History and perfum, Can they both be controlled by a woman?
As Fragrance Editor for BellaOnline, I have an opportunity to experience the aromas of a lot of perfumes. It also allows me go in and out of stores and smell new introductions to the market. It also allows me to play with my essential oils and create some great and not so great blends.
As I prepared for this weeks article, I was taken back to what we know or have learned was the beginning of perfumes and how they were used.
Before the Egyptians, many believe that the first to discover perfume were the inhabitants of Atlantis. It seems that all records went down with Atlantis when it sank. It's also believed by some, that the Priest of Egypt were survivors of Atlantis and therefore they brought their knowledge to Egypt.
The hieroglyphics of the Ancient Egyptians are actually the first written records of perfume and how it was used.
How Did The Ancient Egyptians Use Perfume?
The Ancient Egyptians had three distinct purposes for using perfume. They used them as offerings for their deities, for aesthetic purposes and to embalm their dead.
Extremely religious, they celebrated at great length the birthdays of their Gods and Goddesses. Isis, without doubt, was their favorite Goddess. For them, she was the Goddess of fertility and the Goddess of harvest and was often referred to as the Goddess of Plenty.
The Priest controlled the world of perfume in Ancient Egypt, so the perfume industry as we know it today began with the Priest of Ancient Egypt. They were able to create perfumes that would remove odors as well as emblem and preserve the bodies of the dead. No Egyptian King could be crowned without being anointed with perfume oils applied by the Priest.
What Queen of Egypt Shared a Deep Love of Perfume?
Without doubt we've heard the stories of Cleopatra and her ability to use perfume. The Priest might have controlled the rest of Egypt with its perfumes, but with the magical enchantment of her own perfumes, Cleopatra captured the hearts of two famous men.
Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony were her most dramatic conquest. History tells us that Cleopatra's brother, who was also her husband, had turned against her. He sent for Caesar and Caesar wanting to add Egypt to his realm accepted the invitation.
Cleopatra having gone into hiding also wanted to meet Caesar in order to control Egypt. Smuggled in by boat, she approached the city by sea. In true style of a woman, she applied fresh makeup and anointed herself entirely with perfumes, her pride and joy.
She instructed her Greek companion to tie her up as though she were a bale of merchandise. He flung her over his shoulder and entered into the royal palace without attracting attention. Her companion was conducted directly to Caesar and dropping his load (Cleopatra) in front of him, he loosened the bonds and unrolled the coverings and to the amazement of the crowd, the Queen of Egypt sprang to her feet.
Every detail was planned to impress Caesar's mind and fire his imagination. Her great beauty, her charming and delightful manner were all impressive to Caesar. But it was her overpowering perfume that she had applied that took Caesar off his feet.
Cleopatra understood how to use perfumes to gain her favor with men.
Mark Anthony was captured by the same spell of scent. He sent for Cleopatra and she decided to go by boat. Keep him waiting, don't rush was the thinking. But as she arrived on the banks of Cydnus, the scent of precious perfumes announced her presence.
History shows us the power of perfume, so much so, until when used by a woman, it can topple and/or control kingdoms.
Life Never Smelled So Sweet!