The mask is the most characteristic element of a Plague Doctor. It was imperative to avoid breathing the Bad Air and being infected by the Black Death. It was entirely made of leather, except for the eyepieces which were made of glass; although waxed cloth masks were used in some regions due to poor economy.
In the area of the nose, the mask had a triangular cavity similar to the shape of a bird’s beak. The beak was fitted with leather straps, just like the mask itself. This cavity had two small breathing holes, and to filter the air was put in the cavity different aromatic herbs, dried flowers, spices, drugs, vinegar sponge, or anything that filtered the Bad Air and prevented to smell the sick. These aromatic products were also impregnated throughout the costume, the robe and the trousers. Some of the aromatic substances were ambergris, mint leaves, liquidambar orientalis, myrrh, laudanum, rose petals, camphor and clove.
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