Image courtesy of holistichealingny.com
Aromatherapy and essential oils are experiencing a real Renaissance. The other day I was having lunch with my friend, and she told me about an aromatherapy class she was taking. By virtue of my profession, I have been interested in the meanings and properties of scents for many years, but I was excited to know that my friend and others were starting to develop an interest in a subject I am so curious about.
The history of fragrance is very interesting and it began with the burning of wood and leaves in ancient times. Neolithic man realized that some firewood, like Cedar and Cyprus, did more than provide them with warmth and sustenance, it also filled the air with a rich redolent scent. The origin of our word perfume hints at this discovery, as it comes from the Latin per fumum, meaning “through smoke”.
I love feeling connected to this rich history through my craft and thought I’d share a little bit of this background with my lovely readers. In ancient times, essential oils and aromas had many purposes; they were used in medicinal healing, food, religious ceremonies and as aphrodisiacs. I think much of this is still true today, and is certainly something I keep in mind while creating new blends for our candles. The demand for these precious oils and scents established a long distance trade, as the oils were not only relatively easy to transport but sometimes more even valuable than gold and jewels. One could say that the map of the world might be very different if human beings had not cultivated their passion for fragrance.