1890s Jelly Of Roses Recipe

Victorian Jelly Of Roses Recipe

I’ve tried out the Jelly of Roses Recipe of 1890 (nearly at the bottom of the page). It’s called an ‘elegant preparation for the skin and lips’.


  • 1/2 oz finest Russian isinglass
  • 2 oz glycerine
  • 6 oz rosewater
  • 10 drops oil of roses

I had no rose oil, so I’ve left that out. I also had no isinglass, but I’ve read that 1 part isinglass can be replaced with 1 part gelatin. There’s also an 1890s recipe for a Gelatine Lotion Bar, which is made with gelatin, glycerin, water and rose oil.

Mix rosewater and glycerin; soak the gelatin sheet. Melt the gelatin in the rosewater-glycerin-solution over medium heat. After some hours the jelly of roses is solid!

And this jelly of roses is terrible as a hand cream: it’s difficult to distribute and sticky! Maybe isinglass can’t be replaced with gelatin in this recipe, or maybe the jelly of roses is meant to be like that! 😉

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