Thursday, April 29, 2010

A PIONEER SCENT

A PIONEER SCENT
By, Roberta C.M. DeCaprio

I have to admit it, I’m a girlie girl . . . always have been and always will be. I love porcelain dolls dressed in delicate lace, the color pink, canopy beds, nail polish, make-up and above all, perfume. Some of my recent favorites are Chanel’s, Number 5, Clinque’s, Aromatic Elixir and Estee Lauder’s, Super Estee. In high school I wore Coty’s, Emeraude, Dana’s, Ambush and Prince Matchabellie’s, Wind Song . . . not to mention Love's, Lemon and Baby Soft, Chantilly Lace and Oh de London. As a throw-back from my hippie days, I also dabbed on a hint of sandalwood oil and different fragrances of musk; as well as my old staple, Patchouli.

My perfume fetish is something I’m proud of, especially when someone takes the time to ask, “What’s that scent you’re wearing?” So, I did a little research on what the pioneer women wore to smell nice, other then a dab of vanilla extract behind the ears. Thanks to the Crunchy Chicken and several sites on Lemon Verbena, this is what I came up with.

Remember Little House on the Prairie and Laura’s fascination with her teacher, Miss Beadle, who wore lemon verbena perfume? If you were a fan of the show, Mr. Edwards gave Laura lemon verbena perfume in two episodes. So, what better thing to learn as a pioneer skill than how to make your own lemon verbena perfume?

What exactly is lemon verbena and where did it come from?

Lemon verbena (or Lemon beebrush, Aloysia triphylla) is a deciduous perennial shrub native to Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru. This plant was brought to Europe by the Spanish in the 17th century where it was used widely in perfume in the 18th century.

It grows to a height of 3 to 7 metres and exudes a powerful lemony scent. It prefers full sun, a lot of water, and a light loam soil. It is sensitive to cold, losing leaves at temperatures below 0°C although the wood is hardy to -10°C. Lemon verbena, if covered with some straw, cut down and kept free from very moist conditions, will also withstand up to a -15°C frost and will make new leaves in spring. The light green leaves are lancet-shaped, and its tiny flowers bloom lavender or white in August or September.

Lemon verbena leaves are used to add a lemony flavor to fish and poultry dishes, vegetable marinades, salad dressings, jams, puddings, and beverages. It also is used to make herbal teas and can be used to make a sorbet.

Lemon verbena has medicinal purposes as well. Traditionally, it has been used to treat asthma, fever, colds, flatulence, stomach upset and diarrhea. Today, even though the herb lemon verbena can be used in savory dishes and for medical reasons, it is still a fragrance widely used in perfumes. Lemon verbena has a woodsy scent, which helps add spiciness to many fragrances. And, because of the woodsy smell, lemon verbena in cologne makes a great scent for men as well as women.

If you’re interested in making your own batch of lemon verbena perfume, all you need to start is 100-proof vodka. The vodka, as a carrier for your perfume, is almost completely odorless and evaporates quickly when used on the skin, leaving behind just the fragrance. Combine about 24 drops of lemon verbena essential oil with two teaspoons of distilled water and two teaspoons of vodka. Pour all ingredients into a dark glass bottle and let them steep for at least 48 hours. Shake the bottle occasionally to mix the scent.

In the book, Gone with the Wind, lemon verbena was one of Scarlett O'Hara's mother's favorite scents. During that era, people made lemon verbena lavender perfume using pure essential oils. Lemon verbena lavender perfume makes a great combination since the lavender provides a relaxing scent while lemon verbena is refreshing. Bergamot acts as a refreshing top note. Start with 1/4 cup vodka and add 1/2 teaspoon lemon verbena oil, 5 drops of lavender essential oil and 5 drops of bergamot essential oil. Store and mix as above.

Now, I ask you ladies, who needs Estee Lauder?

34 comments:

Kathy Otten said...

Fascinating. The heroine in my 1/4 way done WIP is a girlie girl. I'd hadn't given any thought to perfumes/scents women wore back then, but you've inspired me to start digging. Thanks, great piece.

Paty Jager said...

Roberta, Send paty at thewildrosepress an e-mail.

509DevonG_Carreras0 said...

Good Job!!......................................................................

明宏 said...

so Good^^!!......................................................................

韋志 said...

以簡單的行為愉悅他人的心靈,勝過千人低頭禱告。........................................

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WilbertSoseb said...

愛情不是慈善事業,不能隨便施捨。...............................................................

Br1207yantScipio1 said...

向小善致敬,它使人生旅程較為平順。.............................................

韋于倫成 said...

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建霖 said...

量力而為,別勉強了,Cut your coat according to your cloth..........................

茂一 said...

快樂,是享受工作過程的結果...........................................................................

esthermelvin said...

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SadeRa盈君iford0412 said...

I guess I will need a lot.................................................................

洪筱婷 said...

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江婷 said...

在莫非定律中有項笨蛋定律:「一個組織中的笨蛋,恆大於等於三分之二。」......................................................................

嘉玲 said...

當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

陳智強 said...

當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

懿綺懿綺 said...

thanks. i like it!>▽<..................................................................

函松 said...

要用心經營哦~~祝福你~~
............................................................

婉婷 said...

唯有學習不已的老師,才能認真的教,唯有燃燒自己,才能點亮他人的燈............................................................

香昱信張君林 said...

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KevenR_Harrah1022 said...

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劉士賢劉士賢 said...

絕不要羞於承認自己不知道的事。..................................................

雅王任 said...

It is easier to get than to keep it.......................................................................

家唐銘 said...

Look before you leap.................................................

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48684 said...

絕不要羞於承認自己不知道的事。..................................................

1615 said...

人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。............................................................

張佳穎 said...

河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。..................................................

冰微 said...

來打聲招呼-大家好!!!..................................................

Charlene Raddon said...

I'm going to make a batch right away. Didn't know it would be so easy. Thanks for the idea and the little history lesson. Didn't know lemon verbena was used so long ago.