Oamaru's "Victorian domestic goddess", Marise Martin,
attempts to dose her husband Graeme yesterday with the
concoction she invented to win a competition to re-create
the smell of Lane's Emulsion, run by the North Otago
Museum. Photo by David Bruce
Who else but Oamaru's "Victorian domestic goddess" could
be expected to come up with the winning recipe to re-create the
smell of the very Victorian tonic, Lane's Emulsion?
The goddess' alter ego, Marise Martin, was yesterday crowned
the winner of the North Otago Museum competition which asked
people to re-create the smell of Lane's Emulsion, invented in
1898 by Oamaru pharmacist Edward Lane, as part of an exhibit
planned later this year.
The goddess has starred at Oamaru's Victorian Heritage
Celebrations, passing on her knowledge of Victorian household
customs, including in 2008 giving advice on "how to take a
"It would be a damn poor show if the Victorian domestic
goddess did not enter the [Lane's Emulsion] contest," she
said yesterday after being crowned the winner.
Museum curator Chloe Searle said it was not easy for the
judges to decide on the winner.
"The unique smell of Lane's Emulsion has proven to be hard to
replicate. I am confident that, with a bit of fine tuning,
the winning recipe will give museum visitors a good idea of
what Lane's smelt like," she said.
Like her "how to take a husband" recipe - the intricacies of
Victorian courtship, a peek into a lady's boudoir and
discovering what a man really wants - the goddess was
prepared to reveal her successful recipe re-creating Lane's
But her husband Graeme was not so keen on tasting it.
During a photo session with the Otago Daily Times, he kept
bobbing and weaving every time any of the mixture got close
to his mouth at the end of a spoon.
Mrs Martin said the whole family was involved with the
experiments. Once the recipe was settled, they each had a
little bit on the tip of their finger to taste. One "dipple"
Mrs Martin was not a Lane's Emulsion child. She knew about
the tonic as part of Oamaru's history, but never tasted it.
The winning recipe
• Big proportion of oil of cod livers
• Healthy dose of brandy
• Dash of meade
• Spoon of honey
• Generous dose of milk of magnesia
• Selection of fine herbs marinated in cider vinegar
• 1 fresh egg yolk
• Secret ingredients
Lane's original recipe:
• Cod liver oil
• Beechwood creosote
• Mineral lime
• Fresh egg yolk
• Lane's special secret ingredients