Lucrezia Borgia


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Lucrezia Borgia
Lucrezia has been painted in history as a poisoner and involved in incestuous relationships with both her father and brother. Considering the deadliness of Cesare Borgia and the fact that her father was also Pope Alexander VI, I suppose it’s unsurprising that she is remembered so badly.
The real Lucrezia was a different person altogether. Thought to be a great beauty with gray eyes and fair hair, Lucrezia was well educated and was able to converse and write in French, Italian, and Spanish.

Sadly, much of what we know about Lucrezia is most likely slander that was directed at her brothers and father. Even Niccolo Machiavelli repeated the charges of incest leveled at Lucrezia.
We do know that she was married three times, each time into a higher ranking family. She designed her own clothing and was thought to be incredibly fashionable – much to the chagrin of her sister in law, Isabella d’ Este who thought herself the most innovative and fashion-forward woman, if not in all of Italy, definitely in Ferrara.

Another patron of the arts, she was known to associate with writers and poets, even possibly carrying out an emotional affair with the poet Pietro Bembo.

She was a shrewd businesswoman building hospitals and convents, investing in marshy land that had drained and built up for agriculture.

While the d’ Estes may not have been impressed with her, her subjects most definitely loved her.

For Lucrezia, I chose clementine, red mandarin, Italian lemon, ambergris, vanilla, patchouli and orange blossom on a resinous bed of labdanum.

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