Gli Ornamente Delle Donna Translation



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On the Ornaments of Women

Written by

M. Giovanni Marinello


(an amateur English translation by Donna Heodez Sofonisba de Talento Minotto, CW, APF, CSO—aka Courtney Hess-Dragovich)

Divided into four books

with two tables, one of the chapters, and the other of some special things

A work necessary for every kind & helpful person.

published with privilege in Venetia (Venice)
by John Valgrifio, 1574


To All Young Women:

Much care and attention has produced a new catalog which I feel has never appeared in our language before.  It has been dedicated to your lordships (ladyships), which shall please you greatly. Reader, every time you open these books (of secrets), it is not my desire; for others have ill knowledge of the subject & the knowledge of my little book is a high enterprise.  Not in any time past has anyone had the audacity to ridicule and shame (users of cosmetics), though I have agreed to talk about it if you do not give up ornaments & well, all the days of my youth were spent in other studies, but with no contentment of  my soul.   I wrote the copy of the words in our language with some leaders, that in this way my audience were made aware ​​in such manner & were made to remember what is being bought and sold in such quantity.

Waters & Spirits Odorous, Folio 5

A dram & a half of finely chopped moss might be used as a sponge to absorb two pounds of rose water into a glass jar.  This liquid when stored in glass jar well covered, is convenient for any ornamented garment . But it is no less lovely & grateful to the  senses as on the person , as it is used on clothes .

In a small glass vessel put ten or twenty grains of musk, & a little civet , & Amber , after this a pint of rosewater & Put on the fire , heating the water so it is well covered and not letting it become cold all day.  You may use this perfumigant to scent all manner of clothes in your wardtobe, taking care to keep it tightly closed until the cloth is finely scented..

Put some rosewater & musk in some small brass vase & add a little civet , (garam?) & styrax .  Mix and heat with the fire , and the vapors will be released to make a wonderful smell , to which may be added cloths which can be stored in a tight vessel so you may have them to scent clothes.  But I have also heard of another method for making scented waters in this way..



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In some small brass vase (i.e., an incense burner) add musk, a little civet, garofoli, aloe wood, & styrax.  When this mixture is burned it shall release vapors and a wonderful smell, which bears conserving (keeping) locked up (in a clothes press) with diligence, as you want to give perfume to drapes (or rooms, hangings, clothes, etc.),. But in addition to the things mentioned gratefully by me I shall reveal another miraculous secret, which it contains a rare way of composing water, in addition, to any other perfumigates.


Pumpkin Water for the Face, folio 255

…Similarly, cut a pumpkin into four parts, or more according to the head of the vase, & sprinkle over the pumpkin pieces as much rosewater as you like, & within eight days the sun will make you a fine water for white, soft skin.

(part of a section on wind, i.e.flatulence and burps.  I think this is a pesto sauce which helps prevent it) folio 297

You can also take equal amounts of Calamento (olives), penny royal, oregano, caraway (seeds), cumin, flour, pine nuts, flaxseed, greek oil; incorporate, mix together & use it.


Ways that you may carefully remove the smell of armpits & things to induce you to smell good

In the present work, not only to you, Women,  is this convenient but to men also; one thing I find that deprives men of pleasant company, both from others & oneself is the putrefication of the breath from the mouth, nose, & the armpits, or other part of the person due to sweat or corrupt humors.  These are remedies against them.

Take myrtle leaves in white wine & cook gently, and when reduced a third part, discard the leaves.  This is good not only for underarms, but for the whole person.


A dash of alum (pickling alum), zucchini,or  any other squash rejects sweat marvelously, but to alieviate the smell of armpits, feet, hands, & the whole person use the following water.

Take two pounds of rose water, an ounce of white lead, four drams of salt, one of azisi; & two of coriander, sedge (Carex, & one of benzoin. Pound these things all together, boiling a little, then cool.  Bathe whatever areas have the stench & you may then delight in the soft fragrance.

In this remedy we describe crayons (pessaries) useful to what we mentioned above; dilute white lead with rose water in which is also dissolved camphor. Make it into pastels, then cover them with leaves of roses & let dry in the shade; dissolve them each in rose water when ready to use..

If you wash your armpits frequently in wine in which is boiled nutmeg, mace or, if you desire, grains of musk, you will stop the smell, releasing a grateful spirit.

And, when the stench procedes from corrupted humors; apply an excellently done purgative to the body from those which aid digestion, wind, or even stomachache.


The doctors write that any time the smell, which makes the body foul, is the symptom of corrupted humors and must be corrected, both inside and out.  What is being corrupted from the inside out; shows (up) in urine, sweat, stool, & the breath that comes from the mouth & nose.


And therefore we read, that the smell of the body gets corrupted for the putrefaction of dead matter?). which often leads to sweat after strenuous motions, which balance the humors.   When the humors get hot, they heat unnaturally & putrefy the natural state of the body, which helps man by ridding him of toxins and bad natures from the body.

There are some things, which taken by mouth, make it smell better, like Fenugreek & others like it that have rare virtue in balancing the humors of the body.


Apparently the blood in some smells more than others, not because the blood itself is foul, but because they generate a lot of superfluious fluids, & therefore sweat a lot.

And you know that the body suffers stench throughout when digenstion is poor & therefore you may stop it (the stench) like this.


Table of Some Things Detailed Above


Strong vinegar with combined with dung cures freckles 213
Vinegar with alum stops the teeth (rotting?) … 172
Simple water which makes the face white… 246
Water, which makes the face white, vermilion, & removes all stains (from the face?)  273
Waters, which makes the face white & red 264-265
Water, which makes the face white, breaks down the freckles, & makes the skin soft &               beautiful 238
Water, which makes the face white, & destroys all stains … 246
Water, which makes the skin white, tender, soft, & clear 248


Water, which make the skin white, smooth, firm, soft, & banishes spots 252
Water that keeps the hair soft & abundant … 40
Water that makes blonde hair … 70
Water that makes hair soft & pliant … 78
Water which retains hair … 56
Water, which makes hair grow profusely … 58
Distilled water, which makes hair long, soft, & delicately scented… 61
Distilled water that makes hair long, blonde, & smells wonderful and prevents hair loss … 63
Distilled water that makes black hair … 80
Waters that makes hair grow in copious amounts … 51
Water that makes wine color in the flesh … 21
Water that heals sunburn … 190
Water which make skin soft, white, & red 270
Water which is for very white teeth … 176
Water for firm teeth & gums … 173
Water for the tears of the eyes … 126
Water to treat freckles 214

Water to destroy freckles permently 214
Water that smoothes the skin, removes every stain & age spot 239
Waters to take away all stains … 212
Water that quenches the stains of the face & the eyes, makes them clear, & youthful…147
Water to heal abcesses 226
Water for soft, white skin… 251%
Water to restore an aging complexion… 33
Scented water… 5
Water for a white & clear skin … 246
Water to maintain the hair 3
Water that destroys warts, calluses, freckles & every other spot so it never comes back… 303
Water that heals puffy eyelids & oftentimes, stops the tears, & clears the vision…104
Water for aging, tired skin 258
Scented water which is easy to manage… 12
Water for the pains and cramps of the stomach … 33
Water for the children’s worms … 33
Tincture that makes your face white as snow 22

Water for a face as white as milk 248
Saltwater treatment for bruises and dead skin… 194
Water to make the hair long & red … 61
A perfect water 8
Scented water that cures mange (scabs?) 13
Egg wash for the face 248
Pretty water to destroy blemishes… 211
Water, that sends away blemishes 211
Sulfur-water to makes ugly teeth whiter … 176
Water & dung combined to cure freckles 215
Tartar-water for the face … 236
A virtuious water… 195
Pumpkin-water for a white face … 255
For (frown?) or worry lines 8
A lightener for the body … 223
Garlic pesto which heals the pain & itch of sunburn.. 188 .
Ointment for beautiful flesh … 237
For a comforting sleep … 27
For healthy & comfortable digestion…2…
Scented water to restore lost or depressed spirits… 80
To restore spirits & good cheer … 80?
To banish angry humours & warm the body 26
To heal bee stings with leeks… 302
Using bees to heal ringworm, blemishes & fissures … 187
Water to restore lost appetite in the aged …… 14
To heal an ulcer well… 15
To heal ulcer caused by childbirth… 14-15
Aristole’s powder for your teeth,  which carefully protects the gums from putrefication and heals them… 179
For bleeding ulcers of the gums… 167
Armpits (which do not smell?) 297
To heal asthma…23

Conditioning water to renew the appearance 24
To care for roughness, calluses, & scales of the face 197
Ointment to banish ugliness.. 307

Laurel berry bath to erase tears (stains) … 127
The usefulness of bathing 2
Bathing ought not to be done after a meal 2
Baths, how you should do it 2
A wash to make the hair longer 60-61
Lavender bath ?
Bath to make the hair blonde 72
Bath that makes hair grow profusely … 58
Bath that makes the skin soft 26
Bath that makes the skin perfectly clear 2
Bath temperature 3
Scented bathes 2
Bathing after a large meal 27

Bath for bodies which are too fat…27
Bath for beautiful hands 312
Bath for bodies which are too thin … 34
Bath that leaves the hair radiant 5
Bath that fortifies the body and restores appetite 31
Bath that removes foot odor…337
The virtues of bathing …2
Making of balms and unguents… 22
Shaving the beard … 45

On healthy beards… 43
A pollice … 45
To remove hair from the face … 100
How to make the beard black … 81
Facial hair removed … 63
Freshen the mouth … 194
Preserving beauty 175, 277
Drink that makes you fat 28
Drink that makes you lean with a pale complexion…28
Beverage to consume the passions 286
Potion that makes sterile women fruitful 29-30
How to make each part of the body white 238
Making your face white & red 262
For an attractive white face … 155
Chard scrub for runny eyes… 148
Chard juice for itching eyes … 193
The different ways in which Venetian women bleach their hair blonde 74-75
Qualities which a lovely mouth should have … 160
The qualities of beautiful arms 300
Bryony & water distillation to make the cheeks red 261
Ointment to repair wrinkles 339

Ways to treat wrinkles… 339
Repairing wrinkles… 339
How to prevent wrinkles 339
To reduce the puffy redness of the eyes and treat wrinkles ​​… 133

For blemishes and bruise on the forehead… 222
Remove calluses with this ointment 197
For corns on the feet 340
How to remove calluses, scales & roughness of the face or body 197
For restful sleep… 27
A water to restore natural color… 14
A treatment for beautiful hair… 43
Steam treatment for the face… 25
A water treatment for cankers … 20
To treat warts on the head… 45
Qualities that the hair of a beautiful woman should have… 35
To turn the hair white (blonde?)… 82
To retain the hair’s blonde? color… 83


Ways to dye the hair without hurting the scalp… 84
To make hair blonde … 69
Hair golden like rows of wheat… 52
For thick, long blonde hair… 69-70

Water for soft, abundant blonde hair … 41
To preserve thinning hair … 36
To regrow hair that has fallen out due to fire or other accident… 45
For abdundant hair… 46
By which means the hair is made abundant … 57
To make kinky, curly hair… 66
For limp, lank hair… 56-57
The means by which curly hair becomes more relaxed 67-68
Remedies to cure yourself of damaged hair 56-57
Limp hair care… 45
The ugliness of hair damaged by the sun, … 189
Make your teeth white with burned hair … 179
For longer hair… 60
For fragrant, long, blonde hair which does not fall out… 63

Make hair, long,  abundant, soft & blonde in this way 218-219
Delicately scented distillation to make the hair long & soft … 61
To make the hair long and beautifully scented… 63
To remove hair with ashes… 42
Hair as the Africans do… 75
Hair care as the Africans do … 44
For black & frizzy hair… 76-77
For black hair that does not harm the scalp… 77-78
Things to do with nets for the hair… 87
To remove hair without pain … 96
To regrow hair … 42
Water to regrow hair 16
Steps to regrow hair … 44
Ways to remove the hair permently… 52
Some ways to make the hair thin & sparse… 56
Decrease the hair (you) comb (out) … 59
To make the hair red or reddish… 75



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