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The rouge vegetale of the French, is a species of carmine, prepared
from safflower or carthamus, which is the flower of a plant growing in
the north of Africa, India, and other warm climates. Safflower yields
two colours--a valueless yellow which dissolves in cold water, and about
five per cent of red, insoluble in water but dissolved by alkalies. The
red, or carthamin, furnishes a pigment of exquisite beauty, marked by
richness, transparency, and free working. Its extreme fugacity, however,
militates against its employment by artists. As a dye, its manner of
fixing upon fibre is different from that of any other colouring matter;
requiring no mordant, like madder or cochineal, and needing no solution,
like indigo or anotta, but fixing at once as soon as the cloth is
brought into contact with it. But even for a dye the colour is fugitive,
fading after a few hours' exposure to sunshine, and sometimes being
quite bleached in the course of a day. It is when combined with
levigated talc to form the paint of the toilette that the red becomes
most serviceable. Possessing a peculiar softness and velvety glow, rouge
is an unrivalled--and a most harmless--aid to beauty.

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