Perfumery and Aromatherapy – How Do They Relate?

Gorgeous perfume bottles

Gorgeous perfume bottles

Once, a long, long time ago, in a land far, far away these two things were the same. That is, the raw ingredients used for scenting were all natural and were the same things used for healing and well-being. Mother earth provided plants, herbs and flowers to be used by really smart people to create medicines, scents and incense for rituals.

Tapputi-Belatekallim, according to Wikipedia –

“is considered to be the world’s first chemist, a perfume-maker mentioned in a cuneiform tablet from the second millennium BC in Babylonian Mesopotamia.  She used flowers, oil, and calamus along with cyperus, myrrh, and balsam. She added water then distilled and filtered several times. This is also the oldest referenced still.”

This image appears in relation to Taputi - you can see references to a still

This image appears in relation to Taputi – you can see references to a still

Awesome! The oldest reference to pharmacy is credited to a woman. Of course! Recently ancient perfumes have been discovered in Cyprus that have been carbon dated back 4000 years. In these samples scientists found botanicals such as herbs and spices, bergamot, almond and conifer resins. That’s interesting, and for further reading on these resins see my article “Amber – A Complicated Story”.

The old almond - it's still around so it must be good

The old almond – it’s still around so it must be good

So anyway you get the drift. Perfume and medicine originally came from natural sources.

Now jump to 2013 where large pharmaceutical companies run the world. Companies like Monsanto and others create toxic chemicals daily that find their way into our food sources, water and the air we breathe. We have lost touch with the planet and as technology increases faster then the evolution of our souls, we have stuffed up the balance of our little place in the giant cosmos.

Modern perfumery began around the beginning of the 19th century when technology allowed chemists to synthesize aromatic compounds. The rest is history. Click on this link to discover (as an example) the toxicity of Calvin Klein Eternity for Women. This website,  Environmental Workers Group/Skin Deep  is a great database you can use to check out the ingredients of lots of skincare and fragrance items. To be fair essential oils also appear in this database but are mostly listed as safe.

absolutely stunning lavender fields via reddit.com

absolutely stunning lavender fields via reddit.com

Perfumes may also contains parts of essential oils that have been synthesized, like limonene, and many other constituents of oils. But with essential oils, we are using the whole oil, not fractions of it. Granted essential oils are a specific part of the plant that has been distilled rather than the whole plant, but we are on the right track when we are asking nature to support our growth. We in turn must support the planet and live in harmony with the earth.

Essential oils have an energetic resonance. They contain fundamental patterns of nature.

Perfume is created in a lab. It does not contain any part of nature.

64 tetrahedron grid - a building block of the universe

64 tetrahedron grid – a building block of the universe

Essential oils have information embedded within the molecules. We can use this information for healing.

Perfume is fragrance, nothing more.

The choice is yours. Always.

Perhaps you can ask yourself how you can you can support the movement back to nature. Thank you.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

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