Geranium Perfume. — A perfume which is very agreeable to many may be made by either of the above meth ods from the leaves of any of the sweet-smelling geraniums. The tinc ture, obtained by packing the leaves in a fruit jar, filling it with alcohol and allowing it to stand for a few weeks, is perhaps the easiest to pre pare. The leaves may be renewed, if desired, to strengthen the perfume.
To Distill Essences.—A common glass retort, such as is used by chem ists, may be used for distilling per fumes. This consists of a round glass vessel with a wide mouth that can be closed by a cork or glass stopper. A glass tube passes through this cork to a receiver placed upon the table. • This tube should be long enough to allow the steam forming in the retort to condense before escaping. To fa cilitate condensation, a cloth kept wet with cold water may be wrapped about the tube. A small alcohol lamp is kept burning under the retort, care being taken to keep the lamp at just the right distance, so that the liquor will not run over but pass over gen tly, drop by drop. Perfumes are es sentially volatile; and by this process they pass off with the steam con densed in the tube, and thus become thoroughly amalgamated with the distilled liquor. Special appliances called stills can be purchased for the manufacture of perfumes, but this method is entirely practical for home use. The bath in which perfumes are distilled should be slightly acidulated with sulphuric acid.
Smelling Salts.—The base of the best quality of smelling salts is the true neutral carbonate of ammonia. This is a volatile salt which keeps its pungency as long as it lasts. The portion exposed to the air as it vol atilizes separates into carbonic-acid gas and gaseous ammonia. Care should be taken in ordering to pro cure the true carbonate of ammonia and not the sesquicarbonate, which does not possess an equally strong, agreeable, or lasting pungency.
Smelling salts may be prepared by putting the carbonate of ammonia in a suitable glass bottle with a stopper of ground glass, and adding any de sired perfume, as 8 parts of carbo nate of ammonia to 1 part of oil of lavender, or a suitable quantity of other essential oils, as bergamot, cloves, cassia, verbena, and the like.
Or put equal quantities of slaked lime and carbonate of ammonia in a glass-stoppered bottle, cover with aqua ammonia, and add 12 to 20 drops of any desired essential oil or oils.
Or put in a glass-stoppered bottle absorbent cotton or a small sponge cut up into fine pieces. Fill with common liquid ammonia, and add 5 or 6 drops each of various essential oils according to taste.
Perfumed Toilet Waters. — These preparations are the product of dis tillation. The perfume-yielding in gredients are placed in a glass retort or a still, with water or spirits, and subjected to heat. The perfume is volatilized and passes with the steam into the receiver, the distilled water thus becoming thoroughly impreg nated. Distillation is usually con ducted on a large scale, and the pro portions recommended are often for manufacturers' use. Most persons prefer to purchase perfumed waters rather than to go to the expense and trouble of obtaining a retort and conducting the operation. Anyone, however, who wishes to make this ex periment for amusement or to make money by the sale of these prepara tions may readily reduce the propor tions to suit his apparatus.
To distill with water, put the per fume-bearing substances in the retort in the proportion of about 1 part by bulk to 8 parts of water. Continue the distillation as long as the dis tilled water carried over continues to yield the desired odor. Additional water may be added if necessary. The less water used, the stronger the perfumes. The quality can be greatly improved by distilling a second or third time.
To distill with spirits, put the in gredients in a flask, and cover with just enough spirits to thoroughly moisten them. The receptacle at the end of the tube should be a corked flask or bottle through which a tube should pass to within an inch of the bottom of the flask. This receptacle should be placed in a basin of iced water. The principal substances from which perfumed waters are dis tilled are lavender flowers, rosemary tops, orange flowers, rose leaves, myr tle flowers, marjoram, orange peel, lemon peel, laurel leaves, bitter alm onds, and elder flowers. These are distilled separately, and the distillate is, of course, named accordingly.