Artisan Spotlight: Lady Batu Sechen Tsagaajin

Lady Batu Sechen Tsagaajin at Lyondemere Arts and Archery.

We are so fortunate to have so many talented artisans here in Caid, and Lady Sechen is definitely one of them. She has quite an impressive knowledge of the use of perfume and cosmetics in history, and is always willing to share. But beyond knowledge, she handcrafts scents specifically formulated to fit an individual. If you haven’t experienced her perfume skills, I highly encourage you to seek her out!

What is your SCA Name and Title? Lady Batu Sechen Tsagaajin

How long have you been in the SCA? 2.5 years

How did you find the SCA? I used to work at the PA Ren Faire back in 2001/02, and the folks who ran our fair were also SCA members.

What do you consider your primary art form/science? My primary science is perfumery and cosmetics.

What other art forms do you enjoy? Painting! Oils, acrylics, watercolors, and I also enjoy graphite pencils.

What project are you currently working on? Not an SCA project, but I have some Tiki-themed art that I need to have finished for display on March 24.

What do you enjoy about doing art/science? With perfumery and cosmetics, I enjoy, obviously, the scents; but I also enjoy the history of the scents and the uses for the different items that we take for granted. In Ancient Egypt and Persia, they used khol eyeliner–not for beautification purposes, but to help deflect the sun’s rays! We’re still trying to figure out why the Neanderthals used glitter makeup. We’re pretty sure they were just trying to be extra. 🙂

Based on an ancient Egyptian recipe recently discovered and translated, this tube contains… toothpaste!

What is your favorite project to date? My scent I entered in Queen’s Champion a year and a half ago: Scent of Caid.

How often do you work on your art/science? Right now, I’ve had to take a small hiatus due to life getting in the way of my hobby. But, when life isn’t being more abundant, I love working on my science at least once per week for a few hours at a time!

Who inspires you in the SCA? There are two: Faizeh al Zarqaa, and Tsyra. Both of these women exemplify beauty and grace and can instantly warm a room from their presence. They are who I wanna be when I grow up.

Where do you find inspiration to do your art/science? I simply look to nature for my inspiration. There are so many different scents that blend seamlessly together in the world–and we don’t even really notice til one is more overpowering! How do you create the scent of rain or of the ocean? I can tell you, it involves floral scents, of all things!

Is there anything else you would like to add? If you get a chance, flip through The Trotula. It’s fascinating to look at and see what remedies people used to help them feel better. It is also terrifying that anyone would consider Penny Royal oil as a cure for anything, let alone “women issues.” (If you don’t know, Penny Royal oil is an abortificant and used as a “natural” rat poison).

Despite the label reading “CHUTNEY,” this is actually Queen of Hungary water, steeping (14th Century recipe).

“A Sweet Bag to Smell Unto or to Cause One to Sleep” (15th century recipe). Shortened to just “Sweet Bags,” from my understanding and research, the crushed, dried herbs inside help to calm anxiety and panic attacks, and help relax the body to fall asleep. (This is not medical advice).

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