THE AROMA OF THE KALMUS
The recognizable and sweet scent of the Kalmus flower contributed to the fact that gloves from Randers have been in demand for centuries - also internationally.
FROM MEDICINE TO GLOVES
Calamus, Acorus calamus, has its origins in India and was spread in Europe by orders of monks who, when founding monasteries, planted medicinal herbs. The root from the Kalmus plant functioned as a medicine to combat e.g. heart and stomach ailments. Kalmus thrives in wetlands, and the Gudenåen was therefore perfect for cultivating Kalmus.
The Kalmus flower was planted on the banks of Gudenåen in Randers by French Franciscan monks, who founded Gråbrødre Monestary in Randers in 1236 - hence the street names Gråbrødrestræde and Brødregade. Here, tanners from the city's rapidly growing glove-making trade discovered the plant's wonderful effect. It not only neutralized the foul odour caused by tanning but left the most beautiful aroma in the hides.
The tanners sewed the glove skins together as bags, filled them with willow bark, squid roots and water, and placed them in a bark solution in the tanning vat. The skins lay in this for a few months and were turned weekly.
THE SIGNATURE SCENT
The Kalmus flower has a unique aroma with a touch of citrus and cinnamon reminiscent of Eau de Cologne.
The aroma in gloves from Randers was so characteristic that other glove makers bought gloves from Randers and placed them between their own. This in the hope of transferring the familiar scent to their own gloves.
It was this distinctive scent, along with the gloves' irresistible softness, that led Europe's royalty to specifically request gloves from Randers via letters to the Danish royal house.
KALMUS BRAND SIGNATURE
The Kalmus flower now adorns all RHANDERS' products as a testament to part of the cultural heritage and history that the brand represents. The Kalmus jewellery is either plated with 14-karat gold or created from the semi-precious stone hematite. The choice of material is rooted in the beneficial properties of the flower: gold is known to enhance positive emotions linked to the chakra. Hematite represents grounding and has a balancing effect.
RHANDERS IN HISTORY
The monasteries revolutionized several areas of the Danes' daily life, as the monasteries' network in Europe meant an unprecedented exchange of knowledge, e.g. in agriculture and disease treatment.
Before the monasteries existed in Denmark, only "wise" women and men could treat the sick, but with the monasteries' gardens with herbs for use in medicine and literature about disease, the treatment of diseases in the surrounding areas of the monastery improved significantly.
During the Reformation in Denmark in 1536, all Danish monasteries were closed down, but there are still traces of the monks' and nuns' herb and medicinal gardens. And in Randers today there is still Kalmus plants in Gudenåen.