Candy Counter Delight Newsletter
There was a time in the United States when a good deal of local business was transacted in the town or village General Store which stocked a wide variety of grocery and household goods including a magical place where various types of penny candies were colorfully displayed in clear glass jars. In larger cities sometimes specialty candy shops were also found with a greatly expanded range of treats. Anise squares, Butter Mints, Butterscotch Disks, Candy Corn, Rootbeer Barrels, Ginger Cuts, Cinnamon Disks, Jawbreakers, Gum Drops, Licorice Whips, Salt Water Taffy, SenSen, Lemon Drops, Carmel Cubes, Red Hots, Coconut Kisses, Horehound Lozenges, and many other colorful, scented and tasty treats beckoned to wide-eyed children to sample the wares displayed. For a penny or two a child could get a small bag of treats to enjoy and share with friends.
Not only did these tiny treats have unique shapes and colors but radiated lovely scents that wafted toward the enchanted child as the jar lids were lifted. Many contained aromatic essential oils like lemon, cinnamon, anise, clove, and peppermint. The aura of the smells played no small part in enticing the buyer to sample the contents of the glass jars. This month's perfume has been created to celebrate that simple time when a small bag of penny candies was a great treasure to a child, who would savor it with great appreciation.
These special times when the child or child-hearted person enters a domain of sweet innocence and purity where all the world seems under a magical enchanted spell of beauty are rare and precious the effect of which often lasts throughout an entire lifetime. Their power is such that it can sometimes inspire a person to search for that place within where all the beauty arises so that it becomes a part and parcel of ones being in all the affairs of life. This was my inspiration for Candy Counter Delight.
3 ounces Lemon Peel eo
2 ounces Lime Peel eo
1 ounce Orange eo
1/4 ounce Peppermint eo
1/8 ounce Star Anise eo
1/4 ounce Vanilla absolute
1/8 ounce Cinnamon bark eo
Please note that this is a perfume recipe, not a blend to be taken internally.
Scent of Candy Counter in Literature
With my school lessons father made me learn hymns and Bible verses. For learning "Rock of Ages" he gave me a penny, and I thus became suddenly rich. Scotch boys are seldom spoiled with money. We thought more of a penny those economical days than the poorest American schoolboy thinks of a dollar. To decide what to do with that first penny was an extravagantly serious affair. I ran in great excitement up and down the street, examining the tempting goodies in the shop windows before venturing on so important an investment. My playmates also became excited when the wonderful news got abroad that Johnnie Muir had a penny, hoping to obtain a taste of the orange, apple, or candy it was likely to bring forth.
--from The Story of My Boyhood and Youth
by John Muir
n the days of long ago whenever a town sprang up, there was sure to be one little shop that seemed just for the children. At least the children of Baltimore and the neighborhood took great delight in making frequent visits to an old time store of this sort.
This shop was kept by Aunt Becky, as every one called her. I wish you could have known Aunt Becky. You would have loved her, just as the children did. They told her everything that happened in school and out of school, and she often helped them out of their troubles.
I wish I had a picture of her little log cabin with its funny little door and two little windows. All the little folks of the neighborhood could lift the latch of that old- fashioned door. Inside, it was the nicest, coziest spot you ever saw. In winter a stove stood in the middle of the room with a blazing fire where you could warm your fingers and toes. On the shelves stood candy jars filled with red and white striped stick candy, delicious red and white peppermints, and lovely red beans. Oh, the beautiful colors in the candy jars. At Christmas time there were funny little candy canes, and sugar dogs and sugar cats and even cunning sugar mice for children to nibble at when they had the chance. Then there were candy hearts with verses on them which the older boys and girls liked so much. She kept cakes and cookies and mead* which she sold to the children in exchange for their big copper cents.
--"AUNT BECKY'S CANDY SHOP," from The Lincoln Reader
by Isabol Davidson
My father rented a tenement with a store in the basement. He put in a few barrels of flour and of sugar, a few boxes of crackers, a few gallons of kerosene, an assortment of soap of the "save the coupon" brands; in the cellar a few barrels of potatoes, and a pyramid of kindling-wood; in the showcase, an alluring display of penny candy. He put out his sign, with a gilt-lettered warning of "Strictly Cash," and proceeded to give credit indiscriminately. That was the regular way to do business on Arlington Street. My father, in his three years' apprenticeship, had learned the tricks of many trades. He knew when and how to "bluff." The legend of "Strictly Cash" was a protection against notoriously irresponsible customers; while none of the "good" customers, who had a record for paying regularly on Saturday, hesitated to enter the store with empty purses.
--from The Promised Land
by Mary Antin
"Dulcie stopped in a store where goods were cheap and bought an imitation lace collar with her fifty cents. That money was to have been spent otherwise--fifteen cents for supper, ten cents for breakfast, ten cents for lunch. Another dime was to be added to her small store of savings; and five cents was to be squandered for licorice drops--the kind that made your cheek look like the toothache, and last as long. The licorice was an extravagance --almost a carouse-- but what is life without pleasure?"
--from The Four Million by O. Henry
Robert L. Stuart and his brother Alexander were proprietors of a large candy store on the corner of Chambers and Greenwich Streets, under the firm name of R. L. & A. Stuart. Their establishment was a favorite resort of the children of the day, who were as much addicted to sweets as are their more recent successors. "Broken candy" was a specialty of this firm, and was sold at a very low price. Alexander Stuart frequently waited upon customers, and as a child I have often chattered with him over the counter. He never married.
--from As I Remember
by Marian Gouverneur
Across the street was a drug store, well-lighted, sending forth gleams from the German silver and crystal of its soda fountain and glasses. Along came a youngster of five, headed for the dispensary, stepping high with the consequence of a big errand, possibly one to which his advancing age had earned him promotion. In his hand he clutched something tightly, publicly, proudly, conspicuously.
Morley stopped him with his winning smile and soft speech.
"Me?" said the youngster. "I'm goin' to the drug 'tore for mamma. She gave me a dollar to buy a bottle of med'cin." "Now, now, now!" said Morley. "Such a big man you are to be doing errands for mamma. I must go along with my little man to see that the cars don't run over him. And on the way we'll have some chocolates. Or would he rather have lemon drops?"
Morley entered the drug store leading the child by the hand. He presented the prescription that had been wrapped around the money.
--from The Trimmed Lamp by O. Henry
"They are building a factory over by the railroad, and it is usually interesting to me to watch the great structure grow; but to-day, as I gaze in that direction, the building gradually fades away, and gives place to a tiny brown cottage. Instead of the piles of lumber and brick, I see a trim patch of garden and a high red fence; instead of a gang of workmen, a company of happy children filing through the cottage door. I think of the time when I made one of such a company, and entered the house with several pennies jingling in my pocket, to return with my mouth and hands full of goodies; for this was Mrs. Andy's candy-shop, and here could be found the best candy in town, as all her patrons would assure you."
"No child that I remember ever went alone to Mrs. Andy's. If you received a penny when none of your friends were about, you could spend it in any of the grocery stores nearby; but the best was to to get three or four friends and trudge up the hill to Mrs. Andy's lane. From the head of the lane you could just see the cottage with its tiny attic window that seemed to wink at you like a mysterious knowing eye. Then as you drew nearer, the house seemed to crouch down behind its high fence until it was entirely hidden. From the gateway it was but a step to the railroad track; and here you could stand and watch the freight trains roll along, or perhaps see the fast express shoot by, and catch a smile or wave of the hand from some friendly passenger."
"There was always a whispered dispute outside Mrs. Andy's door as to who should go first; but at length some brave one would venture to head the line, to knock on the door, lift up the latch, and walk into the kitchen,--the barest of little rooms, furnished only with a stove, a table, two or three rickety chairs, and a bright print of the Virgin Mary. Mrs. Andy herself, a bent little old woman, with a small withered face framed in a great white muslin cap, which was in turn surmounted by a black one, would rise laboriously from her chair and slowly lead the company into the "candy-room." This was a chamber of mysteries to us young people. The light which struggled through the dust and cobwebs of one small window could not reach the corners of the room, but did its best in lighting up Mrs. Andy's hoarded treasures,--a score or more of candy boxes, ranged along the table. And what a collection of goodies these boxes held! Dainty pink-and-white peppermint sticks, cool-looking lemon drops, licorice, bull's eyes, two for a penny, taffy on the stick, conversation lozenges, and plump bags of pop-corn with a 'prize in every package.' All these delicacies, and more would Mrs. Andy patiently exhibit, not once, but twice and thrice, until after due deliberation, a choice should be made. Perhaps you had a dime,--too much money to spend at once: then Mrs. Andy must needs go into the kitchen for your change, and have you have a chance to look about you. You gaze at the narrow, crooked flight of stairs, and wonder where it goes to and what would happen when you got to the top; you wonder if there are any rats under the stairs; those coats hanging in the shadow--you're sure they are only coats--make you think of Bluebeard's wives, and you wonder why Mrs. Andy is gone so long. Perhaps an express train will whiz by close outside. Then you clutch hold of the child nearest you, while they floor shakes under your feet, the walls tremble about you, your ears are filled with a roar as of thunder.
At last Mrs. Andy returns with your pennies, and you pass out into the dazzling light of the kitchen. There is a soft tiptoeing across the floor, a careful closing of the door behind you--Mr. Andy is very particular about this--and then you are outside, where goodies are shared and tongues are loosened."
--from "Mrs. Andy's Candy Shop," Every Other Sunday, Boston, Mass.
by Grace E. Oliver