Perfumery of the West
Ingredients for one of the Hippocrates of Cos' fumigations: true cinnamon, castoreum (secretion from beaver glands), and terebinth resin (Pistacia atlantica)
Rhodides beads made into necklace with faux red coral beads. The beads are strung on temporary thread when still moist to prevent breakage.
Making the rose-scented rhodinon oil: preparing the oil to be receptive (astringent) by stypsis*, rose petals with removed white (base) parts, seven batches of fragrant rose petals were used consecutively to macerate in oil, and decanting the oil dyed with alkanet before transferring to storage container.
*Stypsis - preparing oil for accepting other scents by removing the original oil odor. Oil is gently heated with resin-rich wine mixed with aromatics like coriander, camel grass, sweet flag or nut grass until the original odor is removed. This process is often repeated until the satisfactory effect is achieved. Then the plant matter is removed by filtering, and the oil is decanted to separate the water and oil phases. Only oil is used for perfume-making, and any water remains are carefully removed since it accelerates spoilage. Prepared oil is has longer shelf life than raw oil and more readily accept scents.
Perfuming the body in Byzantium - the setup
Pomander bead made according to recipe attributed to Giovanni Santa Sofia, 14th century Padua/Bologna
Pomander bead made according to recipe attributed to Iohannis Petrus de Ferarius, 15th century Ferrara
Making the pomander against plague: melting sweetgum and beeswax, working the ground aromatics and melted sweetgum into thick paste (with help of fragrant Malvasia wine), adding the ground Borneol camphor as last ingredient to preserve its cooling properties, and forming large spheres after mixing melted beeswax into the paste.
Pomander should fit comfortably in the palm of the hand. "Hold pomander in hand when venturing outside in times of the plague. Remember to smell it quite often!!!"