Friday, May 15, 2015


Pomatum is mostly a hairdressing which includes perfumed oil or an ointment. It is also used for skin and lips.

POMATUM. A greasy substance, made from suet, perfumed or medicated. The process of making pomatum is tedious, as the fat must be thoroughly cleansed, to prevent rancidity, which would soon overpower the perfume. The mode of proceeding is as follows:—Take any quantity of lteef or mutton suet, separate the membraneous parts, and cut the suet into small pieces, which are first to be washed in several waters; then pound the suet in a mortar, and drain off any moisture which may remain in it. When it has been reduced by long beating into a fine paste, melt it in a stewpan, and skim repeatedly, stirring well the whole time; when the scum has all risen, turn it out through a fine sieve, and let it get cold. Lay it by for use in a very cold situation.
Pomatum A Le Rose. Take some of the fat prepared as above, and put it into the water bath, (see Water Bath,) or if you have none, into a jar, which is to stand in a saucepan containing water, and melt it; then add an equal weight of freshly gathered rose leaves, (all flowers must be gathered very dry, and when the sun is not upon them,) and leave the whole to simmer for four hours; then strain through a sieve, and pass the leaves through a press, or wring them in a cloth, to get out all the grease. Put the pomatum into a cold place, and a few days afterwards" melt it again at a very slow heat, and pour it into pots. The same process is to be observed with all other flowers. A much more rapid way of making perfumed pomatums, is to melt the prepared suet, and just before it begins to get so cold as to set, and not before, otherwise the perfumes would be injured by heat, stir m a few drops of the essential oil, or essence, of any flowers, as otto of roses, oil of lavender, bergamot, &c.; but prepared in this way, there is not quite so delicate a perfume. If the pomatum is to be medicated by the addition of any drug, it is to be done in melting the grease, allowing it to remain sufficiently long in the water bath to extract all the virtues, then straining through a fine sieve, and allowing the pomatum to stand a few days before it is melted a second time. The colouring matter is to be introduced in the same way as the drugs, if it be in a solid state; but if in powder, it may be stirred in a few minutes before taking the melted fat from the fire. The quantity of
essence or essential oil to be used, may be ascertained by the smell; stir it in a little at a time, and continue until all the odour required is given to the mass.
Glove Pomatum. Melt two pounds of prepared suet, half beef and half mutton, and when it is beginning to melt, stir in half an ounce of oil of cloves, proceed as above stated, taking care in this, as in all cases where the pomatum is perfumed by essential oils or essences, that the second melting is performed by a very gentle heat.
Vanilla Pomatum. In this case, take two pounds of prepared fat, half of pork, (the fat from pork may be made by washing very fresh lard in several waters, and purifying it afterwards by heat and skimming, as for beef and mutton suet,) and the remainder of equal parts of beef and mutton; whilst the fat is hot, stir in one ounce of vanilla, in powder, and just as the fat is getting cool, an ounce of the essence of vanilla, which is made by infusing vanilla in spirits of wine, in such quantity as to give a high perfume. To give additional colour to this pomatum, some very finely powdered chocolate may be stirred in just before the fat is taken off and strained.
Pommade Au Bouquet. Mix equal quantities of rose, jessamine, and orange pomatum, (all made as recommended in the first receipt,) mix them well, and melt them in the water bath, stirring well. This pomatum may be put into pots at once, without a second melting, as the pomatums had already been prepared, and it is to remain in the water bath only a sufficient time to melt.
Pommade A La Marechaxe. Take a pound and a half of prepared fat, of beef and mutton in equal quantities, and proceed as in the first receipt; whilst it is warm, stir in one ounce of powdered cloves (sifted), two grains of amber, two grains of musk, and a quarter of a drachm of neroli. Do not strain or melt a second time, but put into pots at once.
Pommade Au Pot Pourri. The same quantity of prepared fat, of which onethird pork; proceed as above, and stir in half an ounce of bergamot, a quarter of an ounce of balsam of Peru, a drachm of neroli, and four grains of amber; have ready two ounces of each of jessamine, jonquille, and tuberose pomatum, previously melted, and stir up the whole together. Put into pots at once.
The above general instructions, pomatum making will dispense w
necessity of giving further receipts for perfumed pomatums for the hair. By changing the perfumes, and their quantities, any varieties may be made. Neither will it be necessary to say much about medicated pomatums, which, forthe greater part, are sold by druggists, in the forms of salves and ointments. In Paris, where the finest pomatums are made, [the above receipts have all been supplied by one of the first pomatum makers of the French capital,] all salves are also called Pommades; but as salves do not fall within the scope of this dictionary, only two or three celebrated receipts of medicated pomatums connected with the toilet will be added.
Pomatum To Restore The Growth Of The Hair. Melt half a pound of prepared beef fat, and half a pound of genuine bears' grease, with one ounce of virgin wax, and two ounces of olive oil. Keep them in the water bath for two hours, with a muslin bag, containing one ounce of bruised cloves, half an ounce of cinnamon, two bruised tonquin beans, and four grains of musk; let the bag in which the spices &c. are contained be large enough to allow them to swell. Strain, and put into pots. Colour may be given by putting a little carmine into the bag. This pomatum is in high repute on the Continent, under the name of the Sultana Pomatum. Dr. Bonnetti recommends that before using it the bald or thinly covered parts of the head should be washed several times with the following preparation :—Boil an ounce of cloves in a quart of water for an hour; strain and filter; put into this, when cold, one ounce of quick lime, and having shaken it up, let it settle, then decant carefully. This stimulant, which is perfectly safe, is said to have an extraordinary effect in restoring vitality; and if the hair be washed with it, it is made strong, and does not fall off.
Cucumber Pomatum. For the skin, said to have been used by the celebrated Ninon de l'Enclos. Melt two pounds of prepared lard, with three large cucumbers, peeled, and cut into small pieces; let these • remain in the water bath for three or four hours; then strain and press the cucumbers, adding what comes from them to the other fat; put by to cool, and three days afterwards reduce again to a liquid, by gradual heat; set by to cool, and repeat this once more; the third time, just before the fat cools, stir in some neroli, sufficient to give a fine perfume.
Pomatum For The Lips. Take of sweet oil of almonds, eight ounces; virgin wax, three ounces; orcanetteroot,bruised, two ounces; put them in the water bath for one hour, then strain through a fine sieve, and beat it up in a mortar with six drops of essence of rose. Put into pots.
Source: The Domestic Dictionary and Housekeeper's Manual ©1842

Three Good Ways Of Making Cheap PomaTum.—First: Half an ounce of white wax; half an ounce of spermaceti; eight ounces of olive oil; dissolve in a basin set in hot water before the fir*; add perfume just before pouring into bottles.
Second: A quarter of a pound of hog's lard, and three quarters of a tumbler full of olive oil; a dessert spoonful of eau de Cologne, and a little gum. \Varm the lard and oil, till the lard melts, and then stir in the other ingredients. Cool before using.
Third: Half a pint of olive oil; half an ounce of yellow beeswax; half an ounce of spermaceti, and some perfume. Cut the wax and sperm small, and melt in the oil. Then add the perfume.
Source: The Ladies' Home Magazine ©1859

To make Jessamine Butter, or Pomatum.
Hog's lard melted, and well washed in fair water, laid an inch thick in a dish, and strewed over with jessamine flowers, will imbibe the scent, and make a very fragrant pomatum.
Source: The New Family Receipt Book ©1837

In this, and all other similar cases, the pomatum must be cut up into very small pieces, after the domestic manner of "chopping suet," prior to its being infused in the alcohol. The action of the mixture is simply a change of place in the odoriferous matter, which leaves the fat body by the superior attraction, or affinity, as the chemists say, of the spirits of wine, in which it freely dissolves.
The major part of the extract can be poured or drawn off the pomatum without trouble, but it still retains a portion in the interstices, which requires time to drain away, and this must be assisted by placing the pomatum in a large funnel, supported by a bottle, in order to collect the remainder. Finally, all the pomatum, which is now called washed pomatum, is to be put into a tin, which tin must lie set into hot water, for the purpose of melting its contents ; when the pomatum thus becomes liquefied, any extract that is still in it rises to the surface, and can be skimmed off.
The washed pomatum is preserved for use in the manufacture of dressing for the hair, for which purpose it is exceedingly well adapted, on account of the purity of the grease from which it was originally prepared, but more particularly on account of a certain portion of odor which it still retains, and were it not used up in this way, it would be advisable to put for a second infusion in spirit, and thus a weaker extract could be made serviceable for lower priced articles.
Source: American Journal of Pharmacy ©1854

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