Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Wrinkles make you more sympathetic and more understandable......................

Beautiful without Botox
Helen Mirren/ wikipedia

Today it is a common  thing to remove wrinkles with botox, which paralyzes the muscles behind the wrinkles. The skin becomes smoother, but at the same time you'll get a lesser opportunity to express yourself.

The scientists have discovered an unexpected side effect : When we cannot show as many facial expressions as before, we'll also be worse to interprete the feelings of others. The reason is that a human senses the mindset of others by "imitating" it -  among other things with one's own body language ...........

source: Science Daily, Dagens medicin, Medicinsk Vetenskab
image of Helen Mirren from wikipedia

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Scots Lovage/ Skotsk Lostilk

Ligusticum scoticum

Scots lovage, or Scottish licorice-root,is a perennial plant of the family Umbelliferae, found near the coasts of northern Europe and north-eastern North America. It grows up to 60 centimetres tall and is found in rock crevices and cliff-top grassland. The plant is edible, with a flavour resembling parsley or celery. The edge of the triangular leaves may be toothed, lobed or serrated and are typically either a paler green or magenta. The flowers are greenish-white.

Ligusticum scoticum tastes and smells like parsley or celery, and was formerly widely eaten in western Britain, both for nutrition and to combat scurvy. The plant is primarily arctic, ranging from northern Norway to the northerly shores of the British Isles and from western Greenland to New England.  A related species, Ligusticum hultenii, occurs around the northern Pacific Ocean, from Japan to Alaska.

The Latin name Ligusticum refers to the home of the plant namely Liguria in northern Italy where several species of this plant-family grow wild, but the Ligusticum scoticum origins from Scotland where it grows at the rocky coast. It also grows wild at the coast of Norway. In Denmark Scots Lovage is rare and protected. It grows wild in a few places in Denmark  - a few populations in Thy and Han Herred. It is possible to cultivate Scots Lovage in the garden and be able to pluck and use this well-tasting herb. 

Within the British Isles, Ligusticum scoticum is only found on coasts where the mean annual temperature is below 15 °C (59 °F). Towards the southern end of its range, the plant performs poorly on south-facing sites. It grows in fissures in rocks, where it may be the only vascular plant, and also in cliff-top grassland communities. Ligusticum scoticum cannot tolerate grazing, and is harmed by the actions of nesting seabirds, it is therefore rarely found on bird cliffs, or where grazing sheep and rabbits are found. It is, however, tolerant of salt spray, and its growth has been shown to improve when given dilute seas water. The leaves of L. scoticum are frost-tolerant, and die back each winter, but regrow very rapidly the following spring. In the British Isles, flowering occurs from June to August, and the seeds are ripe in October or November; the timing is expected to be later at higher latitudes. The flowers of L. scoticum are visited by generalist pollinators, mostly flies.


Folk medicine: In the old days  the plant juice was considered to be calming, and a decoction was used as a drink against hysteria and insanity.  Insomnia was helped by placing the plant root under the pillow.

Ligusticum scoticum was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1753 work Species Plantarum.

Scots Lovage was earlier used as a medical herb against digestion problems and reumathism and the plant juice was used to promote child birth. Decoction from the root was working somnolent - therefore Scots Lovage was earlier knon as sleep herb (søvnurt). 

Food: today Scots Lovage is used in soups and fish dishes. 
In tea as a light somnolent drug like lemon balm.
 Parts of Scots Lovage are fine in the kitchen. The young leaves, the flowers and the unripe seeds are well suited to be eaten fresh fx in salad or as a decoration when serving the food. The leaves are most delicate when quite young before the plant is flowering. They taste good in a mixed tomato salad or - salsa together with cucumber, onion, mint leaves and an oil/lemon dressing. Young leaves can be mixed in the mince for fish cakes. The stems can be made into candy for confiture. Older leaves, the ripe seeds and the root can be used in stews. Scots lovage can naturally be the part of a Bouquet garni. The ripe grounded seeds can be used as a substitut for pepper. 

If people suffered from insomnia they could pack the root into a sock and place it under the pillow

source: Danske Klosterurter, Anemette Olesen, 2001. 
photo: wikipedia

    Friday, June 30, 2017


    Levisticum officinale

    Lovage, soup herb, maggi herb, bouillon herb.  

    Lovage is an erect, herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 1.8–2.5 m tall with a strong rootstock and pale yellow flowers. The stems and leaves smell somewhat similar to celery when crushed. The flowers are yellow to greenish-yellow, flowering is in late spring. The fruit is a dry two-parted schizocarp 4–7 mm long, mature in autumn. Lovage prefers a deep, mouldy and calcareous soil with enough moist . The plant grows well in shadow or half shadow in gardens, and it can grow in the same place in over 15 years.

    The homeland of the plant is unknown, but supposedly it origins from mountain woods in Central Asia or from the northern Iran. The plant can grow in altitudes of over 200 meter above sea level. Lovage is mentioned in Charlemagne's Kapitularium and was used as a kitchen herb and a medical plant since then. Today it is naturalized in many places , in Asia, North- and South America and in Europe (incl. Denmark). The monks brought the plant to Europe in the Middle Ages, and it has been  cultivated in Europe for centuries, the leaves being used as an herb, the roots as a vegetable, and the seeds as a spice, especially in southern European cuisine.Lovage is an unusual spice herb since it prefers a light shadow and must have water in dry periods. Lovage was earlier cultivated in farmers gardens for livestock medicine, but today it ias a spice herb in the garden and strayed here and there. In the old days it was - not known for any reason - plant in church yards.

    The name "lovage" is from "love-ache", ache being a medieval name for parsley; this is a folk-etymological corruption of the older French name levesche, from late Latin levisticum, in turn thought to be a corruption of the earlier Latin ligusticum, "of liguria" (northwest Italy), where the herb was grown extensively.

    In modern botanical usage, both Latin forms are now used for different (but closely related) genera, with Levisticum for (culinary) lovage, and ligusticum for Scots lovage, a similar species from northern Europe, and for related species.

    Folk Medicine

    A bath with lovage was said to heal gonorrhea. Decoction to drink in blatter and kidney disease and in stomach trouble. Lovage in the bath water could heal reumathic ailments, gouts, menstrual pain and migraine. To wash with lovage could give a clear skin and heal mouth ulcer and boils. Pulverized root in wine was drunk against blatter stones.Decoct of lovage could cure a bad eye sight.The dried and pulverized root was a part of a diuretic drink to people, infected by the plague.

    photo: gb
    Harpestræng ab. 1300: promotes digestion, was given against liver disorders , stomach pain, and as a diuretic. 
    1400: water decoction against blatter stone; the juice in the eyes of a patient who was paralyzed and had lost his voice. The juice gives a pretty hair and a good scent. 
    Christiern Petersen 1533:beer or wine decoction for liver and spleen disorders, against roundworms , crushed seeds with beer or wine decoction from lovage, hellebore, fennel and tansy in a balm upon leprous wounds.
    Henrik Smid 1546: dried and pulverized root in food for a cold stomach, promotes digestion. Wine decoction from root and seeds drives out jaundice and " the black melancholia". Crushed seeds upon bites from vipers, spiders, mad dogs, lizards and scorpions -ease the pain and drive out the poison.
    A linen cloth wettened with lovage water put on a swelling of the head; face bathed with lovage water gets clear, white and pretty skin, removes red and blue spots on the body after mange and boils.
    Simon Paulli 1648: crushed roots and seeds in wine for pain.

    An extraction vinaigre of lovage, burnet saxifrage and Angelica root was used against plague infection.Lovage was earlier used against mental disorders.The plant was a komponent of a snaps extraction against fever (malaria). The cooked plant was put upon arthritic limbs. 1700: tea from the leaves for urination difficulties. The root was a diuretic drug. 1757: the leaves were bound and put upon bites from snakes and lizards. The leaves as a cover and a milch decoction against blood infection.

    1930s: A decoction was used as a refreshing drug. A doctor said (1930s) that if the Danish population used this plant all doctors would die of hunger or  have to look out for another occupation.
    The Pharmacopoeia states seeds and root in 1772. 

    Pets: If the dog or the cat keep on placing its "cards" in an unwanted place, then make a strong decoct of lovage  and pour it on the spot, which makes the animal go elsewhere. The dog or cat can also be washed with lovage to avoid it getting  vermins or mange.

    photo: gb
    photo: gb
    Lovage belonged in the old days to one of the most used remedies of the veteranian, and from this reason it was found in most farmer gardens from before 1900s. Since the antique Greek  writer Pedanios Dioskurides had described it as a universal medical means in the 1. century AC it was soon spread ampong the monks in the Middle Ages, and it came to Denmark with the monks in the 1100s. The whole plant was used, sometimes a bouquet bound around the cow's tail to protect it against evil spirits, other times cooked in water as lovage water or cooked together with sod and salt to a porridge which was given to sick cows. 

    1800s: lovage was used as a preventive agent against all disease among the cattle, especially root and leaves were used for the cow's sickness  A sick cow got lovage root, salt and sod cooked together into a porridge, the animal had to be beaten with a coffin key between the horn while it was eating the porridge. In spring the cows had a tuft of grass with lovage - this would keep them healthy.
    In late summer the cattle had a bottle of lovage water and was smeared with tar upon the mule.

    1900s: Still in 1924 is mentioned the use of lovage against foot and mouth disease. Lovage tea was used against tympania, the root was a drug for cow premature abortion.

    Lovage was a part of a means for the lung- and liverdisease of the horse and against leap worms.
     Lovage also used for sheep's disease.

    Food: Lovage is a popular spice herb, used instead of bouillon and to spice the cooking water with the potatoes etc. Can also be a diuretic tea. The roots, which contain a heavy, volatile oil, are used as a mild aquaretic. Lovage root contains furanocoumarins which can lead to photosensitivity. In Romania it is also used dried and with seeds to conserve and to add flavour to pickled cabbage and cucumbers. The leaves can be used in salads, or to make soup or season broths, and the roots can be eaten as a vegetable or grated for use in salads. Its flavor and smell can be described as a mix of celery and parsley, but with a higher intensity of both of those flavors. The seeds can be used as a spice, similar to fennel seeds. In the UK, an alcoholic lovage cordial is traditionally mixed with brandy in the ratio of 2:1 as a winter drink. In Romania, the leaves are the preferred seasoning for the various local broths, much more so than parsley or dill. In the Netherlands it is the only non salt ingredient of a traditional asparagus dish.

    The dried and pulverized root is (like pepper) a wonderful root for preparing food.  Young stems and leaves can be eaten; a couple of leaves good in the kale soup. A decoction of chopped leaves for cooked plaice and cod. Root and leaves have a strong spicy taste almost as a bouillon.

    Leaves, chives and dill, dried in a spice vinegar.  Crushed root or plant as a spice in minced meat, sauce and sausage. The etheric oil of the root in perfume and perfumed tobaccos.   

    In 1942 (during WWII) a poultry slaughterhouse in Denmark used lovage for producting chicken soup -  and lovage was cultivated on large areas for this purpose.

    In England the young shots of the root  are made into candy. Lovage is also used as a spice in the liquor industry.

    photo gb

    Superstition: Lovage in the bath water incites to love making. A bouquet of lovage hang above the door chase away the devil. Lovage hang by the house door kept away the black death, and if one chewed a lovage root the plague could not infect a human.
    In the times of the plague it was beneficial to hang lovage in front of the doors and keep the root in the mouth as a protection against infection. Lovage was a universel cure against witchcraft. 

    The plant was put under the doorstep of the stable which brought luck to the cattle and it was a protection against spell in the cattle.

    A wise woman in Himmerland put lovage root and fly rowan and a note with a spell at the doorstep of a stable which brought the farmer good luck with his cattle.

    Wolves get together when someone blows in a lovage stem. Roots and other parts of lovage put in the forest make wild animal approach.

    Brøndegaard, Folk og Flora, bd. 3, Dansk Etnobotanik 1978. 
    Danske Klosterurter, Anemette Olesen, 2001
    Krydderurter i haven, Anemette Olesen, 1998
    Wikipedia, Danish and English

    photos: grethe bachmann

    photos: wikipedia

    Tuesday, June 06, 2017

    I AM MARU - and my effect is positive !

    Looking at cute cats on the net gives a positive effect on humans - and this effect is much larger than the scientists ever believed. Cute cats on film are not just entertaining here and now,  but they bring us a warm feeling of happiness and a positive energy, which reduces tiring feelings like restlessness, irritation and depression. A new investigation on 7000 participants show this, made by Indiana University Media School in USA.


    Wednesday, May 31, 2017

    Liquorice Root/ Lakridsrod - a lovely Taste

    Glycyrrhiza glabra

    Liquorice is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra from which a sweet flavour can be extracted. The liquorice plant is a herbaceous perennial legume native to southern Europe and parts of Asia, such as India. It is not botanically related to anise, star anise, or fennel, which are sources of similar flavouring compounds. The word liquorice is derived from the Greek (glukurrhiza), meaning "sweet root", the name provided by Dioscorides. It is usually spelled liquorice in British usage, but licorice in the United States and Canada.
    The substance glyzyrrhizin is a saponine which works expectorant and cough promoting. The substance works diuretic, laxative and inflammatory. Liquorice root its effective in the stomach and the upper respiratory system.
    The scent of liquorice root comes from a complex and variable combination of compounds, of which anethole is up to 3% of total volatiles. Much of the sweetness in liquorice comes from glycyrrhizin, which has a sweet taste, 30–50 times the sweetness of sugar. The sweetness is very different from sugar, being less instant, tart, and lasting longe

    Liquorice is cultivated in the Mediterranean, Iran, Turkey, Russia and China. Liquorice grows best in well-drained soils in deep valleys with full sun. It is harvested in the autumn two to three years after planting. Countries producing liquorice include India, Iran, Italy, Afghanistan,  China, Pakistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, and England. The root is used for many things, like confectionery, liqueuers and for candies. It is also used in herbal tea.

    The plant is perennial and it developes wooden-like stems. The leaves are large with a fresh green colour and the small flowers in July and September are purple or pale whitish blue with a loose inflorescence. the fruit is oblong, containing several seeds. the roots are widely branched and the offshoots can send shoots to about 8 meter from the mother plant.

    When king Tutankhamons grave was opened in Egypt. the archaeologists found large amounts of dried liquorice root. Herbalists from ancient times recommended liquorice root against stomach problems and in blatter and kidney disease. Around year 200 A.C. the root is recommended against throat infections. About year 300 the Greek philosopher Theophrastos discovered that thirst could be avoided by chewing the root. The physician Henrik Harpestreng recommended it against consumptive and Linné recommended it against asthma, cough and kidney inflammation. 200 years
    ago the root was used in ointments upon inflamed wounds.  Liqourice root is still written in the Pharmacopoeia.

    Most liquorice is used as a flavouring agent for tobacco. American blend cigarettes made up a larger portion of worldwide tobacco consumption in earlier years, and the percentage of liquorice products used by the tobacco industry was higher in the past. Liquorice provides tobacco products with a natural sweetness and a distinctive flavour that blends readily with the natural and imitation flavouring components employed in the tobacco industry. It represses harshness and is not detectable as liquorice by the consumer. Tobacco flavourings such as liquorice also make it easier to inhale the smoke by creating bronchodilators, which open up the lungs. Chewing tobacco requires substantially higher levels of liquorice extract as emphasis on the sweet flavour appears highly desirable

    Liquorice flavour is found in a wide variety of candies or sweets. In most of these candies, the taste is reinforced by aniseed oil so the actual content of liquorice is very low. Liquorice confections are primarily purchased by consumers in the European union. In the Netherlands, liquorice confectionery (drop) is one of the most popular forms of sweets. It is sold in many forms. Mixing it with mint, menthol, aniseed or laurel is quite popular. Mixing it with ammonium chloride (salmiak) is also popular. Strong, salty sweets are also popular in Nordic countries. Pontefract  in Yorkshire was the first place where liquorice mixed with sugar began to be used as a sweet in the same way it is in the modern day. Pontefract cakes were originally made there. In County Durham, Yorkshire, and Lancashire, it is colloquially known as 'Spanish', supposedly because Spanish monks grew liquorice root at Rievaulx Abbey near Thirsk.

    In Italy , Spain, and France, liquorice is popular in its natural form. The root of the plant is simply dug up, washed, dried, and chewed as a mouth freshener. In Calabria a popular liqueur is made from pure liquorice extract. Liquorice is in Syria  and Egypt sold as a drink, in shops as well as street vendors. It is used in folk medicine in Egypt. Liquorice is used by brewers to flavour and colour porter classes of beers, and the enzymes in the root also stabilize the foam heads produced by beers brewed with it.


    Glyhyrrhizin has also demonstrated antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, and blood pressure-increasing effects in vitro and in vivo, as is supported by the finding that intravenous glycyrrhizin (as if it is given orally very little of the original drug makes it into circulation) slows the progression of viral and autoimmune hepatitis. In one clinical trial liquorice demonstrated promising activity, when applied topically, against atopic dermatitis.  Additionally, liquorice may be effective in treating hyperlipidaemia (a high amount of fats in the blood). Liquorice has also demonstrated efficacy in treating inflammation-induced skin hyperpigmentaion. Liquorice may also be useful in preventing neurodegenerative disorders and dental caries. The antiulcer, laxative, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antitumour and expectorant properties of liquorice have been investigated. The compound glyhyrrhizin (or glycyrrhizic acid), found in liquorice, has been proposed as being useful for liver protection in  tuberculosis therapy, but evidence does not support this use, which may in fact be harmful.

    In traditional Chinese medicine, liquorice is believed to "harmonize" the ingredients in a formula and to carry the formula to the 12 regular meridians. Liquorice has been traditionally known and used as medicine in Ayurveda for rejuvenation.

    Licorice root is used in cough medicine . The slime substances lie like a thin film over the mucosa and protect against irritation. Singers chew the sweet root in order to start the saliva production in mouth and throat.

    Don't eat liquorice root for a long time since it can interfere with the sodium potassium balance.

    The heart function might be unclear and the kidneys work to much with a too concentrated urine. The liquorice root might result in edema and increase the blood pressure.

    Persons with a high blood pressure must not take liquorice juice without consulting a doctor.

    Saturday, May 20, 2017

    Jimson Weed/ Pigæble

    Datura stramonium

    Jimson weed is a 30-100 cm tall herb, in Denmark growing wild close to building sites. The whole plant is very poisonous, and it has a very unpleasant and nauseating smell if broken or damaged.

    In England it is known by the common names Jimson weed or Devil's snare. Other common names for D. stramonium include thornapple and moon flower, others include hell's bells, devil’s trumpet, devil’s weed, Jamestown weed, stinkweed, locoweed, pricklyburr, and devil’s cucumber. It is a plant in the nightshade family.

    Jimson weed is a heavily growing annual plant with a broad bushy growth. the stems are lightgreen to violet. The leaves are egg-shaped with unregular teeth along the edge. The upper surface is light green, the underside a little lighter. The flowers are spectular, they are trumpet shaped and very large, white or light violet. They open in the evening, but close later in the night. The seeds are egg-shaped, spiked and the size of  a walnuts When ripe they open in four chambers, each with numerous black seeds. The root system is well developed and widely branched.

    The plant grow wild in large areas with inland dunes which are dominated by bushy oaks and tall grass, it is found in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. Here it grows together with fx: sunflower,  blue wild indigo, calico aster, butterfly weed, switchgrass, hoary mugwort etc. The plant is native to North America, but was spread to the Old World early. It was scientifically described and named by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1753, although it had been described a century earlier by botanists such as Nicholas Culpeper. Today, it grows wild in all the world's warm and moderate regions, where it is found along roadsides and at dung-rich livestock enclosures. In Europe, it is found as a weed on wastelands and in garbage dumps. In Denmark it is found here and there on dumps and close to building sites. Its seeds can lie dormant underground for years and germinate when the soil is disturbed.

    Medicine/Folk Medicine :
    Datura stramonium has been used in traditional medicine to relieve asthma symptoms and as an analgesic during surgery or bonesetting. It is also a powerful hallucinogen and deliriant, which is used entheogenically for the intense visions it produces. However, the tropane alkaloids responsible for both the medicinal and hallucinogenic properties are fatally toxic in only slightly higher amounts than the medicinal dosage, and careless use often results in hospitalizations and deaths.

    The substance hyoscamin can be produced chemically and is used by fx dentists and for eye surgery.
    (Danske Klosterurter).

    Jimson weed was used as a hallucinogen by the praerie people. Some have tried it in modern times, but the hallucinogene dose is only a little smaller than the deadly dose

    The gipsies used the jimsonweed in flying balms like the witches. Until 1957 was sold Jimson weed- leaves = pigæble blade(in DK), rolled as cigars for asthma patients. When they had breathing difficulties they had to inhale the smoke in order to clear the respiratories. 

    If you had jimsonweed-seeds in your pocket, you could fly invisible after a witch and see who she collected on her road to Bloksbjerg. 

    Deliriants such as henbane, mandrake and Jimson weed are featured in many stories in European mythology.

    Source: Wikipedia, Danske klosterurter, Anemette Olesen, Aschehoug 2001. 
    photos from wikipedia

    Friday, May 12, 2017

    The Magic Perfume

    Perfume was produced and used since antiquity in Mesopotamia and Egypt. The process was developed and refined by the Romans and the Arabs. Archaeologs found in 2003 what probably is the oldest perfume in Pyrgos at Cypres. The word perfume derives from the Latin perfumare, meaning "to smoke through".

    The perfumes date back more than 4,000 years. They were discovered in an ancient perfumery, a 4,000-square-meter (43,000 sq ft) factory housing at least 60 stills, mixing bowls, funnels, and perfume bottles. In ancient times people used herbs and spices, such as almond, coriander, myrtle, conifer resin and bergamot as well as flowers.

    In the 9th century the Arab chemist Al-Kindi (Alkindus) wrote the Book of the Chemistry of Perfume and Distillations, which contained more than a hundred recipes for fragrant oils, salves, aromatic waters, and substitutes or imitations of costly drugs. The Persian chemist Ibn Sina (also known as  Avicenna) introduced the process of extracting oils from flowers by means of  distillation, the procedure most commonly used today. He first experimented with the rose.  Rose water was delicate, and immediately became popular. The art of perfumery was known in western Europe from 1221, taking into account the monks' recipes of Santa Maria delle Vigne or Santa Maria Novella of Florence, Italy. The first modern perfume was a mixture of scent oils and alcohol. It was produced in 1370 in Hungary and was called Hungarian water. Modern perfumery began in the late 19th century with the commercial synthesis of aroma compounds  such as vanillin or coumarin.

    The art of perfumery prospered in Renaissance Italy, and in the 16th century the personal perfumer to Catherine de Medici (1519–1589), Rene the Florentine (Renato il fiorentino), took Italian refinements to France. His laboratory was connected with her apartments by a secret passageway, so that no formulae could be stolen en route. Thanks to Rene, France quickly became one of the European centers of perfume and  cosmetics manufacture. Cultivation of flowers for their perfume essence, which had begun in the 14th century, grew into a major industry in the south of France
    Between the 16th and 17th centuries, perfumes were used primarily by the wealthy to mask body odors,  resulting from infrequent bathing. Partly due to this patronage, the perfume industry developed.  In 1693, Italian barber Giovanni Paolo Feminis created a perfume water called Aqua Admirabilis, today best known as eau de cologne.

    By the 18th century the Grasse region of France, Sicily, and Calabria (in Italy) were growing aromatic plants to provide the growing perfume industry with raw materials. Even today, Italy and France remain the center of European perfume design and trade.

    The first fragrance labeled a "parfum" extract with a high concentration of aromatic compounds was Guerlain's Jicky in 1889. The conventional application of pure perfume (parfum extrait) in Western cultures is at pulse points, such as behind the ears, the nape of the neck, and the insides of wrists, elbows and knees, so that the pulse point will warm the perfume and release fragrance continuously. According to perfumer Sophia Grojsman behind the knees is the ideal point to apply perfume in order that the scent may rise. The modern perfume industry encourages the practice of layering fragrance so that it is released in different intensities depending upon the time of the day. Lightly scented products such as bath oil, shower gel, and body lotion are recommended for the morning; eau de toilette is suggested for the afternoon; and perfume applied to the pulse points for evening. Cologne fragrance is released rapidly, lasting around 2 hours. Eau de toilette lasts from 2 to 4 hours, while perfume may last up to six hoursA variety of factors can influence how fragrance interacts with the wearer's own physiology and affect the perception of the fragrance. Diet is one factor, as eating spicy and fatty foods can increase the intensity of a fragrance. The use of medications can also impact the character of a fragrance. The relative dryness of the wearer's skin is important, since dry skin will not hold fragrance as long as skin with more oil.

    JICKY is a perfume by the House of Guerlain. Introduced in 1889, it is the oldest continuously-produced perfume in the world. Jicky was one of the first perfumes created with the addition of synthetic materials , and was the first abstract perfume in history, meaning it is not based on a single note. Its perfume notes include: spice,lemon, lavender, wood and vanilla. Its stopper is shaped like a champagne cork. According to legend, it was named after a girl Aimé Guerlain had a crush on when he was a student in England.

     Joy is a perfume created for Parisian couturier Jean Patou by perfumer Henri Almeras in 1929 . It is considered to be one of the greatest fragrances created and is a landmark example of the floral genre in perfumery. Joy was created as a reaction to the 1929 Wall Street Crash, which had diminished the fortunes of Jean Patou's wealthy American clientele. Despite its elevated price and the depressed economic environment, Joy became a success and has remained Jean Patou's most famous fragrance. In 2002, the House of Jean Patou created Enjoy, a contemporary take on Joy meant for younger women.Joy is composed primarily of a combination of jasmine and rose; 10,000 jasmine flowers and 28 dozen roses are required to create 30ml of the parfum, contributing to its high retail price. Joy also contains other flowers such as yland ylang, michelia and tuberose. Given its many ingredients, Joy does not smell like a specific flower. The original bottle, designed by French architect and artisan Louis Süe, was designed to have a simple, classical feel ."Joy" was voted "Scent of the Century" by the public at the Fragrance Foundation FiFi awards in 2000, beating its rival "Chanel No 5". Joy is preserved in its original 1930 formulation in the archives of the Osmothéque donated to the collection by Jean Kerléo  (formerly head perfumer at Jean Patou) .

    Chanel No. 5 is the first perfume launched by French couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. The chemical formula for the fragrance was compounded by French-Russian chemist and perfumer Ernest Beaux. Traditionally, fragrance worn by women had adhered to two basic categories: respectable women favored the pure essence of a single garden flower, and sexually provocative perfumes heavy with animal musk or jasmine were associated with women of the demi-monde, prostitutes or courtesans. Chanel felt the time was right for the debut of a scent that would epitomize the flapper and would speak to the liberated spirit of the 1920Chanel envisioned a design that would be an antidote for the precious fussiness of the crystal fragrance bottles then in fashion, popularized by Lalique and Baccarat. Her bottle would be "pure transparency ...an invisible bottle." It is generally considered that the bottle design was inspired by the rectangular beveled lines of the Charvet toiletry bottles, which, outfitted in a leather traveling case, were favored by her lover, Arthur Boy Capel. Some say it was the Whiskey decanter he used that she admired and wished to reproduce in "exquisite, expensive, delicate glass."The first bottle produced in 1919, differed from the Chanel No. 5 bottle known today. The original container had small, delicate, rounded shoulders and was sold only in Chanel boutiques to select clients. In 1924, when "Parfums Chanel" incorporated, the glass proved too thin to sustain shipping and distribution. This is the point in time when the only significant design change took place. The bottle was modified with square, faceted corneThe "pocket flacon" devised to be carried in the purse was introduced in 1934. The price point and container size were developed to appeal to a broader customer base. It represented an aspirational purchase, to appease the desire for a taste of exclusivity in those who found the cost of the larger bottle prohibitive.The bottle, over decades, has itself become an identifiable cultural artifact, so much so that Andy Warhol chose to commemorate its iconic status in the mid-1980s with his pop-art, silk-screen, Ads: Chanel

    At the end of World War II, Coco Chanel's wartime collaboration with the enemy during wartime menaced her with the exposure of her treasonous activities. In an attempt at damage control, she placed a sign in the window of her rue Cambon boutique, announcing that free bottles of Chanel No. 5 were available to American GIs. Soldiers waited in long lines to take a bottle of Paris luxe back home, and "would have been outraged if the French police had touched a hair on her head".In the 1950s the glamour of Chanel No. 5 was reignited by the celebrity of Marilyn Monroe. Monroe's unsolicited endorsement of the fragrance provided invaluable publicity. In a 1954 interview, when asked what she wore to bed, the movie star provocatively responded: "Chanel No. 5."In the 1960s the glossy fashion magazines such as Vogue and Bazaar presented Chanel No. 5 as a required accessory to every woman's femininity. Print advertising for Chanel No. 5 was staid and conservative in both visuals and text, eschewing the energy and quirky aesthetic of the burgeoning youth culture. Two catch phrases alternated as ad copy: "Every woman alive wants Chanel No. 5" and "Every woman alive loves Chanel No. 5."During the 1950s the ads had diminished the allure of Chanel No. 5, identifying it with a scent for sweet, proper co-eds whose style bibles were teenage fashion magazines. In the 1970s the brand name needed revitalization. For the first time in and its long history it ran the risk of being labeled as mass market and passé. The fragrance was removed from drug stores and similar outlets. Outside advertising agencies were dropped. The remaking was re-imagined by Jacques Helleu, the artistic director for "Parfums Chanel." Helleu chose French actress Catherine Deneuve for the new face of Chanel.In the 1990s, more money was reportedly spent advertising Chanel No. 5 than was spent for the promotion of any other fragrance brand. Carole Bouquet was the face of Chanel No. 5 during this decade. It has been estimated, as of 2011, that between $20 to $25 million is spent annually on marketing for Chanel No. 5.

    In 2003, actress Nicole Kidman was enlisted to represent the fragrance. Film director Baz Luhrmann, brought in to conceive and direct a new advertising campaign featuring her, described his concept for what he titled No 5 The Film as "a two-minute trailer ... for a film that has actually never been made, not about Chanel No. 5 but Chanel No. 5 is the touchstone". The eventual commercial, produced in two-minute and 30-second versions, cost 18 million English pounds, with Kidman paid US$3.7 million for her workIn May 2012, the company announced that Brad Pitt would be the first male to advertise Chanel No. 5.In 2013 Chanel ran an advertising campaign using a recorded interview with Marilyn Monroe in which she is asked about her use of Chanel No. 5 fragrance. It featured Ed Feingersh's photograph of the actress splashing herself with a bottle of the perfume.In October 2014, Luhrmann again collaborated with Chanel, creating a second advertising campaign for No. 5, this time starring Gisele Bündchen and Michiel Huisman. Throughout the film, singer Lo-Fang performs his slower romantic rendition of "You're the one that I want".

     Shalimar is a women's fragrance originally created by Jacques Guerlain in 1921, as a classic soft amber (Oriental) parfum, and currently produced by Guerlain. Popular for 90 years, Shalimarwas created in 1921, and re-released in 1925, and launched at the Decorative Arts Exhibition as an antidote to The Great Depression. Jacques Guerlain was inspired by Mumtaz Mahal, the woman for whom the Taj Mahal was built. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's  love for Mumtaz Mahal, his favourite wife, was so great that he built her the Garden of Shalimar in Lahore, Pakistan (and the Taj Mahal). Shalimar itself is currently produced in Shalimar Extract, Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, Eau de Cologne, and Fleur de Shalimar Edition. Guerlain also markets Shalimar Parfum Initial, which has a different formula, color and fragrance than Shalimar. Shalimar is preserved in its original 1925 formulation in the archives of the Osmotheque, donated by Jean-Paul Guerlain. The fragrance can be described as vanilla, powdery and sweet. The fragrance contains bergamot, lemon, jasmine, rose, iris incense, opopanax, tonka bean  and vanilla. It is considered to be an Oriental perfume; spicy perfumes were popular during Shalimar's conception. The top note of the fragrance is bergamot. The middle notes are iris and rose. The base note is vanilla.  Shalimar is mentioned in the songs "Forty Shades of Green by Johnny Cash and "Madame George" by Van Morrison.  " In "House Arrest" (Season 2 Episode 11) of "The Sopranos" HBO,  Junior Soprano mentions to his doctor he sent a bottle to a medical assistant (Tracy) who had checked on him at his home after having a stent placed. In the 1989 Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor movie, "See No Evil, Hear No Evil", Richard Pryor's blind character identifies the villainess played by Joan Severance by her by her "beautiful smell", "Shalimar". In the 1971 thriller The Mephisto Waltz   Shalimar is the perfume favored by Jacqueline Bisset's character named Paula. At the film's conclusion when Paula's soul has been transferred in the body of Roxanne (Barbara Parkins) the character of Duncan Ely who is unaware of the change remarks to Roxanne, "isn't that the perfume worn by our late little housewife ?" In the movie "The Four Seasons", directed and starring Alan Alda. Shalimar is given as a gift. Shalimar is mentioned during the NCIS S11 E12. Ducky is performing an autopsy and asks Gibbs to take a whiff of the deceased. He tells him that the smell is expensive. 

    Rive Gauche is a women's perfume launched by Yves Saint Laurent in 1971. The fragrance was composed in 1969 by perfumers Jacques Polge and Michael Hy at Roure. It was reformulated by Daniela Andrier and Jacques Hy at Givaudan in 2003. The all-aluminium silver and cobalt blue striped bottle was designed by Pierre Dinnand. The perfume was named after Yves Saint Laurent's   newly opened boutique in Saint-germain-des- Près, the first ready-to-wear store opened by a couturier. Perfume critic Luca Turin considered Rive Gauche as the "best floral aldehydic of all time". It is a classic aldehyde with a floral heart and woody base notes.

    Opium is an Oriental-spicy perfume created for fashion brand Yves Saint Laurent (YSL), first marketed in 1977. Its top notes are a mixture of fruit and spices, with mandarin orange, plum, clove, coriander and pepper, as well as bay leaf. Its floral middle notes consist predominantly jasmine, rose and Lily of the Valley, in addition to carnation, cinnamon, peach and orris root. It is underlined by the sweet woody base note containing sandalwood, cedarwood, myrrh, opopanax, labdanum, benzoin and castoreum in addition to amber, incense, musk, patchouli, tolu and yetiver.

    Opium caused a stir with its controversial name and brought accusations that brand designer Yves Saint Laurent was condoning drug use. In the United States, a group of Chinese Americans demanded a change of the name and a public apology from Saint Laurent for "his insensitivity to Chinese history and Chinese American concerns." They formed a committee called the American Coalition Against Opium and Drug Abuse, which expressed outrage at the choice of a name representing "a menace that destroyed many lives in China." But such controversies rather helped the perfume to be well-publicized, which soon became a best-selling scent. For its launch party in 1977, a tall ship Peking was rented from the South Street Sea Museum in New York's East Harbor, and writer Truman Capote sat at the helm of the ship at the party. The ship was draped with banners of gold, red, and purple, and the Oriental theme was displayed with a 1,000-pound (450 kg) bronze statue of the Buddha, decorated with white cattleya orchids. YSL carried the Oriental theme into its packaging design as well—the red plastic container holding the perfume's glass vial, designed by Pierre Dinand, was inspired by inro, the small Japanese lacquered cases that were worn under komonos and held perfumes, herbs and medicines.

    Forbidden fruit from the house of Dior, Poison is the revolutionary fragrance that became a legend since it has been launched in 1985. An unrivalled alchemy; spicy, fruity, woody fragrance of enigmatic profoundness that mesmerizes the senses…forever. Top notes include coriander, wildberries, orange honey, tuberose are at perfume’s heart, while base note features opopanar. This dark, mysterious and elegant perfume, which won a FiFi award in 1987, was created by edouard flechier. In 2006, the house of Dior released the Poison Amulets. These are limited edition 15 ml purse sprays available in  Poison, Pure Poison, Tendre Poison and Hypnotic Poison; each comes with 2 refills and is packaged in a satin pouch with funnel. The bottles are very elegant while following the style and colors of the originals.

    Tresor Perfume by Lancome is considered to be a modern classic by many fragrance critics and was composed by master perfumer Sophia Grojsman in 1990 . Juicy peach and ripe apricot adds dimension to a rose in full bloom tinged with amber. Softly rounded with no hard edges, this is a refined and romantic fragrance for women. Notes include apricot blossom, rose, lilac, iris, peach, amber, sandalwood, musk, and vanilla. All products are original, authentic name brands. Tresor is a treasure among perfume creations (‘tresor’ in French means ‘treasure’). It is one of the best-selling and most popular perfumes in the world.  

    This is the first perfume of Cacharel, which was created in 1978. Anais Anais is a ultra-feminine fresh, rich and romantic bouquet of flowers. Transparent orange blossom with heady hyacinth open the composition. The intensive floral heart blends sweet rose, delicate white lily and magical jasmine. The base is composed of comforting amber, warm sandalwood with a tender touch of misterious incense. The successful Anaïs Anaïs was launched in 1978. It was followed by Cacharel pour l'Homme, Loulou, Eden, Loulou Blue, Eau d'Eden, Noa, Nemo, Gloria, Amor Amor, Amor Amor Eau Fraiche, Noa Fleur, Noa Perle, Promesse and Amor pour homme. The latest perfume to be launched is "Liberté", an orange chypre with fresh citrous top notes inspired by a traditional French cake called 'chamonix' and woody heart and base notes with patchouli. The person representing Liberté in ad campaigns is Brazilian born model, Gisele Bündchen, who is also the new face for the brand Cacharel Parfums, following Kate Moss who modeled for Anaïs Anaïs and Laetitia Casta for Promesse.


    Friday, April 28, 2017

    The Skrydstrupgirl /Skrydstruppigen

    The Skrydstrupgirl at exhibition, National Museum.
    After being buried in her coffin completely undisturbed in her grave hill for more than 3000 years the grave with the Skrydstrupgirl was found and opened in 1935.
    The expectations were not great, the hill had been digged earlier, but after some days work it was obvious that this was one of Denmark's most important grave finds from Bronze Age.

    The Skrydstrupgirl, National Museum.
    Skrydstruppigen is a famous Danish grave find from Bronze Age. The Skrydstrupgirl was excavated in 1935 at the village Skrydstrup in South Jutland. She lived in ab. 1300 before our time. She was found in a gravehill by the "Hærvejen" 1 km southwest of the town Vojens. Her oakcoffin was placed upon a bed of stones and covered by a turf hill, measuring 13 meter diameter and 1,75 meter high. Two male persons were in similar coffins at the edge of the gravehill. All was covered by a larger turf hill, measuring 24 meter diameter and 4 m high.

    The Cap, National Museum
    At her death the girl was only 17 years old. She was buried in an oakcoffin in the middle of the hill, covered by stones. The oakcoffin was almost dissolved. She lay upon a cowskin, and by her head was a cap made in sprangteknik. (a special made cap for women). She rested upon a layer of sorrel and other plants, which tell us that she was buried in summer. She was buried in her dress: a short-sleeved blouse, made by woven wool with embroideries upon the sleeves and around the neck, a long woolen skirt covered her from waist to feet , belt and shoes; fastened to the belt was a decorated horn comb. Her clothes were wool from dark, redbrown sheep. Her only jewelry was large spiral ear rings in 24 karat gold. She had 60 cm long, ashblonde hair, set in a special hairstyle, which she could not have done without assistance. Over the hair was a fine hairnet of horse's hair. The hairstyle was very difficult to wear and much indicates it might have been some kind of burial hair style. She was 170 cm tall which was rather tall in comparison to her contemporaries at that time.

    Example of her hairstyle, wikipedia.
    When her hair was arranged it was first combed flat back from the forehead, then a valk (a lump of soft material, evt. filled with human hair) was put over the forehead-hair, and the hair was combed forth above a thin layer. The tips of the hair were divided in some little tufts which were braided in front, forming a  braid across the forehead, and all of it was kept on place with  a woolen string. Over the hair was put a fine hairnet, braided by horse's hair in front and back. It was fastened upon an almost 5 m long woolen string.  The string was twined several times around the head, so it was like a headband, and it kept the hairstyle and the hairnet on its place.

    The hairstyle and the goldrings, the oak coffin and the gravehill tell us that the Skrydstrupgirl belonged to a socially rich family. Her teeth witness that she from child had nutrient food. This could be a sign of high social status. The people who lived along "Hærvejen",  had the far away trade with the southern countries in Europe, with fur and amber and with bronze and gold.

    The cause of her death is not known. The study of the skeleton did not reveal any kind of disease.
    Skrydstrupgirl and Egtvedgirl
    Her teeth were in good condition; they had a thick layer of enamel and not the slightest sign of caries. Obviously she had not missed anything in her diet during her upbringing. Her dress and her hair also witness about surplus and at the same time a great concern for the diseased. Her high position in society is underlined by the grave form itself , a gravehill of 13 meter diameter and 1,75 in height demanded lots of ressources to build, and the gathering of about 6000 peats was a common task for the local society.

    New Knowledge.

    Groundbreaking Danish research shows that the distinguished Skrydstrupgirl who was found in a gravehill in South Jutland in 1935 was not born or grew up in Denmark. The news were revealed in the TV- broadcast "Historien om Danmark" in April 2017. A unique recording in the TV-programme shows the moment in the laboratory when the discovery is obvious. The Skrydstrupgirl came from south of Denmark. This is a discovery which will change the understanding of much material from the Bronze Age, said professor Karin Margarita Frei from the National Museum of Copenhagen, who was the in the head of the examination.

    It was also a sensation worldwide in 2015 when another grave find from antiquity revealed , that the iconic Egtvedgirl was not from Denmark, but was born and grew up in the southern Germany. This makes the discovery of the same result for the Skrydstrupgirl even more interesting. The result is important, because it shows that the Egtvedgirl was no special case; it seems to be a pattern, which tell us how humans, and in this case women, travelled and moved around in Bronze Age.

    Karin M. Frei was also behind the examination of the Egtvedgirl, but contrary to the Egtvedgirl the examination of the Skrydstrupgirl shows all her life from childhood till death. This is the first time this has happened. Contrary to the Egtvedgirl who did travel several times during her life the Skrydstrupgirl was only out on one travel,  the travel from her birthplace to the region at Skrydstrup. The young woman came to the region at Skrydstrup when she was 13-14 years old, until then she had lived in a place many hundred kilometers away from this neigbourhood. She might have lived in the northern part of the Czech Republic, in France or in Mid Germany. After her arrival to Denmark she lived in South Jutland for almost 4 years before she died, ab.17 years old, around 1300 BC. She moved from south to north, possibly to create an alliance between two powerful families by marriage.
    The Skrydstrupgirl's hairstyle /wikipedia

    In order to map the ways of the Skrydstrupgirl professor Karin Frei has examined a 6-year tooth, a wisdom tooth, an about 50 centimeter long lock of hair  and some bones. Those things tell about food, upbringing  and geographical location through her life. Her grave has told us that she belonged to the elite of the society both before and when she came to Denmark. Her teeth tell us that she from child had nutritious diet,  which can be a sign of high status.

    According to professor of archaeology at Gøteborg University , Kristian Kristiansen, the result has a significant importance for our understanding of Bronze Age. The Skrydstrupgirl emphasizes that Bronze Age was a time of globalization. People went from south to north in connection to marriage, and they went on long trade travels. Now there are scientific proofs that this is the case.

    It is strange the Egtvedgirl died young too, there are no sign of disease in the bones and no sign of violence. It seems special that she died that young. Examinations shows that the Skrydstrupgirl was healthy, and the scientists have wondered what might have killed her. It was not possible to see from the bones if she had had any children, and if her death might be because of a childbirth. Much indicates that the Skrydstrupgirl migrated to Denmark when she was 13-14 years of age , an age where women were considered ready to marry in Bronze Age. 


    National Museum exhibition:" Danmarks Oldtid." 

    Karin Frei and the National Museum continue mapping other grave finds from Bronze Age. The investigation of the Skrydstrupgirl was only the first in a series. By mapping the origin of several Bronze Age women they hope to achieve a deeper insight in Bronze Age. 

    The research project named: Bronzealderkvindens fortællinger. (The tales of the Bronze Age women) has its own web site.

    The Skrydstrupgirl from ab. 1300 bc , the Egtvedgirl, who was buried in the summer 1370 BC and the other oakcoffin graves with dresses and jewelry are on the exhibition: "Danmarks Oldtid".

    The Skrydstrupgirl's  oakcoffin was almost dissolved, only a small part was preserved around her head. At the exhibition she lies in a coffin from another hill, Mølhøj. At Haderslev Museum is a copy of her dress, and a bronze statue of the Skrydstrupgirl is set up in the town Vojens.

    Bronze Age House in Thy, North Jutland (wikipedia) 

    The Skrydstrupgirl's House.
    During  Bronze Age arose in the region of Vojens a wealth center  ab. 1800-1000 bc. This is seen by the building of a number of grave hills and impressive houses. The Skrydstrupgirl's family was one of the strong parts in the building of this center. This period is often named Denmarks first Golden Age.

    Much gold ended as grave equipment in the gravehills.  An important explanation  why a wealth center arose just at this place is the geography of the region. Here lies Hærvejen and it was via this road the precious metal came to the north.

    In 1993 gravel was extracted in South Jutland. Museum Sønderjylland  examined the area and found several houses from Bronze Age; especially two houses were interesting.

    One house was a more than 50 meter long and 10m broad hall, more than 500 square meter was under roof. It is the largest house from Bronze Age from this period in Scandinavia. The region was an important area with a great activity. The house was divided in three rooms, the living room, the barn, the stable. The dating of the house was 1500-1330 BC. Charred corn (mostly wheat) and mold residues show that the lord of the house both mastered the hard bronze casting and was able to get hold of the coveted metal. 

    Another huse was under a small gravehill, the house was 30 m long and a little more than 7 m broad. Rooms were divided like in the big house. The dating of this house was between 1320 and 1220 BC. The house lay here upon the hillside at the same time as the Skrydstrupgirl lived (she was buried in one of the great Bronze Age hills only 600 m southwest of this house). Maybe she lived in this house, if so it might have been her grandfather or great grandfather who built the great hall.

    Source: National Museum, Copenhagen; professor Karin M. Fre;  professor Kristian Kristiansen, Gøteborgs Universitet, and wikipedia. 
    photo: National Museum and wikipedia.