Daniel Defoe, 1706

 This is the oldest advert featured on The Quack Doctor so far – it’s from a 1705 edition of Daniel Defoe’s periodical A Review of the Affairs of France. Defoe began the publication in February 1704 as a weekly opinion piece, but by the time of this example he was publishing it every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. If I were a trendy, down-with-the-kids TV historian I’d say “he was an 18th-century blogger!” But I’m not, so I won’t. 

This advert was one of a few that Defoe repeatedly used depending on how much space he had left to fill. Look out for a couple of others at a later date.



The   Royal   Essence   for   the   Hair  of  the  Head
and   Perriwigs,   being   the   most    delicate   and
charming   Perfume   in   Nature,  and  the  greatest
Preserver  of  Hair  in  the  World,  for  it  keeps that
of Perriwigs  (a  much  longer  time  than  usual)  in
the  Curl,  and  fair  Hair  from  fading  or  changing
colour,  makes  the  Hair  of  the  Head  grow  thick,
strengthens and confirms its Roots  and  effectually
prevents   it   from   falling   off   or   splitting   at  the
ends, makes the Powder continue in all Hair longer
than it possibly will, by  the  use  of  any  other  thing.
By   its   incomparable   Odour    and    Fragancy   it
strengthens the Brain, revives the  Spirits,  quickens
the Memory, and  makes  the  Heart  chearful,  never
raises  the Vapours in Ladies, &c., being wholly  free
from  (and   abundantly   more   delightful   and  plea-
sant  than)  Musk,  Civet,   &c.   ‘Tis   indeed   an  un-
paralled  fine  Scent  for  the  Pocket,  and  perfumes
Handkerchiefs,   &c.,   excellently.   To   be  had  only
at  Mr.  Allcrafts,  a  Toyshop  at  the  Blue-Coat  Boy
at  the  Royal  Exchange  in  Cornhill.  Sealed  up,  at
2s. 6d. a Bottle with Directions.


Source:  A Review of the Affairs of France, with Observations on Transactions at Home, Tuesday 13 March 1705

Notes: Fragancy and un-paralled are as they appear in the original. Chearful was a normal 18thC spelling.


  1. […] April 3, 2009 Cosmeticon Posted by Caroline Rance under Cosmetics | Tags: 1700s advertising, 18th century, 18th-century women, history of cosmetics | No Comments  This is another of the ads from Defoe’s A Review of the Affairs of France, which I have mentioned previously. […]

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