The once cherished Queen of France, known for allegedly uttering the words “let them eat cake”, was also known for her impeccable fashion sense and her incredible hairstyles, that towered up to three feet in the form of blonde sculptures such as ships and birdcages. Had her expensive taste not been so addicting and troublesome, Marie Antoinette’s story and untimely end may have been far happier.
Marie Antoinette’s hairstyles were truly works of art – usually had a theme based around upcoming events, actually including some kind of object or ornament placed in her hair to represent the event. She referred to her hairdresser, Leonard, as her “Minister of Fashion”. It was rumored that the queen shampooed her hair with a mixture of white wine vinegar, eggs, and rum – and like many women in the 18th century, she used pomade to mold the hair and hold it in place. Since these hairstyles were so elaborate, women would maintain them for several days, this is where we get the term “rats nest”, due the fact that pomade is made out of beef lard and bear grease – it would literally attract rodents.