Catalan Review

ON THE SCENT OF MARY: THE POWER OF PERFUME IN THE ESPILL

Catalan Review (2006), 20, (1), 337–347.

Abstract

This article examines Roig’s use of perfumed items as a way of typifying the Virgin’s immaculate nature. It examines how perfumes were embedded in early conception liturgies, particularly Leonardo de Nogarola’s office, written with papal approval in the late 1470s. Perfumes were used for a variety of reasons, such as in religious ceremonies, to embalm, and to adorn the bride for her nuptials. These uses are examined and their application to the nature of the Virgin determined. Finally, the uses of perfumes in Roig’s household, for medical and household purposes, are described. The essay concludes that Roig may have been surrounded by the very perfumes he incorporates into his Espill, even as he wrote it.

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Author details

Twomey, Lesley