A Black Leather.bird mask. Why is it scary? It certainly looks creepy, and not without reason. During the Black Plague, Italian doctors wore these to keep from inhaling airborne contaminants. Bubonic plague had a sister virus called pneumonic plague, which was airborne, and therefore twice as deadly. In those days they didn't know viruses worked, but they understood contagion!
Plague doctors in the and century wore these creepy masks to avoid breathing in putrid air, which they believed would cause infection. The beaks were filled with perfume. Popular scents were balm mint leaves, ambergris, cloves, camphor, myrrh, and rose.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, some doctors wore a beak-like mask which was filled with aromatic items. The masks were designed to protect them from putrid air, which (according to the miasmatic theory of disease) was seen as the cause of infection. Being a plague doctor was unpleasant, dangerous and difficult. Their chances of survival in times of a plague epidemic were low.