In elementary school in the US in the 1970's, our teacher read to us from a series of stories about a boy who receives a chemistry set from a mysterious old woman. She then gives him recipes to make concoctions that do fantastic things. (I don't remember any specifically, but have a vague recollection that they were similar to potions from the Harry Potter books - invisibility, shape changing, and the like.)
The only specific detail I (think I) remember was that one of the chemicals used in a recipe had a long, convoluted, and contrived name that our teacher had trouble reading aloud; it started with "bluborax". The old woman in the story admitted she couldn't handle the full name and just called it "blub".
I think the old woman had a large car; today I think of it as similar to Cruella DeVille's roadster from Disney's 101 Dalmatians.
The story lines were similar to others of the genre: the boy makes the concoction and uses it, gets into some kind of trouble as a result, and has to get out of it using his wits and the help of his companions.