bay rum, aromatic liquid used chiefly as a cosmetic and a perfume. It originated in the West Indies, where it was prepared by distillation from rum and bay leaves. It is now commonly a mixture of oil of bay (from a bayberry), alcohol, water, oil of pimento, and oil of orange peel.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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