1001 Past Tales

Tonic or Poison? The History of Eau de Melissa and Carmelite WaterTonic or Poison? The History of Eau de Melissa and Carmelite Water

1001 Past Tales 01/28/17 06:54 (5 comments)

Imagine for a moment how different the well-known story recounted by Dumas in The Three Musketeers would be if the (fictionally evil) Cardinal Richelieu had been poisoned by his beloved Eau de Melissa, which factual history assures us he carried everywhere to partake of to aid his heart and chase away migraines instilled by the worries of running the most powerful state of his times. One day in 1635, Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu, commonly referred to as Le Cardinal Riche... (more)

Would the Cardinal Richelieu have been better off without his beloved Carmelite Water? The popular formula for this prized tonic is at the center of a fascinating story.

Fit for an Ageless Renaissance Queen: Eau de La Reine de HongrieFit for an Ageless Renaissance Queen: Eau de La Reine de Hongrie

1001 Past Tales 11/29/16 09:40 (7 comments)

"She had no sooner taken the spindle, which was very sharp, that she became a little dizzy, and, moreover, as the fairy order had ordered it thus, she pierced her hand and fell fainting. The good old woman, very embarrassed, shouted for help: help comes from all sides, one throws water into the princess's face, one loosens her clothes, one strikes her in the hands, one rubs her temples with Water Of the Queen of Hungary; But nothing made her come round."  ... (more)

Can an Eau de Toilette retain youth and beauty enough to make men hanker after you well into your 70s? The Queen of Hungary possessed one such secret recipe, the tale of which we explore in this es...

Cologne Drinks: Ingesting a Legend

Cologne Drinks: Ingesting a Legend1001 Past Tales 10/31/16 07:07 (8 comments)

From destitute working-class Russians to well-heeled society ladies in Western Europe Eau de Cologne drinking has actually been a habit with long legs in history. We explore the whys and hows.

Declaring War on Body Odor: a Brief History of Deodorization

Declaring War on Body Odor: a Brief History of Deodorization1001 Past Tales 07/23/16 05:43 (17 comments)

Battling bodily stink has been a long and arduous process in the history of mankind, but never has it been more aggressive than during the 20th century.

Mumia: Renaissance Cannibalism in an Apothecary's Formula

Mumia: Renaissance Cannibalism in an Apothecary's Formula1001 Past Tales 06/10/16 10:08 (15 comments)

Part of the apothecary's Wunderkammer vault of alchemical materials, "mumia" is a medicinal ingredient from the dead which eludes complete understanding.

Medieval Chypre Scents: Oiselets de Chypre or the Mysterious Cyprus Birdies

Medieval Chypre Scents: Oiselets de Chypre or the Mysterious Cyprus Birdies1001 Past Tales 04/14/16 07:55 (16 comments)

Between the ancient recipes from the isle of Cyprus and Francois Coty's seminal Chypre, the little "Cyprus birds" embody the heritage of chypre scents during the European Middle Ages.

Pomander for the Brain: The Stimulation of the Mind through Scented Objects

Pomander for the Brain: The Stimulation of the Mind through Scented Objects1001 Past Tales 03/17/16 06:53 (12 comments)

In the search of both mental ease and alertness, people in the Renaissance and onwards turned themselves to pomanders and scented beads. Find out about them.

A Saintly Aroma: Scents of Heaven

A Saintly Aroma: Scents of Heaven1001 Past Tales 01/27/16 11:44 (24 comments)

The odor of sanctity interweaves scents of rose, of violet, of myrrh. of soap...into a puzzle of not quite expected dimensions!

A Diabolical Whiff: Scents of Hell

A Diabolical Whiff: Scents of Hell 1001 Past Tales 01/22/16 06:35 (23 comments)

Superstition, volcanic earth, racism and fragrance meld into the sulphureous scents of the devil.

The Myriad Muses in Myrrh 3: My Myrrh Perfume Reviews

The Myriad Muses in Myrrh 3: My Myrrh Perfume Reviews1001 Past Tales 12/29/15 09:39 (9 comments)

Fragrances by Serge Lutens, Keiko Mecheri, and Annick Goutal get the myrrh just right.

Christmas Gifts by 3 Wise Men: Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold

Christmas Gifts by 3 Wise Men: Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold1001 Past Tales 12/24/15 04:48 (17 comments)

The Magi brought fragrant gifts to baby Jesus for a reason. Share your favorite related fragrances in the comments!

The Myriad Muses in Myrrh: Part 2

The Myriad Muses in Myrrh: Part 21001 Past Tales 11/28/15 06:19 (5 comments)

Between carnality and sanctity myrrh anoints priest king and lover alike. Here are their tales.

The Myriad Muses in Myrrh: Part 1

The Myriad Muses in Myrrh: Part 11001 Past Tales 11/20/15 05:18 (7 comments)

The weeping tears of the myrrh tree hide a tale of lust, incest and guilt.

The Miraculous Elixir: Vinaigre de Toilette

The Miraculous Elixir: Vinaigre de Toilette 1001 Past Tales 04/28/15 16:54 (7 comments)

Can a scented preparation protect against ailments?

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