Pomanders and perfumes

Several ingredients of animal origin employed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period as apothecary ingredients, were also used for perfumes. Thus, some of the ingredients discussed in the "Animals that heal" temporary exhibition at the History of Pharmacy Collection in Cluj-Napoca, were also presumed beneficial due to their smell. Thus, ingredients such as ambergris or zibethum were worn on one's person in pomanders to ward off pestilence (presumed cause of infection) or simply bad smells. In fact, the word pomander itself, in French pomme d'ambre, comes from Ambra grisea=ambergris, substance obtained from the digestive tract of sperm whales.
Here are some historical pomanders, containers of such scented substances, sometimes combined in several individual containers:


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