Ciao! Welcome to the La Bella Donna Historical Apothecary!
I’m Gigi Coulson, a living history enthusiast and founder of the La Bella Donna Historical Apothecary (click here for the Etsy Store). If you’re here, then you’re probably into renaissance history as well, right? Perhaps you’re also interested in health & hygiene products appropriate for that time in your place of focus? Yes. You’re serious about your presentation and you want to improve it but may not have the time, space, or sources to make your own health and beauty mixtures. That’s exactly why I started this Etsy store (click here). I do have the time, space, and sources… and I want to help others build their Renaissance personae.
In real life I am a social scientist and environmental planner. I love the fact that my hobby allows me to geek out and find out all sorts of cool tidbits about people who lived throughout history. My research is cataloged on the La Bella Donna historical blog (click here) for you to peruse and use. During the past few years I’ve gotten really obsessed with still room arts, you know, herbs and soaps and vinegars and cordials. I wanted to better understand how my 15th century Italian counterpart, Giata, would mix and blend those raw materials together and do what I do by going to the mall and visiting Sephora, The Body Shop, and L’Occitane. The answers surprised me. Curious, right?
Well, I found that I could make products from certified organic ingredients that provided fantastic benefits for my health, looked great on me, and were completely authentic to 15th century Florence. I know you’d like to have the same thing for your persona, right? Or, you know someone who does?
You could spend $60 to $70 dollars for a set of modern organic beauty concoctions in modern packaging that are just fine for modern settings. Or, you could spend less and get period products made with organic ingredients in small batches and packaged in recyclable materials that work for period and modern settings. You like that idea? I do, too.
I’ve listed everything that is available along with the pertinent historical information on my Etsy Store pages (click here). You can also just email me and tell me about your persona and I will put together a sample kit for you for only $30 dollars. The kit will come complete with tooth powder, cold cream or beard oil, and a veil/linen spray made with ingredients for your chosen time and place. I can also customize your kit with special recipes from primary sources. I have books in my library that cover 2nd century Roman empire, Arab Sicily, 11th century Rus, 12th century western Europe, 14th century northern Europe, and 15th/16th century renaissance Europe. If your persona falls outside of these categories I can do the research to find what would work for you. I cannot wait to hear from you 🙂
Fleurtyherald (at) gmail dot com