Fragrance In Antiquity
Around 5000 years ago the ancient Mesopotamians and Egyptians first developed beautiful essences, resins and aromatic oils using many ingredients that are still prized in perfumery today. From frankincense, myrrh, cedar, almond oils, rose oils and more, the ancients created scented medicines, remedies, cosmetics and incense for all to use.
The word “perfume” derives from the Latin “per fumum” (through smoke). This is because the Ancient Egyptians burnt perfumed resins as offerings to their gods.
Production and fascination with fragrance swept all over the ancient world – from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Persia, inspiring the Greeks and Romans along the way – each ancient culture creating aromatic blends and ointments and floral waters with exotic ingredients for exquisitely scented blends.
The ancient art of perfumery in antiquity was so sophisticated that archaeologists have even discovered perfectly intact scented oils in several tombs, including that of Tutankhamen.
Roman Glass Perfume Bottles from our archives, c. 2000 years old
What Is Antiquity?
‘Antiquity’ is the ancient past – the period of classical civilisations before the Middle Ages.
Ancienne Ambiance maintains a provenance registry of all ancient pieces featured in jewellery collections and exclusively sources ancient artefacts from sister gallery Artemission.com.
Leading specialists in authentic ancient art, jewellery and antiquities for five generations, Artemission’s clients include private collectors throughout the world as well as galleries and museums.
How to Apply and Wear Perfume Like a Pro
PULSE POINTS: Apply fragrance liberally to pulse points, just like Cleopatra did – such as inside wrist, inside elbow, behind the ears, base of the neck and behind the knee. This allows the fragrance to react with your body heat so that the scent can be emitted continuously.
NO RUBBING WRISTS: Avoid rubbing the wrists together after perfume application as this will cause the molecules to breakdown and fragrance to fade.
MOISTURISE: Keeping skin moisturised helps fragrance to last longer – it acts like a primer. Try our award-winning Goddess Oil; “As a base for fragrance, it is incredible….you’ll find that it acts as a wonderful support but it always allows your chosen scent to dominate” – StephanMatthews.com
FRAGRANT HAIR: Spray perfume on your hairbrush before brushing to add a fragrant mist to your locks.
SPRITZ AWAY: Spray onto your clothes and especially a scarf – a light spritz provides just the right hint of fragrance to enjoy.
STORAGE: Heat, humidity and light affect the quality of fragrances, especially over time. Make sure to store all perfumes in a cool, dry place and away from windows with direct sunlight.
PERFUME LAYERING: Read our expert guide to Perfume Layering at this link.