a medieval minute: keeping clean, smelling sweet

Bathing in a tubs with curtains seems to have been widespread.

Bathing in a tubs with curtains seems to have been widespread.


There even seems to have been steam baths.

There even seems to have been steam baths.

This looks like a party activity.

This looks like a party activity.


I’m not sure why, but people usually assume that medieval people were dirty. Historians generally consider later periods, especially the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, those days of powdered wigs and elaborate costumes, as being a time when personal hygiene was at its nadir. Medieval cities often had public baths and there is much evidence of cleanliness in contemporary illustrations. For great pictures: https://www.pinterest.com/davidbaillet200/medieval-bath-and-hygiene/

Bathers used soap, often from Castile, knew about deodorants, and employed perfumes.
http://rosaliegilbert.com/cleanliness.html

The heroine of The Viscountess and the Templars, Ermengarde of Narbonne enjoys a bath in the novel. You will have to read the book to find out why it was important.

In the meantime, please consider supporting the book on Kindle Scout:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/IOMBJIB4T9BO

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About medievalphyllis

I love history and I love writing. I've been working on an historical novel about a medieval viscountess, Ermengarde of Narbonne since 2009. It has been quite a journey and the journey isn't over. Previously I written 6 historical novels for kids, but this is a new challenge.
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