What is a dry hygiene? Imagine a naked sheep-nomad sitting outside of his yurt with a bone scraper. What is he up to? He is scraping the old mutton grease which has been protecting his skin against the parasites and applying a fresh layer of it afterwards. He is practicing what we should call a dry hygiene. At Versailles, it was something like that. Water? I suppose when they got a hold of a microscope, they could not believe their eyes. Bathing in that liquid swarming with various life forms didn’t seem like a good idea.
I am not saying that the early science was wrong, it’s just their microscope was not strong enough. So the dry hygiene consisted in brushing hair for hours, which was the only way to remove the grease, and in changing clothes eight times a day. Perfume! Perfume was a good idea, but not just any perfume, for Louis XIV had a very discriminate taste, and none of that old stuff, try something fresher, something better!