Dry Christmas cake

Glycerine has a lot of uses around the home apart from moistening a dry Christmas cake. The Household Encyclopedia recommends it for removing coffee, tobacco, fruit, mustard, ink, lipstick, and mercurochrome stains. The CWI Cookery Book includes it in this recipe for non-greasy face lotion:

Four tablespoons of elderflower water, 1/2 teaspoon of benzoin (drop by drop, stirring all the time), 5 drops of glycerine, 5 drops of tincture of myrrh.

Benzoin, it turns out, is both a resin and an essential oil produced by a kind of fir tree, and an organic compound that Wikipedia says has “a light camphor-like odor”. Hopefully, if you’re making the face lotion, you know which one to use.

A vintage ad from Edmonds for Christmas cakes and puddings. The headline is "Make Christmas cakes and puddings now!" with a border of holly to the left, and a picture of a decorated christmas cake and a pudding to the right. Below are recipes for baking them.
If you were baking your cake a month out in the summertime, it’s no wonder you might have to resort to glycerine. From the Christchurch Press, 18 November 1950

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