the roots, then brush.

To Clean Hair-brushes.

Dissolve tablespoonful  of pearl-ash in pint of boiling water. Wash the brush with this, using a soft sponge. When quite clean rinse in warm water.

Lavender Water.

One pint spirits of wine, one ounce oil of lavender, two drachms essence of ambergris; put into a bottle and shake well.

Aromatic Vinegar.

Put some acetate of potash into a smelling-bottle; mix with it gradually half One pint good brandy, four tablespoonfuls castor oil, one of ammonia, two or three small pieces of blood-root. Mix. Rub well on the roots, then brush.

Camphor Ice.

Compound camphor ice, with glycerine and carbolic acid, is good for chapped lips and hands, and for sunburn or tan.

Inflamed Eyes.

Bathe the eyes with tepid water, with a little laudanum or sugar of lead mixed with water.

Tender Feet.

Bathe the feet in hot water with a little borax or soda; rub well and scrape of hardened skin. Rub with spirits of turpentine, then apply mutton-tallow on old linen.

A Wonderful Hair Restorer.

Two drachms sugar of lead, one drachm lac sulphar, two ounces glycerine, half a pint rosewater, half a pint rainwater. Mix thoroughly.

I can recommend the above, as I have seen the effect. Can be used for light hair.

F. Neely"

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

More from Smelling History


No more products available for purchase

Your cart is currently empty.