The Plague. Back in medieval times those two words literally meant “the end”. If you were unlucky enough to catch the notorious Black Death, then that was it. Done. Game over. They didn’t have the modern wonders of medicine. Or did they? The condemned criminals that were sent out to bury some the 75 to 200 million that died had to get creative. Apparently, vinegar was the answer… Unfortunately for them, they didn't have the expertise of Maison 21G to guide them!
Some of these men were able to survive by drinking large amounts of garlic-infused vinegar while they were sent out to do the dirty work and bury the dead. Others say these thieves just used it to rob the homes of people who had died by breaking into their houses. A dangerous feat either way. Though, was this what could save them? Vinegar? The vinegar supposedly covered the smell of death and protected them! I don't mean to hate on these poor people, but it's beginning to sound like they didn't have their wits about them. Perhaps they're related to Mr Bean?
Can you believe these conniving buggers were granted leniency in court when they shared their little protecting potion! A valuable recipe, no doubt. These thieves turned into glorified doctors when they invented this in the South of France in Marseille or Toulouse, according to Jean Kerleo, Founder at Versailles’ Scent Library. There are many stories about the Four Thieves Vinegar. Almost too many to keep count of, in fact! So, these are just but a few.
This was the mother of all diseases. Often know just as “The Plague” or “Black Death”, and sometimes ironically as the “Great Plague”. It ravaged through Europe from around 1347 to 1351 and well into the 1700’s.
Fleas were your worst nightmare, and as well very much apparent in the nightmares of all other mammals too! These little fellas transmitted the disease. Ah, sure, sounds easy enough to stay away from a couple of fleas? Not so fast. You could also just come into contact with any airborne particles. So, from a cough, an infected animal of any kind, or as you’re now well aware, from the dead bodies of others. Terrifying stuff!
At Maison 21G we can't promise our scents will fend off disease, but they've got all kinds of other powers. Powers we think are far better! But hey, who knows what is really possible in the future anyway?
You and I ought to be glad this is in the past. Still, how is Thieves Vinegar useful today? It turns out that there’s a shred of truth to this myth. Mr Bean did have some great ideas, after all. They just weren’t exactly right all the time.
It can, in fact, help us in a few days today. It just can’t help you cheat death. I mean, some of the myths might have it otherwise, and I haven’t tried it myself (obviously). Though, what I can tell you for certain is it does boost your immune system! Just one or two tablespoons of this with some honey added in, for taste reasons, could help shed that nasty cold you’ve got. Or, if you’ve got dandruff, then you could dilute this down. I’m sure the management over at Head & Shoulders aren’t too happy you know this now!
As well, it can also serve as a surface disinfectant. No more need for Dettol! Just put this strained mixture into a spray bottle, spray away, and wipe it down clean. Now, if you are paranoid about bugs, then this will keep those pests away when diluted down with some water. Did someone say fleas? Yes, indeed, maybe they did know what they were doing after all…
If you're keen to cheat death or give the modern approach a whirl, then here's what you'll need:
Fresh lavender flowers
Fresh anise hyssop
4 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed)
1-quart white wine or apple cider vinegar
Now, talk about a one-stop-shop. Far more than just a scent in the end. Then again, aren't all scents much more than just that anyway? It's time to find out the real power hidden within your essence, and dare to create a scent of your own.
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