Jun 272013
 

This is the second and final article in Ann Lethbridge’s series on Regency-era beauty products. As we learned from her last article, the use of these products was not restricted to ladies. There were a number of toiletry products which were also regularly used by men during the Regency. She includes an image of an eighteenth-century shaving stand which was sent to her by one of the readers of her first article. A most intriguing contraption.

Ann also offers a home recipe from the era on how to make one’s own lavender water. Once you understand its many benefits, would you consider making some?


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Engraving of Chippendale design for a shaving stand

Joanna commented on last day’s blog and sent along this picture and comment view of a 1788 Chippendale Shaving Stand. What the drawing doesn’t show is that there’s a plug in the bottom of the porcelain wash bowl. The water drains into a bucket or chamber pot in the cabinet below. Everything folds down to create an innocuous-looking table. Thank you Joanna, it is indeed a lovely piece of furniture and just the kind of thing a mechanically minded male might take a fancy too, don’t you think.



More about cosmetics this for both genders.


Picture of a cake of Pears soap

PEARS TRANSPARENT SOAP.   "Personal beauty depends so much on the appearance and texture of the skin, that whatever contributes to protect it from injury, or to improve it, must be considered an object of importance to all who are solicitous to possess the advantage," which Lord Chesterfield denominates in a letter of recommendation on all occasions; and certainly the present and future ages must feel themselves indebted to the Inventor of the curious Chemical Process by which Soap is separated from all the impure and noxious substances with which, in its crude state, it is invariably united; this refinement is manifested by its Transparency and Fragrance. Prepared and sold by A. Pears, at his Manufactory, No. 55, Wells-street, Oxford-street, London, price 1s and 1s 6d. per square; and in large squares which are perfumed with the Otto of Roses, for 2s 6d. Also Gentlemen’s Shaving Cakes at 2s 6d—But observe that wheresoever or by whomsoever sold, it never can be genuine without the Inventor’s signature, A. Pears, in his hand-writing. For the accommodation of the nobility and gentry residing in the country, it is likewise sold by Mr. Smith, Perfumer, Dry Bridge, Newark; Mr. Hill, Cheltenham; Mr. Buttler, Perfumer, Oxford; and by most respectable Perfumers in Town and Country.


Picture of a field of lavender in bloom


Note, I am unable to date the picture, but obviously it was well-known during the Regency.


English Lavender Water. This light, refreshing potion is perhaps the oldest known and most frequently used lavender product. It was mentioned by Jane Austen in her letters and in her books.




  • Use as a facial splash morning and night
  • Bathing the forehead and temples with Lavender water will help to overcome fatigue and exhaustion.
  • a soothing compress for a tension headache. Sprinkle a few drops on your pillow, just see how it helps you sleep.
  • Fleas, flies, and midges, they hate it, making lavender water a natural insect repellent!

This is a home recipe from the Regency era.

Put two pounds of lavender pips into two quarts of water, put them into a cold still, and make a slow fire under it; distil it off very slowly, and put it into a pot till you have distilled all your water; then clean your still well out, put your lavender water into it, and distil it off slowly again; put it into bottles and cork it well.

Do let me know how it turns out.

Until next Thursday, Happy Rambles.

© 2008 – 2013 Ann Lethbridge
Originally posted at Regency Ramble
Posted at The Beau Monde by permission of the author.

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