Thursday, March 24, 2016

How to Use Dry Shampoo, 12th century

Luttrell Psalter, British Library Add. MS 42130, f. 63r (1325-40)
"When she combs her hair, let her have this powder. Take some dried roses, clove, nutmeg, watercress, and galangal. Let all these, powdered, be mixed with rose water. With this water let her sprinkle her hair and comb it with a comb dipped in this same water so that [her hair] will smell better. And let her make furrows in her hair and sprinkle on the above-mentioned powder, and it will smell marvelously." 
The Trotula
Running late for work? No problem – just grab a comb, raid your spice cabinet on the way out the door, and you'll be fresh and sweet as a medieval noblewoman.

Monday, March 7, 2016

How to Converse Politely, 1595

John Bulwer, Anthropometamorphosis
(1653), George Peabody Library
"It is also a fowle and unseemely thing for thee to make faces, in wrything thy visage into divers formes: or, to rub one while thy nose, another while thy forhead: or, one while to lift up thine eye browes, another while to pull them down too much, or to patter with thy lips; or, one while to thrust out thy mouth too much, another while to pul it in over-much, or to shake thy head, or to cough, unles thou be there too inforced: or to spet oft, or to scratch thy head, to picke thine eares, or to blow thy nose, or to smoothe thy face with thine hand, as if thou wouldest wype away shamefastnes from thee: to bee picking or rubbing thy neck, as if thou wert lowsie: or to clyng in thy shoulders, as some Italians use. All these are evill." 
William Fiston, The Schoole of Good Manners
 OMG stop picking thine ears and seriously what is with all the spetting?!