The Still Room Book

By alison August 21, 2013 17 Comments 2 Min Read


The still room book is a traditional component of the still rooms found in great houses of yesteryear. Originating in the sixteenth century, the still room was a pharmacy, perfumery and preserving place where salves, lotions, essences, syrups,posies, sweets, balms, pomanders, creams, cleaning fluids and medicines were all cooked up safe away from the hustle, bustle and smells of the kitchen. Oh for the sheer luxury of a space dedicated to drying herbs, storing oils and creating sweet-scented fragrances…

In each still room there would be a still room book: a journal in which the “receipts” or “recipes” would be recorded for both reference and posterity and ultimately handed on to the next Mistress or housekeeper and it is this idea, my Sweet that I am suggesting we steal and make into a ritual of our own…

Yes, lets create our own Still Room Book – a place in which to note down all the recipes we procure for everything from our signature room scent to the ginger cough syrup we stir up for the children. We may not have the bliss of a dedicated space in the house nowadays, but that does not mean we cannot take the liberty of journaling what it is that keeps our home smelling sweet and our children healthy now does it? 

In the Still Room Book we can record jam recipes and home-made perfumes, flavored vinegars, oils, aromatherapy blends and all those cleaning recipes we mix up monthly so our homes never have to be showcases for the lurid packaging of the toxic unguents found on the supermarket shelves. 

And so today begin the search for your own pretty Still Room Journal

extra_large_retro_notebook

These from MochiThings with retro inspired backing and a vinyl cover, would I think be darling… 

Then make it a ritual to write down recipes you find or create as you go long. We are all so very used to noting down recipes, and this is merely its puttery, lovely equivalent…

Other Things To Do At BrocanteHome

17 Comments

  1. I already have one! I keep all my aromatherapy recipes in it as well as soap making and household remedies! although its not a pretty journal as above but an old unused desk diary from 1954.

    1. brocantehome says:

      Well a desk diary from 1954 sounds more than absolutely perfect!

  2. Jeanette says:

    I love this idea! So many of the receipes I want and have are spread out everywhere. Even though pintrest is great,it still takes to long to “hunt down” what you are looking for.

    1. brocantehome says:

      I think Pinterest is making me less discerning than ever Jeanette and just encouraging me to harbor images out of something like greed…

  3. Jeanette says:

    I love this idea! So many of the receipes I want and have are spread out everywhere. Even though pintrest is great,it still takes to long to “hunt down” what you are looking for.

    1. brocantehome says:

      I think Pinterest is making me less discerning than ever Jeanette and just encouraging me to harbor images out of something like greed…

  4. I already have one! I keep all my aromatherapy recipes in it as well as soap making and household remedies! although its not a pretty journal as above but an old unused desk diary from 1954.

    1. brocantehome says:

      Well a desk diary from 1954 sounds more than absolutely perfect!

  5. Mother B says:

    What a lovely idea!!

  6. Mother B says:

    What a lovely idea!!

  7. Becky says:

    What an inspiration! I will start this today. I inherited such a book from my great-grandmother, but I never knew what to call it. Of course all the recipes are strange and call for ingredients I’ve never heard of, but I love it. At my house our still room is the laundry room. That is where we mix up our homemade laundry soap and cleaning solutions and lots of other stuff. But the recipes are in my head or scattered around…after today, not anymore!

  8. Becky says:

    What an inspiration! I will start this today. I inherited such a book from my great-grandmother, but I never knew what to call it. Of course all the recipes are strange and call for ingredients I’ve never heard of, but I love it. At my house our still room is the laundry room. That is where we mix up our homemade laundry soap and cleaning solutions and lots of other stuff. But the recipes are in my head or scattered around…after today, not anymore!

  9. Martine says:

    Still rooms and journals with “receipts”. My bedtime reading may have to include Mary Stewart’s Thornyhold.

    1. Debra Haller says:

      One of my all time favorite books!

  10. Martine says:

    Still rooms and journals with “receipts”. My bedtime reading may have to include Mary Stewart’s Thornyhold.

  11. Natalie Nicol says:

    Dear Alison,
    I am studying a Diploma in aromatherapy but I only get the theory side on this online course. How would I get Practical experience?

  12. Natalie Nicol says:

    Dear Alison,
    I am studying a Diploma in aromatherapy but I only get the theory side on this online course. How would I get Practical experience?

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