Perfumes for those not into Ye Olde Stench

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Hygiene was that of your typical male teenager: skip the shower and spray on some cologne. As those of us who survived public school can attest, the stronger the scent the “better” the result; thus the popularity of oils amongst those who could afford them. If you cannot tolerate modern chemical concoctions or the thought of topping off your cotehardie with JLo Glo makes you twitch, here are some all-natural recipes that can pass for period. Your housemates with chemical sensitivities might thank you.

They would have added lavender or rose water or orris to the final rinse while doing laundry, but I’m too lazy to do that. Instead, I make potpourri sachets that live in my Rubbermaid tub o’ garb. Being a hedgewitch, I look at what’s on hand that suits my purposes and experiment until satisfied. I believe that the current mixture is a base of rose and lavender petals with cinnamon and jasmine oils with a dash of ginger and cloves in a cotton bag made from scraps. The cinnamon, ginger, and cloves combine to make one spicy note instead of competing with each other. The potpourri staves off mustiness and serves as a mild insect repellant. If you don’t want to invest in various accoutrements, a quick and dirty solution is to fold in some lavender faggots. If your persona is late period, you could make a pomander.
Disclaimer: I have not tried either of the following recipes, but please let me know if you give them a go!

Cream Perfume
2 tablespoons grated beeswax 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
1-2 teaspoons pure essential oils
Melt beeswax in an enamel or glass pan over boiling water. Add sweet almond oil; combine. Be patient with this step; it's important to blend them completely. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before adding oils of your choice. Fill small clean, dry glass jars with the solid perfume.

Body Spray
1 cup Everclear
1 teaspoon glycerin
1 teaspoon essential oils
Place ingredients into a sealable glass jar. Shake the jar vigorously until all ingredients are well combined. Decant into a glass bottle with a fine mist sprayer attached.

Here are some suggestions for period scents that are widely available today. You may want to do a bit more research as to what existed in your area at your time. Obviously, Middle Eastern personas would have had better access to more exotic oils, whereas lavender and rose would have been readily obtainable throughout most of Europe.

Floral
Jasmine
Lavender
Pennyroyal
Petitgrain
Primrose
Rose

Spice
Cinnamon
Frankincense
Myrrh
Neroli
Patchouli

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