Casanova

 

The age of enlightenment had its shooting stars, such as Casanova, a Venetian adventurer who became one of the most elegant and refined men of his time. He was also a great thinker, a remarkable writer who was made known by his famous “Memoirs”. Of course, he is also known as a great seducer and a man gifted for all the pleasures of life, including perfumes.

 

His first childhood memory is an olfactory one: he accompanied his mother to visit a “witch” in Murano (near Venice) who massaged his temples and his neck with “an ointment which gave off a sensual scent”, just after having burnt some medicine in a burner and having wrapped Casanova in a perfumed sheet.

 

When he was 14 years of age, he was an apprentice abbot (the Pope himself freed him from his vows): his priest punished him for “his curly hair and the delicate scent of his ointment (perfume)”. To which Casanova retorted that many Venetian Abbots “use ambergris ointments that make women faint, whereas mine smells of jasmine which brings compliments from all.” To this he added, “If I had wanted to live in filth I would have become a monk and not an Abbot!”