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Macassar oil is a compounded oil used primarily by men in Victorian and Edwardian times as a hair conditioner to groom, style and maintain healthy hair.
Macassar oil is often made with coconut oil or palm oil or that of Schleichera trijuga, combined with ylang-ylang oil (obtained by processing the flowers of the ylang-ylang tree, Cananga odorata). Often used fragrance oils include:
Macassar oil was so named because it was reputed to have been manufactured from ingredients purchased in the port of Makassar in Indonesia.
Due to the tendency for the oil to transfer from a gentleman's hair to the back of his chair, the antimacassar was developed. This is a small cloth (crocheted, embroidered or mass-produced), placed over the back of a chair to protect the upholstery.