Scented Fans

The transparent fans of France are at present much in vogue, and they are very graceful—Messrs. Rimmel's scented fans of wood saturated in perfume, and painted with groups of flowers whose individual scents they convey, are known to all lovers of the beautiful as affecting dress and the toilet. A discovery has been made by one of the French manufacturers of the art of transferring the brilliant-coloured dust which is apparent on the wings of butterflies to the surface of parchment. This latest novelty under notice is very expensive to produce, a small "butterfly fan" costing from ^20 and upward.
In the outer frames of French fans small mirrors were and still are sometimes fixed, also scent-bottles and vinaigrettes. It was the fashion at one time to carry looking-glasses in the chatelaines worn by ladies, but they were afterwards transferred to the fans.
Fans of Japan
By Charlotte Maria Birch Salwey

From the time of the ancient screens of feathers and scented leather, fans have been made in Spain. Quilliet, in his Dictionary of Spanish painters, relates an anecdote according to which in the latter part of the seventeenth century, Cano de Arevalo, a Spanish painter, made a fortune by painting fans which he sold as French productions. He was, however, duly rewarded for his beautiful work, by being made court painter to the queen. The old preference for expensive French fans, however, always prevailed, and special styles to suit the Spanish market were manufactured in France. At present fans are manufactured in Spain mostly to supply the home demand and to suit the national taste. They are easily distinguished from French fans by their large size, strong material, and high tone of colouring. The subjects are almost invariably scenes and customs of the country.
A book about fans: the history of fans and fan-painting
By M. A. Flory, Mary Cadwalader Jones

Fans are made of palm leaf, bamboo, the sweet-scented Khaskhas root {Andropogon muricatus), Munjgrass,date leaf, peacock feathers, ivory, and talc. Palm leaf fans are made all over Bengal and Madras, both large and small. The larger ones are waved before or behind a rich man by his servant, and formed the sole means of obtaining air in the hot season before the present Pankhd was invented by a Dutchman in Chinsura. The smaller ones are the usual hand-fans. Both are often ornamented. Bamboo fans are of the common kinds and are not ornamented. Fans are made of the Khaskhas root on account of its sweet odour, and as they are generally used after being wetted, they impart to the air a cool fragrance. Khaskhas fans are often highly ornamented. They are made with ivory handles at Reni, in Bikanir; the prices range from Ri to R20. In the Bombay Presidency they are, however, made on a more elaborate scale. The materials used are the Khaskhas root, gold lace, tinsel, satin, peacock feathers, silk, cotton cloth, gold spangles, silver spangles, &c. A bamboo frame is first made, on which the fan, formed of velvet, satin, cottontloth and Khaskhas root pasted together, is firmly fixed. Various devices are then worked upon it with gold thread, tinsel, beetle-wings, &c. A fringe of peacock feathers is also put round. When complete, the fan is removed from the frame. The handles are made by carpenters and are either lacquered or painted. Similar fans are also made in Mysore. They are fringed with the Khaskhas root, instead of peacock feathers, but that material is used for ornamentation, on which gilding and coloured silks are also employed.
Art-manufactures of India: specially compiled for the Glasgow International ...
By Trailokyanātha Mukhopādhyāẏa

The Revue d'Orient calls attention to a fashion among the Orientals which is full of originality. This consists in carrying fans, which are made of santal wood, and it is only necessary to slightly moisten this fan for it to emit a most pleasant and agreeable perfume.
Journal of the Society of Arts, Volume 42
By Society of Arts (Great Britain)

Fans may also be obtained made entirely of flowers to match the costume. A fan of violets with violet wood sticks, which emit the perfume of the flower, is very beautiful.
The American stationer, Volume 23

The chief modern productions are also of infinite variety. Every kind of ancient invention is renewed; as the feather-fan, the perfume-fan, the pocket-fan, folding in two by a simple mechanism, the bouquet-fan, pleated in circular shape when open, and folding into a hollow space when closed. In recent years a new combination has been made by dividing the leaf into panels by placing four or six of the blades on the surface of the leaf. The carving and engraving of the handle is prolonged on these blades which frame the design, interrupting it in a pleasing way. On some fans all the sticks, carved and spangled, extend on the surface, forming thus the sole ornamentation. The length of the blades from the rivet to the upper line of the mount or leaf gives the fan a stiff appearance, however, which accounts for the short success of this novelty, notwithstanding its rich effect.
A book about fans: the history of fans and fan-painting
By M. A. Flory, Mary Cadwalader Jones

The fashion of carrying fans was adopted in Italy, Spain, and Portugal at about the same time as in France, feather and skin screens, the latter much esteemed for their strong perfume, being used and exported until the Japanese and Chinese pleated fan was introduced into Europe about 1590. Ladies of rank in Milan, Florence, Naples, or Padua, according to records of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, wore feather fans in which sometimes a little mirror was set. The workmanship of the handles was as elaborate as that of the gold and silver chains by which they were suspended. A curious fan known as the flag, key, or weathervane, is well known by the painting called "Titian's Wife," in the Dresden Gallery. It was carried by the married women, and for a time was in great favour in Venice and Padua. The same fan, but of a dazzling white, was worn by betrothed girls. The only specimen now known to exist is in the collection of Madame Achille Jubinal. It is made of parchment, cut into open work, and trimmed with Venetian lace of the sixteenth century.
A book about fans: the history of fans and fan-painting
By M. A. Flory, Mary Cadwalader Jones

As tokens of good feeling and polite attention, Americans are not infrequently the recipients of costly fans, from their Japanese friends. On a certain special occasion, accompanying an invitation to dinner, tied with daintiest silk cord, on perfumed paper, was a tray of confections and sponge cake, in a lacquered box of exquisite make, and a case of three rare, painted fans, each tied in silk napkins.
On leaving the empire, a family with whom delightful relations had been established, sent as a parting gift a beautiful gold lacquered cabinet, in one of the drawers of which was found a number of perfumed fans, of elegant manufacture, which will be life long keepsakes in memory of the aesthetic Japanese.
Good housekeeping, Volume 7

The Fan entirely carved out, and with its sticks
bound together by a favour, became the mode; it
was made of compressed matters which gave designs
in relief, or in metal, in ivory, or in horn. Perfumed
Fans, it seems, were likewise in great fashion, if we
may trust to a note of the journal Le Menteur, cited
by M. Blondel, which tells us that at the famous
Feydeau concerts, when the singer Garat, the
spoilt child of fortune and the fair, entered on
the scene, a sympathetic murmur ran through the
room, and, adds the newspaper writer, "at that
moment the mobile heads began to wag, the
feathers to nutter, and the civet-musk Fans to
The fan
By Octave Uzanne

There is a form of folding fan peculiar to Nara, in which the folds are much broader than the wood side-pieces when the fan is closed; and in some form or other the fan finds its way into every house. There are perfumed fans, with scented material enclosed between the two thicknesses of paper; there are waterproof fans, which are used as sprinklers in hot weather by being dipped in water and then swung backwards and forwards in the ordinary way. The Japanese often ask great artists to make a sketch on a fan, great writers to inscribe a few words of poetry, or celebrated men to place their autograph on such an object; and these they preserve as we do photographs of friends.
Japan: its architecture, art, and art manufactures
By Christopher Dresser

Richly painted and perfumed fans were carried by the ladies, who wore also a profusion of jewelry, sapphire bodkins for the hair, ruby girdle buckles, diamond, turquoise, ruby and emerald rings, diamond pendants in the ears, pearl necklaces, lockets, cuff buckles, bracelets and other ornaments. They wore daintily perfumed gloves during the day, and at night chicken-skin gloves to soften the hands. They carried in their mouths little balls called plumpers, to fill out the cheek cavities, and patched their faces with black court plaster to add to their beauty. Masks were worn on the street, whole masks when the wind blew and half masks when the weather was mild. At one time it was usual for women to wear nightdresses in the street, which custom was loudly condemned.
The New England magazine, Volume 23

In skiff-voyaging on San Francisco Bay, then populous with lofty-masted ships of all the world, toward which his eyes had yearned so worshipfully, he had dwelt upon the scented cargoes which he imagined lay in their holds—rarest teas and glossy silks, perfumed fans of carven sandalwood, lacquered furniture and bamboo wares. And now he was making ready to land upon one of the massive piers of the very emporium of Japan's silk industry.
The book of Jack London, Volume 1
By Charmian London

August 10th.—The prince (having returned from Tokio), his chamberlain, and one karo dined with me to-day. In the morning, two of his pages, accompanied by servants, came to my house, bringing presents. They consisted of the products of Echizen, rolls of fine paper, muslin, and silk, a box of eggs and one of sponge-cake, an inlaid cake-box lacquered in several colors, a case of three rare painted fans, all tied in silk napkins with red-and-white cord. The prince had also brought for me from Iwakura Tomomi, now U Dai Jin (junior prime minister), an exquisitely beautiful gold-lacquered cabinet, adorned with sparrows and bamboo, cherry-blossoms, and variegated feathers. In one of the drawers were a number of perfumed fans of elegant manufacture. A letter from Mr. Iwakura accompanied the gift, begging my acceptance as a token of his regard for my care and instruction of his sons while in the United States.
The Mikado's empire ...
By William Elliot Griffis

It was one of those brilliant Commencement occasions which, for more than a century, have added prestige and glory to the name of old Dartmouth Many distinguished men had gathered from distant States to pay the tribute of loyal affection to Alma Mater. Between the conferring of honorary degrees and the orations of the graduating class, there was seductive music, now as subtly sweet as the sighing of a zephyr, now bursting into a crescendo of melody that vibrated with the triumph and auspicious joy of the moment 'Mid the rustle of silken garments and the noiseless waving of dainty, perfumed fans sat many a fair one who had come to see heri son, brother, friend or lover receive his degree.
Short stories: a magazine of select fiction, Volume 49
By Alfred Ludlow White