herbs

Posted in Education, Getty Villa

What Did the Byzantine Empire Smell Like?

Bottles of aromatics at a recent Getty Villa workshop
Byzantium in a bottle (or two)

Visit medieval Constantinople through perfume you can make yourself. More»

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Posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Education

The Scent of Love: Ancient Perfumes

Frankincense tears, myrrh, stick cinnamon, and rose petals
Frankincense tears, myrrh, stick cinnamon, and rose petals

Make your own sexy scents inspired by the recipes of the ancients. More»

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Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Villa

Exploring the Herb Garden at the Getty Villa

Fruit in the Herb Garden at the Getty Villa

A beautiful day and the blooming of spring brought me out of my stuffy cubicle and into the Herb Garden at the Getty Villa. As the sun streamed onto my shoulders, I inhaled the fresh sent of mixed herbs and… More»

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      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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