My basket

__________________________________________________
THE STORY OF PERFUME FROM ANTIQUITY TO CURRENT DAY

BLOWN AND MOULDED GLASS BALSAM JAR, SYRIA,
3 AD, FRAGONARD COLLECTION.


Rome: from austerity to an orgy of the senses


In just over a thousand years, Rome grew from a small farming village to the undisputed capital of the world. As Rome’s power and influence grew, its morals also changed radically. Although the Republic managed to maintain a certain austerity for many years, it eventually yielded to the pomp and splendour of the Empire and, in particular, to oriental refinement and perfumes.

The public baths attracted many Romans and body care was popular among all of the wealthier classes of Ancient Rome. Scents, interior perfumes, oils and various balms for skin and hair, together with spicy aromas from refined dishes, were at the core of everyday life in Roman high society. This profusion of fragrance caused moralists at the time to condemn the excessive use of perfume.


Perfume in the great monotheistic faiths


With Constantine’s adoption of Christianity in 4 AD, the immoderate use of perfume, associated with Eastern religions such as the cult of Isis, began to dwindle. When the Roman Empire collapsed, the Catholic Church remained the only organised power confronting the Barbarians and the use of perfume was restricted for many years.

Jewish religion and culture developed under both Eastern and Egyptian influences. It is therefore hardly surprising that, once more, perfume was primarily used for sacred rituals. Early Jewish texts exemplify the predominance of religion in the use of perfumes and incense. For Muslims, perfume played a central role in all religious ceremonies, and the Koran specified which products to use and which rituals to follow for every circumstance. Secular use was also widespread and Arab scientists contributed their knowledge to perfumery with the development of the first tin-plated copper still (the previous stills were made of glass), associated with a glass cooling coil. As trade with the rest of the civilised world spread rapidly, so did their skills in alchemy.

DECORATED MOLTEN GLASS ARYBALLOS, DAR ES SAFI NECROPOLIS,
6 TO 5 BC, FRAGONARD COLLECTION.
BRONZE PERFUME BURNER, SELJUQS OF IRAN,
12 AD, FRAGONARD COLLECTION.
Rewarded loyalty

Rewarded loyalty

 Secured payment

Secured payment

Free samples

Free samples

Satisfied or refunded

Satisfied or refunded