If you are willing to wade through some SCA stuff, there is a long
discussion on the medieval aspects of rose petal beads and recipes on the
Rialto archives. I believe it was so long it had its own topic in the
archive. As I remember, there were several references during the intitial
discussions in which it was asked if the beads were medieval or a later
invention. Perhaps you can find a book list or article references.
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