For those of you who regularly read the Aromatherapy Notes blog, it probably comes as no surprise that I have somewhat of a love affair/interest in France! Although my connections with France began at an early age (I studied French in school and went on my first solo trip abroad to France at the age of sixteen), my increased love affair/interest with France only began when I started to study aromatherapy.
On my aromatherapy study trip to France in July 2012, and subsequent side trip to Paris, I learned that there was yet another French queen who was responsible for one quite major gardening “project” in Paris – Marie de Medici (1575 – 1642). Here are three French queens who are connected to flowers, perfumes or scent in one way or another!
Marie Antoinette and French Perfumes
I have written about French queen Marie Antoinette (1755 – 1793) before but as we are looking at the association of this famous queen of France with perfume, here is a quick summary. Marie Antoinette employed a perfumer called Jean Louis Fargeon (1748 – 1806) to custom blend many different aromatic fragrances for her over the years. Scents that Fargeon concocted for Marie Antoinette included essences extracted from plants such as rose, lilies, jonquils, lavender and orange blossoms. Marie Antoinette not only used these scents for personal use but to fragrance her rooms, add to her bath and to treat problems in pregnancy.
Catherine de Medici and Perfume Making in Grasse
Catherine de Medici (1519 – 1589) was queen consort of France from 1547 to 1559 and was wife of King Henry II of France. It is perhaps Catherine de Medici who we have to thank for the perfumery industry that evolved in Grasse as she was said to have instigated the growing of the many fragrant flowers suitable to the Mediterranean climate of Grasse, based on the knowledge she brought with her from her native Italy.
Marie de Medici and the Luxembourg Gardens
Marie de Medici(s) (1575-1642) was also a queen consort of France and wife to King Henry IV of France. I discovered in my research for this post that Catherine and Marie de Medici and Marie de Medici were in fact distant cousins, albeit Marie was only 14 years old when Catherine died. Marie de Medici was responsible for designing the magnificent Luxembourg Gardens in central Paris. It is possible to see orange (Citrus aurantium var. amara) trees growing in the gardens today, amongst other many wonderful and beautiful flower displays, depending upon the season.
Study Aromatherapy and Perfumery
If you are interested in learning how to use essential oil in aromatherapy and perfumery, you might be interested in the Sedona Aromatherapie Natural Perfumes with Essential Oils course which has jut been released! This is not strictly a perfumery course but will give you an insight into how to use essential oils and aromatherapy as perfumes. If you are unsure about committing to the cost of a full course, check out my short, informational e-books too!
visit the Sedona Aromatherapie courses home page for other aromatherapy courses!
Feydeau, Elisabeth de, 2007, A Scented Palace UK: I.B. Taurus and Co. Ltd
Luxembourg Gardens, Paris
Musee de Grasse website