HISTORY OF PERFUMES
The 1st century ad was a time of accelerated development of
aromatherapy's source sciences. Aromatics was one of five sections covered in
Dioscorides' famous Herbal. The first written description of a still in the
Western world is of one invented by Maria Prophetissima and described in The
Gold-Making of Cleopatra, an Alexandrian text from around the first century.
(Her design was used initially to distill essential oils, but also proved useful
for alcoholic beverages.) Gnostic Christians from the 1st to the 4th century
ad, whose beliefs were deeply rooted in Egyptian philosophy, held fragrance
in high regard. Seeking release from the limitations of the material world,
they embraced the symbology of essential oils, which represented the soul of
The History of Perfume section will give the perfume lover a look at the rich traditions of perfume making and the use of cosmetics in several historical eras. Making perfume was an art, not a chemical science, and perfumes remained exclusively natural until the 19th century. We explore natural cosmetic and perfumery materials and the changing concept of beauty from ancient Egypt to the French royal court, the home of the AL-ABID PERFUMES symbol.
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