Flora And Zephyr, 1875, detail, William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

Gloria Swanson portrait from Her Husband’s Trademark by Donald Biddle Keys 1922 by CharmaineZoe’s Marvelous Melange on Flickr.


Storm storm STORM STORM storm.
Gatitas buenas.

Flapper reading newspaper, with cigarette and showing some leg. Photographer unknown. One of a collection of erotic indoor studies (probably French). Circa 1920. Gelatin silver print.
In the 1920s, flappers broke away from the Victorian image of womanhood. They dropped the corset, chopped their hair, dropped layers of clothing to increase ease of movement, wore make-up, created the concept of dating, and became a sexual person.


"There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind." 
- C.S. Lewis

Yosemite Nights. 


A Victorian woman took beauty and grooming very seriously. It was her responsibility and a very private ritual. She kept a small journal for her own beauty recipes. They had been passed to her from her mother and grandmother, but she had changed them to suit her sensibility. When the seasons began to change she leafed through her book and headed first to her garden or herb pot. She clipped a few roses or some lavender. She then distilled her own flower water like this, or with a small home still or set the flowers to dry so as to later distill essential oils.In the meantime she visited the apothecary with her list. There, she was able to buy, in incremental measures, all that she might need. The pharmacist would meticulously weigh the powders and wrapped them in paper. The Victorian lady brought her own glass dropper bottle from home to be filled with glycerin. She tucked this small bottle back into her purse and carried her packages, tied with string. Of course she was not entirely innocent of advertising; she had seen a convincing testimonial in the newspaper about a certain facial soap, an she did succumb to buying a small bar of that. It would be one of very few commercial products on her vanity.When her lotion was prepared she took the time to massage it into her skin as she sat her dressing table, She knew that this moment of respite was just as essential to her healthy glow as the lotion itself She finished her routine by uncoiling and brushing her hair one hundred strokes. She uses home-concocted shampoos, tonics and conditioning oils, but her trust lies in her ritual, her routine. She is self-possessed.All Victorian women were occasionally guilty of overkill, to wit:"Make an emulsion of soft white soap, essence of turpentine, tincture of benzoin, essence of rosemary, and essence of Norwegian pine, in equal parts. Add two quarts thereof to the bath water, in which have been previously dissolved, four ounces of bi-carbonate of soda, a quart of spinach juice, and twenty pounds of sea salt. This bath must be taken before going to bed and very hot.”— The Marquise de Fontenoy, Eve’s Glossary, 1897

The ice palace from David Lean’s 1965 film, “Doctor Zhivago”