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6 - Diverse Sorts Of Sweet Handwaters Made Suddenly Or Extempore

This is an excerpt from Delights for Ladies
(England, 1609)
The original source can be found at Kirrily Robert's website

6 - Diverse sorts of sweet handwaters made suddenly or extempore, with extracted oyles of spices. First you shall understand, that whensoever you shall draw any of the aforesaid Oyles of Cynamon, Cloves, Mace, Nutmegs, or suchlike, that you shall have also a pottle or a gallon more or lesse, according to the quantity which you draw at once, of excellent sweet washing water for your table: yea some doe keep the same for their broths, wherein otherwise they should use some of the same kinde of spice.

But if you take three or foure drops only of the oyle of Cloves, Mace, or Nutmegs (for Cinnamon oyle is too costly to spend this way) and mingle the same with a pint of faire water, making agitation of them a pretty while together in a glasse having a narrow mouth, till they have in some measure incorporated themselves together, you shall find a very pleasing and delightfull water to wash with, & so you may alwaies furnish your selfe of sweete water of severall kinds, before such time as your guests shall be ready to sit downe. I speake not here of the oyle of Spike (which will extend very far this way) both because every Gentlewoman doeth not like so strang a sent, & for that the same elsewhere commanded by another Author. Yet I must needs acknowledge it to be the cheaper way, for that I assure my self there may be five or six gallons of sweet water made with one ounce of the oyle, which you may buy ordinarily fo a groat at the most.


Other versions of this recipe:

An excellent hand water or washing water very cheape (Delights for Ladies)


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