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 The Scent That Captures That "1930s Moment"!

All material copyrighted to © 2014

or to the various credited sources © 2014

...Ladies Who Don’t; Keep It Vintage; Sentimental Emporium;

Memory Lane; Manifest Destiny; Times Past; A Touch

Of Class; Cast Offs From Old Brass; Ain’t It Shockin’

The Price of Butter?; We Never Should Have Gone Decimal

In The First Place; Never Had It So Good; Whatever Happened

To…?; Do You Remember When…?; Those Were The Days;

Step Back In Time; Never Mind The Future; It Happened There;

If There Weren’t Any Scroungers You’d Have to Invent Them;

Mint Imperial; Scrimp It; Put YourFeet Up For A Bit; A Cup

Of Char; Charva Palaver; Laid Out In Lavender; Devon Violet…





THE RESTORATION ROOMS has just opened up on the corner

Of Valance Road, in the unoccupied gloss-framed shop, hunter

Green curtains bowed in windows like funeral parlour drapes:

Bygone goods mark its opening: a 1930s green mangle, or

Wringer, a late 1940s walnut bureau and matching Attlee

Settlement replete with bakelite accoutrements; VELVET

Has a new Thirties’ range of papier-mâché floral-papered

Escritoires, gallimaufries of knickknacks engorged with

Union Jacks and litanies of KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON 

Souvenirs for tourists of timewarp Britain, cheap flights

To the Thirties: coasters, dish-towels, aprons and framed

Pictures; VINTAGE LEAVES are offering discounts for

Their services: 'Choicest Oriental and Indian teas

Served in China cups’; while KEEP IT VINTAGE is baking cakes

From halcyon recipes, rising like decorated icinged graves,

And serving up Turtle soups with black soda bread –

The acquired taste of stag antlers stacked up in its window;

And, in the shadowy stucco-moulded corner of a white

Wedding-cake backstreet, MRS. CANUTICACQ’S EMPORIUM

Is chocablock with bakelite and brica-a-brac curiosities

Sporting hand-written price-tags, prices quaintly out of reach…

But all these quixotic attractions play second fiddles to the latest

Range of DEVON VIOLET perfumes, talcum, soft soaps, aftershaves…


O those stinging DEVON VIOLET aftershaves –DV boasts

The most comprehensive portfolio of chauvinistic aftershaves,

Gels and creams, talcums, balms, sprays, spices, perfumes –

Unafraid to call a spade a spade or play a tune with spoons…



Self-emulsifying polyol stearates were introduced from

The 1930s; the testers for these were originally patented

Under Telgin. This marked something of a distillatory

Renaissance: now all materials were heated and mixed together,

Then poured into containers –this revolutionised the process

Of vanishing cream manufacture, making it considerably

Simpler (deNavarre, 1975). Creams were supremely softer

Than the traditional stearates but unfortunately often

Lost their pearly sheen. Nevertheless, Vanishing Creams

Had a non-greasy advantage which rendered them eminently

Suitable for daytime use by women with oily skin. As well as

Allowing powder to stay intact on the face, they were also

Advertised as protecting the skin from ‘chapping winds’

And ‘sooty breezes’. The presence of a humectant was used

As the basis for claims that they helped reduce loss of moisture

From dry skin… And then there was HAZELINE SNOW:

Doubtless there were certain coteries who used make-up

Liberally, but it certainly wasn’t common, and the jars and

Flasks contained eau-de-cologne as opposed to true scent,

While cold cream was used as a broad lubricant. Chapped

Hands carried glycerine. The chic Parisians were pioneers

Of foundation medium –many milky English wives dashed

Across the Channel to purchase the dinky tubes of POND’S

ERASMIC VANISHING CREAM, and share them out among

Their friends like scarce and illicit indulgences. This marked

A true advance in cosmetics: the powder stuck to one’s nose

So one needn’t squint downwards with one eye to check if it had

Acquired that type of uncomely polished look, so frowned-upon,


Will moisturise those parched falanges, cleanse and gentrify

Oily skin of dermatological parasites, leaving them smooth

And fragrant, all vagrant blemishes rubbed out -vanished!


[paraphrased from]

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