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'Laeyson's Odorous Powders', France, 1801-1900

'Laeyson's Odorous Powders', France, 1801-1900

Credits: Science Museum

Not much is known about this treatment despite its very distinctive name. A reference in a medical text published in 1832 in France suggests that it was a powder intended for use against eye complaints, which contained ammonia – this would explain the word ‘odorous’. The text also makes reference to the product being sold by charlatans – the author obviously considered this a quack medicine of dubious quality. These particular samples were available for sale in France in the 1800s for 3 francs.

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Glossary: bottle

Vessels having a neck and mouth considerably narrower than the body, used for packaging and containing liquid and dry preparations