Medieval Miasma

josephineHe’s coming home.

It was a long war.

He’ll be amorous…starved for your womanhood.

You have 14 days to prepare your body for his pleasure…

You begin by summoning your maid of the wardrobe. You instruct her to prepare your most alluring evening gown for presentation. She is to cleanse, repair, and otherwise make perfect this welcoming garment you shall wear on the night of your husband’s return. Matching slippers must be constructed, decorated, and the bottoms covered with suede so that you glide silently as an angel into his arms.

Next, you send for your ladies in waiting. You instruct them to prepare the most lovely of your hair adornments. Combs must be checked for splintering or broken teeth, loose pearls & gems must be reattached and made to gleam. Clips must be freshly gilded in gold, and silk ribbons must be cleansed, velvet ones, steamed and brushed.

You then summon your maid of the bath. You grant her the next 2 weeks off. She won’t be needed. For, your body must begin its miasmal descent, per the usual letters your husband sends to you before returning home from his travels:

“I will return to Paris in [14] days time. Stop washing.”

And so you do.

For you are Josephine, Empress of France, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte I – Emperor of France. And, as you well know, your husband the Emperor prefers coitus with you when your scent is at its most pungent.

The miasma of your unbathed womanhood hypnotizes him like a sorcerer’s pendulum. One whiff of your erotic, grotty vapor causes his manly staff to stiffen and stab uncontrollably. In turn, the joyous high you receive is less from his frenzied plunging than from an exalted feeling of the power of your unwashed crevice…


Yes, I know.

Screech it with me.


But guess what? Some guys like it dirty.

Many a medieval love letter has been unearthed in which gents rhapsodize about the “odour” of their lady’s not-so-sweet honey pot. And, for 200 years following the Black Plaque – during which Europeans believed water to be unsanitary & full-body immersion into baths, dangerous – those medieval honey pots remained unwashed for the most part.

Which, it seems, was exactly the way their medieval gents liked it.

What with all the sanitizing we modern day women do down there…well, let’s just say we’d never be able to hypnotize a medieval gent with our squeaky-clean poonanies.


Homecomings aside, Empress Josephine didn’t reek as a rule. In fact, she & Napoleon engaged in long baths together quite often.

Because, unlike poor medieval peasants who bathed only a few times a year, royals & the noble classes had servants to fetch, heat, and prepare baths for them as often as they pleased.

Now, if you’re under the impression that Napoleon’s preference for pungent poonany smells like medieval madness…you’d better take another whiff.

Because, as it turns out, this medieval nasty is not so medieval at all.

And that I undress  in these Foreign Eyes Friday posts:

Stinky Stuff: Can’t Take It

Stinky Stuff: Can;t Get Enough

But be prepared to hold you nose to read this prose!



It was a nasty past-y!


What say ye about malodorous medieval miasma?

Nasty or natural?


Medieval Monday


18 thoughts on “Medieval Miasma

  1. Pingback: Stinky ‘Stuff’: Can’t Get Enough | Sylver Blaque

  2. Pingback: Stinky ‘Stuff’: Can’t Take It | Sylver Blaque

  3. Well now, well now, well now . . .

    Like many, a song will occasionally get struck in my head; now—I fear—a smell will. Just as soon as I’m done commenting I’ll be searching for some “Vicks Vaporub©” to smear all over my mustache!

      • HA! Sorry Chief, I’ll grab a towel! What flavor of Snapple was it; Trop-A-Rocka tea, perhaps? (That’s my personal favorite.)

        And speakin’ o’ tea, do you suppose old Mitt will outlaw it when he’s elected? I went to Salt Lake City for a business conference once and made the mistake of ordering tea at a restaurant. I got a [very] polite lecture about the evils of it.

  4. That’s fascinating! I knew that people didn’t bathe often “back then,” but I had NO idea it was considered a turn on! Wow! It’s like that whole, pasty-women-are-more-beautiful-because-they-don’t-work-in-the-fields-all-day thing. Interesting. Gosh how things have changed.

  5. Wow- that is not what I was thinking when you said we should read this! I guess it doesn’t shock me, but I just have a hard time wrapping my mind around it.
    Have you ever read “The View From Garden City”? – I would like to see a post on that from you.

  6. I LOVED this post! It has been the nature of the beast (that’s me), to actually smell the behind of each female I meet. You call it nasty, I call it tasty!

    Also, I loved the history of this. Thanks for a great post!

    • Alrighty, then, griff. Um, thanx for sharing your canine perspective! 🙂

      (Attention non-fellow-dog fanatics: a Griffon Bruxellois is a breed of canine. It is the griff, not the human companion, who is sharing this view! And you should really see this griff – he’s so cute, you’d definitely “stop washing” for him! :wink:)

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