the history of aromatics

A blog about all things aromatic - and the latest news from dollop TM.

23 November 2008


anointment appointment

My favourite topic is the History of Aromatics. It’s FASCINATING.

People have integrated aromatics into rituals, rites of passage, spiritual access, performance enhancement, health, manipulation, reflection, sensuality, ego gratification and everything else, for the squillion or so years that we have been people.


In fact, I’m convinced that exploration of the olfactory realm was a tipping point for our evolutionary advantage. Although of course, many animals can sniff better than us (for example, did you know that polar bears have nine different words for the smell of snow?).


Anointment is a righteous act. In religion, perfume creates a bridge between earthiness and the ethereal: juniper branches burned on the rooves of Buddhist temples to get heaven’s attention; the ancient Egyptian sun god Ra offered myrrh incense every day at noon; Moses being “instructed by God” (Exodus 30) to create a sacred anointing oil; the Jewish menorah designed in the likeness of the seven-branched aromatic plant salvia palaestina (sage); the fragrant dhoop incense emanating from Hindu temples; the Shinto koh-do incense ceremony… it’s endless, and that’s just the religious stuff.


In the British monarchy, the exact point of coronation is not when the crown is placed on the head, but when the new Queen or King is anointed with a traditional aromatic oil, blended by the Royal Apothecary!

(the Royal Apothecary is a wannabe aromatologist but probably has no new recipes of his own).

We found out the recipe, and we’re whipping some up. So if you’d like to book a “Royal Oil Anointment Appointment”, write to us… if it so pleases your majesty.

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