Life in Tudor England could be a bit whiffy. Just think–no flushing toilets, no hot running water. People didn’t wash themselves or their clothes nearly as often as we do now, so things could get a little smelly. Rich Tudors had a cunning plan though–they used to carry round sweet smelling herbs, spices and pomanders to sniff at when things got bad.
Here we have tried to recreate some Tudor pomander beads. They were made with dried herbs and spices bound together with gums and resins to make a hard bead that could be put inside lockets or pomanders and carried around.
Here is our easy version:
Tudor Pomander Beads
You will need:
- 2 tbsp dried lavender
- 4tbs dried rose petals
- 2tbs ground cinnamon
- 2tbs cloves
- 4tbsp PVA glue
- a few drops of rose or lavender oil (optional)
- a mortar and pestle
First put the cloves into the mortar and grind them until they become a rough powder (if you don’t have a mortar and pestle you could put the cloves into a plastic bag and give them a bash with a rolling pin instead.)
Pour into a bowl and add the other ingredients.
Mix together then roll into small balls with your hands. The mixture will be very sticky but don’t worry–they will be perfect when dry.
Leave the balls to dry over night.
The beads are now ready. They should smell pretty good–what do you think? We made ours into a pomander by wrapping it in some gold braid. It can then be worn round your neck or attached to your belt and sniffed if ever you happen to be passing something disgusting (like your brothers smelly socks).