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AN ANTIDOTE FOR LOVERS

I (By J. E. Whitby, in the London Daily / Express.) At a time when so many women, young and attractive, are left lonely and deploring the fact that the men of the day are not matrimonially inclined, it may not be amiss to mention one of the causes for this celibacy as assumed by a learned professor from that country whence comes so much light and learning. Germany presumably stands next to England as an exponent of the beauties and advantages of the purely home life, and that hard times, matrimonially speaking, should be sufficiently recognised to be discussed seriously in a country where the quiverful is not a matter of dread is distinctly interesting. Professor Jaeger, that famous hygienic prophet to whom we owe that comfortable but hideous underwear of pure wool, attributes the crisis in the modern marriage market from which we are suffering not only to the general luxury of the day, but especially to the excessive use of perfume, which has become one of the necessities of life, and which most men dislike. Perfume, or odours, as the French more correctly call them, the word perfume having originally meant a scent obtained only from the combustion of aromatic woods and gums, not only greatly affect the olefactory organs, but the entire nervous system as well, to which they act in some cases as a strong stimulant.

In the extra sensitive, however, they are often prejudicial, and a bad headache is frequently a result. Probably, however, few people have ever suspected that the scent of musk, whether the odor be derived from the musk deer, the pretty old-fashioned pot plant, With its simple yellow flowers, or the chemical substitute had anything to do with that unwillingness to marry which is one of those difficult questions which modern Governments at census times periodically have to seriouslv consider.

Yet ae long ago as the eighteenth century it was discovered that the scent of musk had been known to have dire results, being particularly disliked by men, and that, coming from one beloved it had" been proved to change affection; into aversion. He quotes a case in which two passionate lovers had actually been eternally separated ns a consequence of a little musk on the lady's handkerchief.

Unfortunately the German professor does not give us just those details of the story that would have been interesting as well as useful: for musk, like patciiouli, is from its durability used as a base for many of our most popular scents ; and it would be as well for our voung girls to thoroughly understand the matter.

It is a matter for regret that the matter should not have come before the public before, for the heart saddens when it considers the thousands of maidens doomed- in past ages to perpetual spinsterhood, all for the want of a little guidance in the choice of what was once known as "toilet water."

Without a knowledge of tne end to Dr Jaeger's interesting- story, a man is left to wonder whether the beloved used the fetal perfume unconsciously, and merely with a desire to render herself more attractive, being left to pine away in single blessedness marvelling why Adolphus had ceased, to love her; whether she was driven to employ it deliberately, as the best means of getting rid of an unwelcome suitor or whether the wily Adolphus did not, perhaps, himself contrive that she should use the fatal odor in order that in the eyes of his friends he would be well justified in breaking the engagement ! All these are points which the learned German doctor should be compelled to make clear in the interests of declining population.

Dr Jaeger cites another case also which may throw a new and astonishing light on the persistent demands of the day for judicial separation between husbands and wives, and the increasing growth of divorce" cases. The story should be seriously studied by all married couples, who may possibly find therein the true cause of any domestic unhappiness. A young German couple loved one another in that rapturous style which makes "honeymoon and how not to conduct it" an object-lesson for all Europe. Suddenly the absorbing devotion of Carl for his Dorothea cooled (and this before even pessimists would allow the possibility) changed to indifference, and ended in evident repulsion. Neither could understand the cause.

Carl would gaze at Dorothea and wonder why her flaxen hair no longer looked to him golden, why her pale blue eyes no longer seemed to resemble violets, and way her plump, short figure appeared no more to be the model for a pocket Venus. Dorothea wept iier pretty eyes out, and tried with various feminine arts to win back the errant fancy of her lord and master. The traces of crying she hid with a new facepowder and put on. her smartest frock. Notwithstanding the bridegroom's repulsion was growing to violent hatred when accident revealed the cause.

Going to a wardrobe in which his wife kept musk, the sensitive bridegroom fainted away. A doctor was called in, and then it was found that Dorothea had been using perfume in which musk predominated, and that this was also largely used in the facepowder. Toilet accessories were given up, and Cnrl and Dorothea were once more the loving couple of old. On such small things does the happiness of a Hfetime hang. The reason given by Dr Jaeger for the peculiar dislike most men have to musk is that only vegetables scents, such as rose, violet, lily. etc.. are agreeable to the masculine mind; while others, such as ambernris, civet, castor, known as animal perfumes are particularly regugnant. No odour is so potent as musk and its power of penetration is such that polished metal enclosed with it in a box, yet not even touching it, will become stroneiy impregnated, while a few drops of musk placed on a sensitive scale will in a year or so fill a hall.

When considering the question of perfumes it may be well to remind inventors that there is a fortune waiting for him who can reproduce the refreshing briny odor of the sea, the grateful and healing frasrrance of the pine woods, or that p«rnliorly delightful sweet breath which, Mother Earth yields after a -warm rain. As far as musk is concerned, now that we are forewarned «js to the evil consequences of using it, it will'be easy for the unwed who are lovers of sweet odors to relieve the depression in the marriage market by choosing some other perfume. Raving given the remedy, we can look forward with confident certainty to a new boom in the marriage market.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/HAST19040319.2.27.9

Bibliographic details

AN ANTIDOTE FOR LOVERS, Hastings Standard, Volume VIII, Issue 4184, 19 March 1904, Supplement

Word Count
1,118

AN ANTIDOTE FOR LOVERS Hastings Standard, Volume VIII, Issue 4184, 19 March 1904, Supplement

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