We are currently on a tour through Scandinavia, enjoying the environment and culture. Every time I leave the Netherlands and experience new environments and cultures, the following questions go through my head; “Which scent can I associate with this”? “Which new scents am I going to discover now?” “Can I find Viking scents”?
Vikings smelt like shit
And what (if you are in Scandinavia) could be better than developing a real Viking scent? Research on the web gives you quite a few contradictions, but as long as you stay sober, you'll filter the nonsense out yourself. According to one author the Vikings were one of the cleanest cultures in the Middle Ages and according to the other they stunk for several hours in all directions. Smithsonian research shows that they smelled of pine (wood), fruit, nuts and seawater. But on top of that, they also smelled of sweat, blood, mud, mead, smoke and whatever odors you encounter on the battlefield. Not a very pleasant combination if you ask me.
Vikings and hygiene
At the same time, I also believe the statement that Vikings took care of their hygiene. Every Saturday they bathed, changed their clothes regularly, combed their hair and beards and even had tools to clean their nails and ears.
If you compare them with the Christians of that time, the Vikings were a lot cleaner. But whether they really smell fresher… I don't know. Certainly not if you compare this with the standards of our current time. Then they will have stunk in the wind for an hour.
Perfume in a bottle only made its appearance in the 14th century, so 300 years after the Viking Age. Of course we know the use of perfume from millennia back (the Egyptians) but then it had either a religious, a medicinal or a spiritual application. Perfume therefore had little to do with 'smelling good', or 'disguising unpleasant odors'.
It was not until the 17th century that the first scented water was made in Cologne, eau de cologne. And the Cologne water still exists under the name 4711. Maar ik wijk te veel af van het onderwerp. Waren vikingen stinkerds of niet en als ze lekker roken, hoe roken zedan.
The use of perfume
So perfume was not really reserved for our Viking friends. In other words, they stank considerably on Friday (they didn't bathe until Saturday). But that's not to say we couldn't develop a specific Viking scent.
Regardless of what all scholars think or think they know, my experience is that you learn a lot from your own experiences and that is why I always find it so important to make a journey like this yourself. All around us in this beautiful environment I come across examples that push me in the right direction of viking scents. In the museums you can see examples everywhere of how herbs and heather flowers were used to improve the scent in the longhouse. Lavender is by far the most common. At the same time there was heating and cooking in the houses, so there was always the smell of a fireplace. Beds were made of straw and hay. Harness, footwear and clothing were made of leather. Not to mention the abundance of pine wood for the construction of their ships, furniture and tools.
Rough scents – Viking scents
Of course we must not forget that in addition to all these beautiful natural scents, these men and women also had the rough smells of everyday life. The smell of life, the animals, diseases and whatever misery you can imagine. But that's not quite the direction I want to go. I am in the business of developing beautiful fragrances and products and not in the business of history and virtual reality.
My fragrances are an interpretation of the world around us and that always involves some poetic freedom. In my view, a fragrance does not always have to be historically correct. A fragrance must appeal to a large group of people, be seductive or, on the contrary, tough and powerful. In any case, if it concerns a Dutchbeards fragrance, then it must stand out and be different from the rest.
Now when I think of Viking scents, I mainly have the combination of hay, fire, lavender, leather and pine in my head, but I have no idea how to make a nice scent out of it in Odin's name. In short, the search for Viking scents continues.
Who is the oil baron?
Bas, built in 1971. As a producer of beard oil and other beard care products, I am constantly developing new products and looking for the edges of my creativity. I do this with great passion and above all with great pleasure. Pushing your boundaries every time, navigating between the possibilities and impossibilities of the cosmetics legislation and guidelines of the EU. Continue to innovate and amaze. This demands a lot of your creativity and sometimes causes my brain to be quite wrinkled. This made me decide to share this with you from time to time through my blog. So that you have a look behind the scenes and understand where all the nonsense comes from.