Some Botox here, some filler there: many young women (and young men) no longer recoil at the idea of being injected with poison (Botox is a muscle relaxant, and who knows what filler contains) in order to have the perfect ‘Instagram face’ – smooth skin, Bambi eyes, a small nose and full lips.

This obsession with appearance and its manipulation is not new, of course. As early as the Renaissance, women used all sorts of methods to ‘improve’ their looks,

including putting drops of my sap into their eyes to make their pupils larger, darker and glossier: the height of seductiveness amongst 16th-century influencers.

The fact that this poison could also cause blurred vision, and sometimes blindness, was simply accepted.

My official Latin name ‘Atropa belladonna’ is taken from this history. ‘Belladonna’ is Italian for ‘beautiful woman’,

and ‘atropa’ is the botanical name of the substance (atropine) with the pupil-enlarging property. Atropos was a Greek goddess who chose the manner of mortals’ death; her name meant ‘the implacable’.

Atropine is still used by ophthalmologists in order to get a better look inside the eye, although the amounts used for this are much smaller.