Do you remember “Sex and the City” episode, in which Carrie considers buying a pair of expensive shoes, knowing fully well that she has no money and that her credit card might be completely maxed out? According to the renowned traveler Ibn Battuta, women in the 13th century Arabia were prone to similar actions. Whatever the price of beauty might be, some were willing to pay it!
“The Meccans are very elegant and clean in their dress, and most of them wear white garments, which you always see fresh and snowy. They use a great deal of perfume and kohl… The Meccan women are extraordinarily beautiful and very pious and modest. They too make great use of perfumes to such a degree that they will spend the night hungry in order to buy perfumes with the price of their food… When one of these women goes away the odour of the perfume clings to the place after she has gone” (Gibb 1929, 76.)
Photography of henna by VeraKL