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A Table Containing the General Heads of Natural Magick

"Preface To The Reader"


The Eleventh Book of Natural Magick

"Of Perfuming"

"The Proeme"

Chapter I - "Of perfuming Waters."

Chapter II - "To make sweet water by Infusion."

Chapter III - "How to make Sweet Oils."

Chapter IV - "How to extract Water and Oil out of Sweet Gums by Infusion."

Chapter V - "How to perfume Skins."

Chapter VI - "How to make Sweet Powders."

Chapter VII - "How to make sweet compounds."

Chapter VIII - "How to make sweet perfumes."

Chapter IX - "How to adulterate Musk."


The Proeme

After Distillation, we proceed to Unguents and sweet smells.  It is an art next of kin to the other, for it provides of the same things, compounds and mingles of Unguents, that they may send forth pleasant scents every way, very far.  This art is noble, and much set by, by kings and great men.  For it teaches to make waters, oils, powders, march panes, fumes, and to make sweet skins that shall hold their scent for a long time.  And may be bought for little money.  Not the common and ordinary way, but such as are rare, and known to very few.


Chapter I

"Of perfuming Waters."

Have in the former book shown how sweet waters may be Distilled out of flowers and other things, as the place dedicated to Distillation did require.  Here now I will teach how to compound sweet waters and flowers, that may cast forth odoriferous scents.  As first,

"To make a most sweet perfumed water."

Take three pounds of Damask Roses, as much of Musk and red Roses, two of the flowers of Orange, as many of Myrtle, half a pound of Garden claver, an ounce and a half of Cloves, three Nutmegs, ten Lilies.  Put all these in an Alimbeck, in the nose of which you must fasten of Musk three parts, of Amber one, of Civet half a one, tied up together in a Clout.  And put the nose into the Receiver, and tie them close with a cloth dipped in bran and the white of an Egg mixed.  Set a gentle fire under it, until it be all Distilled.

"Another."

Take two pounds of Rosewater, of Lavender half one, of Cretan Wine thirteen Drachms, of the flowers of Gilliflowers, Roses, Rosemary, Jasmine, the leaves of Marjoram, wild Betony, Savory, Fennel, and Basil Gentle, half a pound.  An ounce of Lemon peel, a Drachm of Cinnamon, Benjamin, Storax and Nutmegs.  Mix them, and put them in a glass, and set them out in the Sun for four days, then Distil them with a gentle fire.  And unless you put Musk in the nose of the Alimbeck, tie it up in a rag, hang it by a thread in the water, while it stands sunning for a month.  Set it in the Sun, to take away the scurvy favor of the distilling, if by chance it conceive any.

"Aqua Nanfa."

Take four pounds of Rose water, two of Orange flowers, one of Myrtle, three ounces of sweet Trifoil, one of Lavender .  Add to these, two ounces of Benjamin, one of Storax, the quantity of bean of Labdanum, as much of Mace and Cloves, a Drachm of Cinnamon, Sanders, and Lingnum Aloes, an ounce of Spikenard.  Let these all be grossly beaten, and boiled in a varnished earthen Pipkin over a gentle fire, for the space of an hour, then let them cool.  Strain them through a Linen cloth, and set it up in a glass close stopped.  But tie up the Cinnamon, Cloves, Lingnum Aloes and Sanders in a thin Linen cloth, and so put them into the pot, and boil them, as I said before, and afterwards take out the bundle.  For after the boiling of the water, the remaining dust may be formed into pills, and made into cakes, which may used in perfuming, as I shall reach hereafter.  This water is made diverse ways, but I have set down the best.  Yet in the boiling, it will turn colored, and become red, so that handkerchiefs or white Linen, if they be wetted in it, are stained, although they are made wonderfully sweet.  Which makes many forebear the use of it.  Wherefore, if we would have,

"Aqua Nafa clarified,"

Take the former water, and put it into a glass Retort, and set it in Balneo, over a gentle fire.  The water will become clear, and almost of the same scent.  Only a little weaker.  Keep the water, and lay aside the rest of the Foeces for sweet cakes.


Chapter II

"To make Sweet Water by Infusion."

Now, I will teach how to make perfumed Liquors, and what Liquors they are, which will receive odors best, for water is unapt to keep scent.   Oil is better, and Wine, (we may assign the reason out of Theophrastus:   For water is thin, void of taste or scent, and so fine, that it can gather no scent)  and those Liquors which are thick, savory, and have a strong scent.   Wine, although is be not sweet of itself, yet being placed nigh an odor, it will draw it, because it is full of heat, which does attract.  Water, being cold by nature, can neither attract, nor receive, nor keep any scent.  For it is so fine, slender and thin, that the odor flies out again, and vanishes away, as if there were no foundation whereon it could fix and settle, as there is in Wine and Oil, who are more tenacious of scent, because they are of a more dense and callous body.   Oil is the best preserver and keeper of scent, because it is not changeable.  Wherefore perfumers steep their perfumes in Oil, that it may suck out their sweetness.  We use Wine to Extract the scent of flowers, and especially, Aqua Vita, for Wine, unless distilled, infects the water too much with its own scent.

"Musk Water"

This water sets off all others and makes them richer, wherefore, it is first to be made.  Take the best Aqua Vita, and put into it some grains of Musk, Amber and Civit, and set them in the sun for some days.  But stop the vessel very close, and Lute it, for that will add very much to the fragrancy of it.  A drop of this put into any other water, will presently make it smell most pleasantly of Musk.  You may do the same with rose water and fountain water often Distilled, that it may obtain a thinness and heat, which is very necessary for the Extraction of Essences.

"Water of Jasmine, Musk Roses, Gilliflowers, Violets, and Lilies"

Is Extracted the same way.  For these flowers send forth but a thin odor, which dwells not in the substance of them, but only lies scattered on their surfaces, so that if they remain too long on the fire, or in their Menstruum, their sweetness degenerates from its former pleasantness, and is washed off by the mixture of the stinking ill favored part of their substance.  Wherefore we must lay their leaves only in the best Aqua Vita, that is, the leaves of Lilies, Jasmine, Musk Roses, and the rest, hanging them on a thread, that when the water has sucked out their odor, we may pluck them out, because their odor lies only on their Superficies.  So that if they lay long in the Aqua Vita, it would penetrate too deep into them, and draw out the scent, which would not only destroy their former sweetness, but taint them with an ill favor which accompanies those inward parts.  After these leaves are taken out, supply them with fresh, until you perceive their scent is also Extracted.  But take out the Violets and the Gilliflowers sooner then the rest, lest they color the water.  This water, being mixed with others, takes away the scurvy scent of the Wine.

"A Sweet compounded Water"

Take a great glass Receiver, and fill the third part almost of it with Aqua Vita.  Put into it Lavender flowers, Jasmine, Roses, Orange and Lemon flowers.  Then add roots of Iris, Cypress, Sanders, Cinnamon, Storax, Labdanum, Cloves, Nutmegs, Calamus Aromaticus, with a little Musk, Amber and Civit. Fill the glass, and stop it well.  But after you have filled the glass with the flowers, they will wither and sink down.  Wherefore fill it up with more. Set it in a very hot sun or in Balneo, until their sweetness be all Extracted.  Then strain out the water and one drop of it in Rose water, or of Myrtle flowers, will perfume it all with a most fragrant smell.


Chapter III

"How to make Sweet Oils."

How to Extract Oil out of Spices and sweet things, is declared before. Now I will show how to draw scents out of other things with Oil.  Or, as I said before, to make Oil the ground in which odors may be kept and preserved a long time.  Which is done either by imbibing the Oil with odors, or the Almonds out of which we afterwards express the Oil.

"How to make Oil of Ben,"

Which is the sweetest Oil of all, used by the Genois. take an ounce of Ben, a Drachm of Musk, as much Amber, half a Drachm of Civit.  Put them in a glass bottle well stopped, and set it in the sun for twenty days, then you may use it.  But be sure that it be close stopped.  For the nature of odors being volatile and fugitive, it quickly decays, loses its fragrancy, and smells dully.

"A way to make odoriferous Oil of flowers,"

It is a common thing but very commodious for perfumers, and may be used for other things.  He that knows how to use it rightly and properly, will find it an oil very profitable . Blanch   your Almonds, and bruise them, and lay them between two rows of flowers.  When the flowers have lost their scent, and fade, remove them, and add fresh ones. Do this so long as the flowers are in season.  When they are past, squeeze out the Oil with a press, and it will be most odoriferous.  You may draw a scent with this way, out of those flowers, from whom you cannot draw sweet water.   Oil of Lilies, Jasmine, Musk Roses, Crowsfoot, Gilliflowers, Roses, and Orange flowers, and of others, being made this way, smell most fragrantly.   Oil of Musk, Amber and Civit, may be thus made also.  Cut the Almonds, being blanched from the top to the bottom, into seven or eight slices, and enclose them in a leaden box with these perfumes for six days, until they have imbibed the scent. Then press them, and they will yield a most sweet Oil, and yet perhaps not make the musk much worse.


Chapter IV

"How to extract Water and Oil out of sweet Gums by Infusion."

We may Extract sweet waters by another art that we spoke of before, out of Gums, by Infusion and Expression.  As for example,

"A sweet water of Storax, Benjamin, and Labdanum,"

We may do this, by beating and mixing these Gums with Oil of  Almonds or of Ben, and Macerating them in Balneo for a month.  Then draw out the Oil either by a Retort or by Expression, which is better.  It will yield a most fragrant odor, that you can hardly perceive whether it were drawn out of the Gums themselves by a Retort.   Ben, called in Latin, Glans Unguentaria, is used in precious ointments instead of Oil.  Pliny called it Morobolane.  So also Martial,


"What not in Virgil nor in Homer's found,

Is of Sweet Oil and Acorn the compound."

It is without any scent, and therefore fitter to receive them, and when it does receive, them, to reserve them, for it never grows .


Chapter V

"How to perfume Skins."

Now we will discourse of the perfuming of skins, which is performed several ways, either by sweet waters, or rubbing them with Oils, or laying them in flowers, so that they may attract their odor.  And first,

"How to wash Skins,"

That they may lose the scent of beasts and flesh.  The manner is this, first wash them in Greek Wine, and let them lie wet for some hours.  Then dry them, and if the scent continues in them still, wash them again.  That being taken away, wash them in sweet waters.  Take four parts of Rosewater, three of Myrtle, or Orange flowers two, of sweet Trifoil one, of Lavender half one.  Mix them, and put them into a wide mouthed earthen vessel, and steep the skins in them for a day.  Then take them out, and hang them up in the shade to dry.  But when they are almost dry, stretch and smooth them with your hands, that they may not be wrinkled.  Do this thrice over, till they favor of the sweet waters, and lose their own stink.  Next,

"How to perfume Skins with Flowers."

They must be rubbed over with Oil.  For, as I have told you, that is the foundation of all scents, both to attract them, and retain them in a greasy body.  It may be done with common Oil, but better with Oil of Ben, because it is without any scent of his own.  Best of all with the Oil of Eggs, which I have taught before how to make.  The manner is thus.  Anoint your gloves or skins with a sponge on the inward side, and especially, in the seams.  When that is done, you may make them attract the scent of any flowers.   Violets and Gilliflowers blow first in the Spring.  Gather them in the morning, and lay them on both sides of your skins for a day.  When they grow dry sooner or later, fling them away, and lay on new, stirring or moving them thrice or four times in a day, lest they make the skins damp, and grow musty.  When these flowers are past, lay on Orange flowers and Roses in the same manner.  And last of all, Jasmine, which will continue until Winter.  I mean, Garden Jasmine, for it flourishes two or three months.  Thus your skins or gloves will become very sweet in a years space.  The odor will quickly fade and die.  But if you do the same the second time, it will continue much longer, and preserve their pleasantness.  It very much preserves their fragrancy, to keep them in a close place, in either a wooden or leaden box.  But if you lay them among Linen, it will suck out their odor, and dull their scent.

"How to perfume skins."

If you add Musk, Amber and Civit to the aforesaid skins, they will smell much more sweet and gratefully.  Or take four parts of Western Balsam, one of Musk, as much of Amber, and rub it on your gloves with a sponge, and they will smell very sweet.  I will add one more excellent composition.  Take eight parts of Iris, one of Sanders, two of Benjamin, four of Rose Powder, and one and a half of Lingnum Aloes, half a one of Cinnamon, or rather less, soften them all with Rose water and Gum-Tragacanth, and grind them on a Porphyretick Marble.  Then anoint your gloves with it in a sponge, and take three grains of Musk, two of Amber, one of Civit .  Mingle them, and rub them also on.

"How to take the scent out of gloves."

If you repent yourself of perfuming them, or would make sport of anyone, boil a little Rose water or Aqua Vita, and while they be hot, put the gloves in, and let them remain there awhile.  This will take away their scent.  And if you steep other gloves in it, and dry them, they will imbibe it.


Chapter VI

"How to make Sweet Powders."


Now we come to making sweet Powders, which are either simple or compound.  They are used in stuffing sweet bags and in perfuming skins and compositions.  Learn therefore,

"How to make Cyprian Powder."

Take Moss of the Oak, which smells like Musk.  Gather it clean, in December, January, or February.  Wash it five or six times in sweet water, that it may be very clean.  Then lay it out in the Sun and dry it.  Afterwards, Steep it in Rosewater for two days, and dry it in the Sun again.  This you must iterate oftentimes.  For the more you wash it, the sweeter it will smell.  When it is dried, grind it into powder in a Brass Mortar, and Seirce it.  Then put it into the Sieve, and cover it.  Make a fire, and set some sweet waters to boil over it.  Or cast some perfumed cakes, and let the fume arise up into the Sieve.  The more often you do this, the stronger and more lasting the scent will be imbibed by the powder.  When you perceive it to have attained a sufficient odor, take one pound of the powder, a little Musk and Civet powdered, and a sufficient quantity of Sanders and Roses.  Beat them in a Brass Mortar.  First putting in the Musk, and then by degrees casting in the powder to mingle them well.  At last, put the powders into a glass close stopped, that the sent may not transpire and grow dull.  There are several compositions of this powder, which would be too tedious to recount.  It may be made wither white, or black, or brown.  The white is made of crude Parget washed in Rosewater, or other sweet water.  And adding Musk, Amber, Civet, and suchlike, it will smell at a good distance.


Chapter VII

"How to make sweet compounds."

There may be made diverse kinds of sweet compounds, of which are made Beads, which some use to reckon their prayers by, and others to trim their cloths with.  Also Wash-Balls to cleanse and sweeten the hands.  And first,

"How to make sweet balls."

With small charge, which yet shall seem to be very costly and sweet.  Take one ounce of Cyprian Powder, and Benjamin of the best mixture, which is brought out of Turkey. Half an ounce of Clover.  A sufficient quantity of Illyrian Iris.  First, melt some Gum Traganth in Rosewater.  Then with the former powder make it into a mass, and roll it up in little balls.  Bore them through, and fix every one on a several tent upon the table.  Then take four grains of Musk, dissolve it in Rosewater, and wash the outside of the balls with it.  Then let them dry.  Afterwards wet them again, for three or four times.  So will they cast forth a most pleasant scent round about, which they will not quickly lose. But if you would bestow more cost, and have a greater scent, I will show,

"How to make them another way."

Take one ounce of Storax, of Amber half one, a fourth part of Labdanum cleansed, one Drachm of Lingnum Aloes and Cinnamon, an eighth part of Musk.  Beat the Gum, Storax and Amber in a Brass Mortar with an Iron Pestle, being both hot.  When these are well mixed, cast in the other powders, and mix them all together.  At last add the Musk.  And before they grow cold, form what you please of them.  I will add also,

"Another compound,"

Very necessary in a time of Plague, which will not only refresh the brains with its sweet odor, but will preserve it against infection.  Take three ounces of Labdanum, as much of Storax, one of Benjamin, an ounce and a half of Cloves, an ounce of Sanders, three of Camphire, one of Lingnum Aloes, Calamus Aromaticus, and juice of Valerian, a Drachm of Amber.  Mix all these in the juice of Balm, Rosewater, and Storax dissolved.  But to wash the face and hands.  I will set down a noble composition.

"Of Washing balls or Musk-balls."

Take the fat of a Goat and purify it in this manner.  Boil a Lye with the Pills of Citron in a Brass kettle.  Let the fat remain in it for an hour.  Then strain it through a Linen cloth into cold water, and it will be purified.  Make the Lye of two parts of the ashes of the Ceruse tree, one of Lime, and half a Porringer of Alom.  Mingle them, an put them in a wooden bowl with two holes in the bottom, stopped with Straw.  Then pour in water, that it may cover them three fingers over, and strain it out through the holes.  When the first is run out, add another quantity of water, and so the third time, while the water does receive any saltiness.  Keep these several runnings asunder, and add some of the second and third unto the first, while a new Egg will swim in it.  For it if sinks and goes to the bottom, it will be too weak.  Therefore add some of the first running.  If it swims on the top, and lie upon the surface of the water, put in some of the second and third running, until it descend, so that scarce any part of it be seen above the water.  Heat twenty pounds of this water in a  Brass kettle, and put into it two of the fat.  Then strain it out into broad platters, and expose it to the hot Sun, mixing it often every day.  When it is grown hard, make Pomanders of it, and reserve them.  You may thus perfume them.  Put two pounds of the Pomanders into a bowl, and with a wooden spoon, mix it with Rosewater, till it be very soft.  When it has stood still a while, and is grown hard, add more water, and set it in the Sun.  Do this for ten days.  Then take half a Drachm of Musk, somewhat less Civet, and as much of Cinnamon well beaten.  Mix them, and if you add a little Rose Powder, it will smell much sweeter.  Then judge of it by your nose.  If the scent be too weak, add more of the perfumes. If too strong, more of the Soap.

"How to make Soap, and multiply it."

Since we are fallen upon the discourse of Soap, we will not pass it over this. Take Soap Geta, and reduce it into a small powder.  Set it on the fire in a Brass kettle full of Lye of a moderate strength.  So that in three hundred pounds of Lye, you may put fourscore of Soap.  When the water begins to boil up in bubbles, stir it with a wooden ladle.  And if the Lye does fail in the boiling, add new.  When the water is evaporated, take the kettle from the fire, and cast in six pounds of ordinary Salt well beaten.  And with an Iron ladle empty it out, and let it cool all night.  In the mean time, prepare a Brine, so sharp that it will bear an Egg.  In the morning, cut the Soap into slices, and put it into a broad vessel, and pour the Brine on it.  There let it stand one quarter of a day, and it will become very hard.  If you put some Sal Alchali into the Brine, it will make it much harder.


Chapter VIII

"How to make sweet Perfumes."

It remains, that we speak of Perfumes.  For they are very necessary for the scenting of skin, cloths, and Powders.  And to enrich noblemen's chambers, with sweet odors in winter.  They are make either of Waters or Powders.

"How to make Perfumes of Waters ."

Take four parts of Storax, three of Benjamin.  Of Labdanum, Lingnum Aloes, and Cinnamon, one.  An eighth part of Cloves, a little Musk and Amber.  Beat them all grossly, and put them in a Brass pot with an ounce and a half of Rosewater.  Set the pot over the fire, or hot ashes, that it may be hot, but not boil.  It will cast forth a pleasant odor.  When the water is consumed, put in more.  You may also add what you have reserved in making Aqua Nanfa.  For it will send out a very sweet fume.

"Another way."

Take three parts of Cloves, two of Benjamin, one of Lingnum Aloes, as much Cinnamon, Orange Pill and Sanders, an eighth of Nutmeg.  Beat them and put them into a pot, and pour into them some Orange flower water, Lavender, and Myrtle water, and so heat it.

"Another way."

Express and strain the juice of Lemon.  Into which put Storax, Camphire, Lingnum Aloes, and empty Musk Cods.  Macerate them all in Balneo for a week in a glass bottle close stopped.  When you would Perfume your chamber, cast a drop of this Liquor in a Brass pot full of Rosewater.  And let it heat over warm ashes, it will smell most pleasantly.

"Excellent Pomanders for perfuming."

Take out of the Decoction for Aqua Nanfa, Lingnum Aloes, Sanders, Cinnamon and Cloves.  And of the remaining Powders make a mass, which you may form into cakes, which being burnt on hot ashes, smell very sweetly.  I take out the Cinnamon and the woods, because in burning they cast forth a stink of smoke.

"Another way."

Take one pound and a half of the coals of Willow, ground into dust and Seirced.  Four ounces of Labdanum, three Drachms of Storax, two of Benjamin, one of Lingnum Aloes.  Mix the Storax, Benjamin, and Labdanum in a Brass Mortar with an Iron Pestle heated.  And put to them the Coal and Lingnum Aloes powdered.  Add to these half an ounce of liquid Storax.  Then dissolve Gum Traganth in Rosewater, and drop it by degrees into the Mortar.  When the powders are mixed into the form of an Unguent, you may make it up into the shape of birds, or any other things, and dry them in the shade.  You may wash them over with a little Musk and Amber upon a Pencil.  And when you burn them, you will receive a most sweet fume from them.

"Another Perfume."

Anoint the Pill of Citron or Lemon with a little Civet.  Stick it with Cloves and Races of Cinnamon.  Boil it in Rosewater, and it will fill your chamber with an odoriferous fume.


Chapter IX

"How to adulterate Musk."

These Perfumes are often counterfeited by impostors.  Wherefore I will declare how you may discern and beware of these cheats.  For you must not trust whole Musk Cods of it, there being cunning impostors, who fill them with other things, and only mix Musk enough to give its sent to them.  Black Musk inclining to a dark red, is counterfeited with Goat's blood a little roasted, or toasted Bread.  So that three or four parts of them beaten with one of Musk, will hardly be discovered.  The Imposture may be discerned only thus.  The Bread is easy to be crumbed and the Goat's blood looks clear and bright within when it is broken.  It is counterfeited by others in this manner.  Beat Nutmegs, Mace, Cinnamon, Cloves, Spikenard, of each one handful, and Seirce them carefully.  Then mix them with the warm blood of Pigeons, and dry them in the Sun.  Afterward beat them again, and wet them with Musk-Water and Rosewater.  Dry them, beat them, and moisten them very many times.  At length, add a fourth part of pure Musk, and mix them well.  And wet them again with Rosewater and Musk-Water.  Divide the mass into several parts, and roll them in the hair of a Goat which grows under his tail. Others do it,

"Another way, and,"

Mingle Storax, Labdanum, and powder of Lingnum Aloes.  Add to the composition, Musk and Civet, and mingle all together with Rosewater.  The Imposture is discovered by the easy dissolving of it in water.  And it differs in color and scent.  Others augment Musk by adding roots of Angelica, which does in some sort imitate the scent of Musk.  So also they endeavour,

"To adulterate Civet,"

Hang it in a Jakes among stinks.  For by striving against those ill favors, it excites its own virtue, revives, and recovers its lost sent.

The End of The Eleventh Book of Natural Magick

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