Were you wondering where the World of Aromatics might be going after the initial installment? At least I hope you were! I was thinking we could stick with the 20th Century, but then I thought we should go back to the time of Cleopatra….more than 2000 years ago. In order to find out how we got here to The World of Aromatics 2019...We need to explore where we have been. The Egyptians were such an extraordinary and advanced culture, it is no wonder that any romp through aromatic history should start with them. They have so many records of their civilization, many of them about aromatics. A great starting point within that culture is with is Cleopatra. She was quite a vixen our Cleo! She was known to have an unusual beauty, and to be extremely sensual and wise. She had liaisons with 2 of the most famous men in history. Of course Julius Caesar, and then after Julius was bludgeoned to death on the steps of the Theatre of Pompey in 44 B.C., with the legendary womanizer and hedonist...Marc Antony.
To start with Caesar was in Egypt declaring his dominion over that bounteous country, and Cleo was NOT having any of that. She was about to declare her dominion over Caesar! Caesar’s boat was parked in the harbor at Alexandria. She picked out a magnificent Persian carpet to have delivered to him. She also had designed a most ravishing frock, and whipped up some love potions to use in the folds of her gown. It is said that she had her man-servant Apollodorus wrap her in the resplendent carpet, and row her out to Caesar's boat.
She had toiled tirelessly to create the most alluring aromas she could muster, so she could seduce the great and legendary Caesar to her side. She was at odds with her own brother, who she was also married to, as was done to preserve royal blood lines. She basically wanted to get to the great Gaius first, so she could win him over before her brother had a chance to. When she arrived ensconced in the carpet, Apollodorus gingerly unwrapped the carpet as ribbons of contrasting scent were unfurled. The great Julius Caesar was already besotted before Cleo jumped out of the tapestry...not so gently unfurling herself! As they say, this was the beginning of one of the greatest love stories of all time.
Begin this glorious 2019 with your own love story..with yourself, a stranger or a loved one. Make a new friend and introduce them to some oils. We here at Healing Solutions are at your beck and call to help advise you on what oils to use to make love potions or even friendship potions, or just feel good about yourself potions! Start with rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, sandalwood, cardamon, wild orange and cinnamon. Enjoy..
Here is a love poem from that era, heralding the virtues of scent.
“If you go to the room of the beloved
She being alone and without another
You can do what you wish with the latch
The door hangings flutter
When the sky comes down in the wind
But it does not carry it away, her fragrance,
When she brings you an abundance of scent
Intoxicating those present……” (1)
(1) Manniche, Lise. 1999. P. 92 Sacred Luxuries Fragrance, Aromatherapy and Cosmetics in Ancient Egypt.