Consuming renaissance skin: perfumed hands and gloves in Protestant Germany

Dr Stefan Hanss writes about the meanings of scent on early modern hands and gloves, along with his experiments into recreating early modern perfumes.

Exploring the material and olfactory world of Renaissance skin, this post is an appetiser for an article that I have been working on for a while now. In the 16th and 17th centuries, head and facial hair, as well as skin, were intrinsically linked with scented matter. Faces and hands were treated with medicinal and cosmetic remedies; and perfumed accessories and textiles such as gloves, jewellery (including buttons) and the like became highly popular, shaping what Evelyn Welch has termed the ‘olfactory imprints’ of early modern individuals. … [Read more]