Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How to Detect Makeup, 1677

Artemisia Gentileschi,
Susanna and the Elders (1610)
"So that we may recognize made-up faces, do thus. Chew a bit of saffron in your teeth, and bring your mouth close to her face while speaking, so that your breath will cause the makeup to lose color, and make it yellowish, but if she is not wearing makeup, there will be no harm."   
Pompeo Sarnelli, Della magia naturale      (1677)
After you have executed this clever maneuver, you'll want to return to your library in search of advice regarding "what to do when your lady friend asks why you are creeping around breathing on her face and dear God what is that yellow stuff on your mouth."


  1. They were very imaginative back then, I'll give them that. They could have suggested chopping up a green lizard as a strategy for everything. But no, they came up with something totally different and unexpected.

    1. So true! No one expects the saffron examination.

    2. Dude/dudette - You are too funny! Your blog is a masterpiece.

  2. Trial By Saffron!

  3. Well, we can't have people rich enough to buy saffron and use it for stupidity having to date/marry pox-ridden harlots.

  4. Hi! Thanks for the great information you havr provided! You have touched on crucuial points!
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  5. Quite crucial indeed! I shall purchase saffron immediately!