Instructions in every branch of the art and recipes for all fashionable preparations. By Campbell Morfit. Ist edition, 285 pages. Carey and Hunt, Philadelphia, 1847.
One of the earliest technical books printed in America on the subject of perfumery as then practiced, this book was intended for the manufacturer of perfumes and perfumed products, as well as a guide to the purchaser against “all improper and deleterious compositions.” Its popularity is evidenced by the fact that a second edition appeared six years later in 1853.
The author acknowledges his work to be based mostly on the work of Mme. Clenart and other French authorities. This fact should not detract from the value of this book as it brought to American readers, probably for the first time, a goodly number of French processes used in the manufacture of various pomades, oils, and resins as well as formulas for finished products.
A perusal of the short history of perfumery in the introduction elicits the fact that perfume and perfumed products were very popular in the United States where they “have warehouses for its exclusive sale” and that a “drug shop is considered incomplete without an extensive inlay of perfumery.” The use of perfumes pervaded the entire American community, “for while the elite and wealthy purchase the delicately fragrant extracts, the more humble require and are content with an economical and musked cologne water.”