|The back of my dressed hair|
But here's the skinny on my foray into the fat underbelly of pomatum. (Okay- I confess that whole sentence was pretty awful, but I just couldn't help myself...)
First things first, I needed to pick a receipt from all of those sources I had been browsing. There were tons of options. Pomatum was so common and scents could be chosen by the maker based on any number of sweet flowers (lavender, orange blossom, whatever you wanted really). I knew that I already have a particular fondness for clove and citrus, so I used oil of clove and lemon for my pomatum. I'd like to try scenting the pomatum in the 18th c. manner with flowers sometime, I'm just not there yet.
Not having every single ingredient for any one pomatum receipt- I improvised. I used the basic amounts of lard and mutton suet from a pomatum receipt in The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies and substituted lemon oil for bergamot and thyme. The three ingredients I didn't have on hand included alkanet root, beef marrow, and virgin wax.
On a side note, although the blog lists the pomatum receipt indicating use for hair, I'm wondering if it's actually supposed to be a lip salve. The alkanet root is what makes me question. I haven't seen it used in an explicitly "hair only" pomatum but is frequently used in lip salves. There are definitely red pomatums in other sources. For example, The Toilette de Flora says "white" pomatum says can be used "in the same manner as other pomatums" while the instructions for "red" pomatum are a little more general in just saying to "set it by for use."
The New London Toilette lists a red pomatum with alkanet root with instructions to be "...made up into a paste and rubbed over the face..." to give it a reddish color. So take that for what it is.
Either way, it seems that pomatum in general is made up of mostly lard with a variety of other ingredients being thrown in for good measure (or good fragrance), so I felt okay using this ratio as the base for just a simple pomatum for my hair. We're constantly being reminded in the manuals, though, to not mix anything noxious to the hair into our pomatums and powders. We're way too smart for that, ladies!
Anyhow, here's what I did:
Measured out my lard. You can see how soft the lard is on my spoon. Once it was thawed I was able to scoop it out pretty reasonably into my dish.
|Lard in my bowl and on my spoon.|
|Not as soft as the lard...|
|It was slow... very slow... but we made it eventually. You can see the mutton|
chunks in there.
|Left: three four oz ball jars for overflow (and to give to friends.)|
Right: a large candle tin to store the majority of my pomatum.
I forgot to take a picture of it once it cooled, but it basically looked like the lard in the beginning. The scent does mask most of what there is of the "lard smell", especially once it's in your hair. It goes on really well and the scent stays for 5-6 days- the clove lingers longer than did the lemon. Overall, I can't wait to try the process again.
I have ordered my virgin wax and a few other ingredients and I am ready for round two. I am feeling a little more confident now that I have a bit of experience under my belt, and I'll be sure to post again with my second attempts.
Until then, I will leave you with my list of alternative literary lard loving punned titles that were almost chosen for this post. Enjoy and feel free to add your own in the comments. =)
P.S. No promises that these are PC, but hopefully you'll find them somewhat humorous.
Lard of the Rings
Lard in August
Journey to the Center of the Pig
I would entertain song lyrics, also...