(redirected from philtres)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

A magic potion. Philtres were often, though not always, used for love or sexual purposes. Supposedly, when drunk, the philtre would cause the recipient to fall madly in love with the first person he or she saw. As described in literature of the Middle Ages, many were made up of obnoxious ingredients and administered in strong wine, to disguise their foul taste. Mandrake root was a common ingredient, as were vervain, briony, human or animal blood, and the red gum known as dragon's blood.

As Rosemary Guiley points out, in Wicca the forcing of love upon another is forbidden—one must never interfere with another's free will—so today philtres would only be used to enhance love that already exists.

References in periodicals archive ?
The plant, with a sap imagined as the colour of Eros, is native to West Africa and was the source of a philtre to restore lost love.
Author Karen Harrison applies her expertise in the field to this materia magica of more than 150 herbs as well as recipes for incense, oils, bath salts, herbal amulets, and philtres.
They accuse Barbe of being a witch, and of killing the baby in order to use its body parts for magic philtres and potions.
Il ne fallait qu'un rien vraiment pour de nos filtres faire des philtres.
20-27) </pre> <p>Puissent les philtres de l'amour, lascive Cleopatre, emmieller ta levre fanee.
12) Lors de l'apparition du beau Montes chez sa jeune maitresse Valerie, Hulot, longtemps epargne par la jalousie, decouvre ce sentiment : << en sa qualite de bel homme, le Conseiller d'Etat n'avait jamais connu la jalousie >> (232), et en subit lui aussi les manifestations physiques : << Les philtres et les vertiges que verse a torrents ce sentiment fou venaient de couler dans son coeur en un instant)) (231).
Scott looked to the past for inspiration, finding delight in "nothing [that] is but what has been," administering "charms and philtres to our love of Legitimacy, mak[ing] us conceive a horror of all reform, civil, political, or religious, and would fain put down the Spirit of the Age" (66).