A Little History...
The use of Tussie Mussies date back to the Victorians times. Not only were they used as a way of speaking to the recipient of the flowers, but also were used as a buffer for all of the bad smells that were so abundant in those days. One of the things that people don't talk about is the lack of cleanliness that fwas acceptable way back then. People simply did not bathe regularly. It was not uncommon for a man or woman to go bathless for a month or more. As you can imagine, an unpleasant aroma would begin to surround a body. When you had several of those aromatic bodies in the same area it could become quite unpleasant. An easy solution was for the people to carry a Tussie Mussie made of herbs. The herbs would help cover up the odor and make the air more pleasnat to breath. At least in a limited area. The Tussie Mussie made of herbs and a few strong smelling flowers would be held quite close to the nose so that the herbal smell helped mask the smell of unwashed bodies.
Not only were the people of that era contended with the aroma of unwashed bodies but also with the stench of the streets. In those days it was common to throw your garbage out in the street. As the weather become warmer and the garbage more plentiful the smell became downright stinky and impossible to ignore. A Tussie Mussie made of strong herbs went a long way to help a person breathe easier. Even then, when using herbs, people were still very careful what they used because of the meanings.
The Language of Herbs
allspice - compassion
balm - sympathy
basil - best wishes
bay leaf - I change but in death
chamomile - energy in adversity
cilantro - concealed merit
cedar - strength
cinnamon - love and beauty
cloves - dignity and restraint
coriander - hidden worth
cowslip - pensiveness
elder - zealous
fennel - flattery, force
garden sage - esteem
garlic - protection, strength
ginger - stupidity, folly
hops - mirth
hyssop - cleanliness
lavender - distrust
lemon balm - sympathy
marjoram - blushes
mint - suspicion
oregano - joy
parsley - useful knowledge
pennyroyal - flee away
peppermint - cordiality
rocket - rivalry
rosemary - remembrance
sage - gratitude, wisdom
sorrel - affection
southernwood - jest
spearmint - warmth of senitment
sweet basil - good wishes
thyme - activity, thriftiness
verbena - you have my confidence
The Scent of Herbs
allspice - combination of spices such as cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.
balm - fresh and citrusy, like lemon
basil - strong, pungent, sweet smell
bay leaf - warm, pungent, herbal slightly floral smell
chamomile - sweet aromatic scent
cilantro - strong with citrus overtones
cedar - crisp, tangy, woodsy
cinnamon - earthy, peppery, spicy
cloves - warm, acrid, aromatic
coriander - warm, nutty, spicy smell
cowslip - fresh, fragrent, anise scent
elder - pungent, insecticidal small
eucalyptus - fresh, woody, earthy, medicinal
fennel - sweet, aromatic, slightly spicy
garlic - sharp, spicy
ginger - warm, spicy, woody
hops - grassy, floral, spicy, earthy
hyssop - fresh, earthy, fruity, slightly sweet
lavender - sweet, floral, fresh, slightly fruity
lemon balm - lemony, fresh, herbal
marjoram - woody, herbal, medicinal
mint - sweet, frest aromatic, cool after taste
nutmeg - sweet, spicy, rich, woody
oregano - sharp, herbal
parsley - slightly woody, herbal
patchouli - earthy, rich, woody, very slight fruity
pennyroyal - pungent, warm, medicinal
peppermint - minty
rocket - rich, peppery
rosemary - sweet, medicinal, herbal
sage - camphorous, herbal, sweet
southernwood - strong camphor odor
spearmint - minty, slightly fruity
sweet basil - pungent, aromatic, spicy
thyme - medicinal, herbla, fresh
verbena - floral, slightly woody
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