Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF

PREFACE. xi

be very profitably employed if cultivated with odorbearing plants. The climate of some of the British colonies especially fits them for the production of odors from flowers that require elevated temperature to bring them to perfection. But for the lamented death of Mr. Charles Piesse,” Colonial Secretary for Western Australia, I have every reason to believe that flower-farms would have been established in that colony long ere the publication of this work. Though thus personally frustrated in adapting a new and useful description of labor to British enterprise, I am no less sanguine of the final result in other hands. Mr. Kemble, of Jamaica, has recently sent to England some fine samples of Oil of Behn. The Moringa, from which it is produced, has been successfully cultivated by him. The Oil of Behn, being a perfectly inodorous fat oil, is a valuable agent for extracting the odors of flowers by the maceration process. At no distant period. I hope to see, either at the Crystal Palace, Sydenham, at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, or elsewhere, a place to illustrate the commercial use of flowers—eye-lectures on the methods of obtaining the odors of plants and their various uses.

[merged small][ocr errors]

The horticulturists of England, being generally unacquainted with the methods of economizing the scents from the flowers they cultivate, entirely lose what would be a very profitable source of income. For many ages copper ore was thrown over the cliffs into the sea by the Cornish miners working the tin streams; how much wealth was thus cast away by ignorance we know not, but there is a perfect parallel between the old miners and the modern gardeners. Many readers of the “Gardeners' Chronicle” and of the “Annals of Pharmacy and Chemistry” will recognize in the following pages much matter that has already passed under their eyes. To be of the service intended, such matter must however have a book form; I have therefore collected from the above-mentioned periodicals all that I considered might be useful to the reader. To Sir Wm. Hooker, Dr. Lindley, Mr. W. Dickinson, and Mr. W. Bastick, I respectfully tender my thanks for the assistance they have so freely given whenever I have had occasion to seek their advice.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Perfumes in use from the Earliest Periods—Origin lost in the Depth of its Antiquity—Possibly derived from Religious Observances—Incense or Frankincense burned in Honor of the Divinities—Early Christians put to Death for refusing to offer Incense to Idols— Use of perfumes by the Greeks and Romans—Pliny and Seneca observe that some of the luxurious People scent themselves Three Times a Day—Use of Incense in the Romish Church-Scriptural Authority for the use of Perfume—Composition of the Holy Perfume—The Prophet's Simile-St. Ephraem's Will—Fragrant Tapers—Constantine provides fragrant Oil to burn at the Altars—Frangipanni— Trade in the East in Perfume Drugs—The Art of Perfumery of little Distinction in England—Solly's admirable Remarks on Trade Secrets-British Horticulturists neglect to collect the Fragrance of the Flowers they cultivate—The South of France the principal Seat of the Art—England noted for Laven

« VorigeDoorgaan »