Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Two famous Italian singers with red hair

Recently I've found out that two of the most famous Italian singers, Francesco De Gregori and Fiorella Mannoia, share not only their hair colour, but also the date of birth (4th April) and the place of birth (Rome).

Francesco De Gregori (1951) is a singer-songwriter, known as "the prince of the singer-songwriters". He started his carreer at the end of the 60s and is still working. His hair is now white and as an adult it got brownish, but there are several reports of it being red. He also wrote a song (probably autobiographical), titled Il ragazzo, about a red-haired boy.

"Uno spilungone di 24 anni, con la barba e i capelli rossi..." (A 24-year-old beanpole, with a red beard and red hair...)

"Uno di questi era un ragazzo della mia stessa identica età, molto alto, molto magro, i capelli molto rossi, l’aria un po’ timida." (One of these was a boy of my age, very tall, very thin, with very red hair and a little shy).

"Occhialuto e ben nascosto dietro delle spesse lenti nere, barba, capelli rossi, alto e bello." (Bespectacled and well hidden behind thick black glasses, bearded, red hair, tall and handsome).

Here's the video of his song Titanic.

Fiorella Mannoia (1954) too started her carreer at the end of the 60s. She looks very Irish and even wrote a song about Ireland, Il cielo d'Irlanda, which you can see below.

And here's a song, La storia, with Mannoia and De Gregori together.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Do red-haired women really smell of ambergris?

If you check on the internet, you'll find lots of articles (in several different languages) stating that, in the French essay Le parfum de la femme et le sens olfactif dans l'amour, étude psycho-physiologique (1889), by Augustin Galopin, the author states that red-haired women naturally smell of ambergris.


You can find the same statement in the recently-published Italian book Breve storia dei capelli rossi, by Giorgio Podestà (page 66), which is, for the most part, based on information found online.

Is it true? Since the French book is freely available on the internet, we can read it. Here you go.

On pages 139)140 Galopin writes "Pure blondes and ash blondes have this delicious smell of amber." And then adds that brown-haired women too smell of amber, and brown-haired women with very pale skin also smell of violets (please not that the French "châtain" means brown or chestnut-brown, so it's a bit different from the English "chestnut", which refers to a more reddish-brown shade).

So, where does the "red-haired women smell of ambergris" come from? I have no idea, but after all this is not the only "fake news" about redheads we find on the internet or even in books.