The history of saffron stretches all the way back to the late Bronze Age and back then it had numerous uses just as it does today. Saffron consists of the dried stigmas of the crocus flower and was used in the Middle East as a spice, dye and as perfume.
In ancient Rome, Romans used saffron to perfume their baths. In the Henry VIII’s court, women used saffron to color their hair until the king forbade it. The prohibition on saffron-colored hair was due to the king’s fear that a shortage would keep the spice from reaching his table. Saffron was so prized that in 15th century Germany, merchants who adulterated it were burned at the stake.