Friday, February 9, 2018

Scented Waters: Beyond Clean

Our modern interpretation of water as a scent component, however, has nothing to do with the time-honored tradition of scented waters dotting many a historical manuscript or literary relic. It also bears no relation to the allusion to sea water notes which pervade a cluster of modern fragrances as well. Actually, "waters" are more or less the predecessors of alcoholic cordials as well as fine fragrance with an alcohol base, but using a complex process of preparation in order to render the fragrant final product.

"Without permitting anyone else to lay a hand on him, the lady herself washed Salabaetto all over with soap scented with musk and cloves. She then had herself washed and rubbed down by the slaves. This done, the slaves brought two fine and very white sheets, so scented with roses that they seemed like roses; the slaves wrapped Salabaetto in one and the lady in the other and then carried them both on their shoulders to the bed... They then took from the basket silver vases of great beauty, some of which were filled with rose water, some with orange water, some with jasmine water, and some with lemon water, which they sprinkled upon them."
~Boccaccio (1313-1375), Decameron 

The tradition of scented waters goes even further back in the times of Hippocrates.
You can read the rest of my historical article on this link on Fragrantica.

2 comments:

  1. I always find your articles a joy to read!

    ReplyDelete
  2. now this is luxury!

    ReplyDelete

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