Wednesday

Pomander (Apple of Amber) Perfume Ball

Basic Facts:
  • From French pomme d'ambre, i.e. apple of amber, "apple of ambergris".
  • Ball made of perfumes, such as ambergris, civet, musk or other fragrent resins.
  • The pomander was worn or carried in a vase, also known by the same name.
  • Pomanders were used as a protection against infection in times of pestilence (ie bubonic plague).
  • They were also used by some plague doctors as a form of treatment, and were useful to reduce the appreciation of the bad odours (from buboes etc).
  • The plague mask probably started out as a modified pomander before taking it's later recognised form.
  • Pomanders were particularlybused in the late Middle Ages through to the 17th century.
  • As time passed, the pomander began to take on the "golden apple" interpretation.
  • By the 18th century, a pomander was often an orange studded with cloves and other spices and given as gifts.
Pomander Globular Cases:
  • These globular cases, which contained the pomanders, were hung from a neck-chain or belt, or even attached to a woman's girdle.
  • The caes were usually perforated to allow the perfume to escape into the surrounding air.
  • They were often made of inert metals such as gold or silver, or precious materials.
  • Sometimes they contained several partitions, into which was placed a separate perfume.
Famous Wearers:
  • Queen Elizabeth I
  • Other Nobles & notables of the day.
Popular Culture:
  • The Roman Polanski 1968 film, Rosemary's Baby showed Rosemary Woodhouse wearing a pomander.

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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