Tag Archives: Health

Mothballs and Persimmons


Ripe Hachiya persimmons on a tree in December
Ripe Hachiya persimmons on a tree in December (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Persimmons.  That was the smell, persimmon.  I stood with my nose buried into the cloth, taking in the smell that brought me back to my childhood.  Even thought I wash and iron all my stock I could still smell it.  My mother used to pack her linens with a persimmon scent.  Where she got it from, what she used, I don’t know.  I didn’t want to put the towel down.

Mothballs, the next smell that came to me, brought me back to my grandmother’s house.  Trying to sleep; on those rare times that we would sleep over and she would drag out the guest bedding.  Bedding stored with packets of mothballs.  To this day, the smell conjures up the memory of her; which in turn, brings up the scent of Noxima, the stuff she smeared on her face at night to remove her multiple layers of makeup.  Of course, she had to kiss us kid’s goodnight before she took the goop off.  Why?  I don’t know.  To this day, I can’t stand the smell of Noxima.  Into the rewash pile this piece of linen goes.  I’ll wash it with my new lavender-scented softener.  I love the smell of lavender.  It calms me.  I need calming.

If you ever see me in The Treasure Shoppe with my face buried in my linen stock, giggling – don’t worry about me.  I’m not the crazy woman in space B4.  I’m simply taking my occasional trip down memory lane.  .

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Anti what?


Did you ever see lace doilies covering the back of a chair or couch?  Think 18th & 19th century, or Byron.  Did you know that at one time they were more than decorative?  They had a purpose.

You see at one time men of the family oiled their hair with oil of Antimacassar DoilyMacassar.  It gave them that irresistible look, plus it hid the smell of unwashed hair.  Needless to say this oil didn’t do the furniture any good and over time, it would stain it to the point that the material would be ruined.   Somewhere along the line, an industrious homemaker came up with the idea to hang a doily along the area where her hubby’s moldy – oily head rested.  Problem solved.  Easier to wash a doily then to wash a chair.

Now the special use doilies became known as antimacassars.   Today we see similar chair protectors on the back of seats in commercial airlines or Amtrak coaches.

Needless to say, we have a display of these antique doilies in our store.  Look for them soon on our repurposed magazine rack.