Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Perfume & Religion - Part II: Religious inspirations & Perfumes

The word perfume as we commonly use today has its origin in latin - per fumum, and it means "through smoke". The oldest uses of perfume were in form of burning incense, aromatic herbs, gums and roots, producing aromatic smokes in religious services. The Egyptians, Chinese, Hindus, Israelites, Arabs, Greeks and Romans were the first civilizations to introduce perfume into their religious rituals and lives. Incense were burned during sacrifices (to disguise the smell of decomposing bodies of the animals offered to the Gods), to purify sanctuaries, to connect with gods, to send away bad spirits and demons, to worship and pray, and also to remind believers of paradise (Islam).
Incense is a perfume note with smoky fragrance. Slightly woody, burned, resinous or balmy. Mysterious, exotic, ethereal and very intense. It can bring sophistication, richness and dryness to a perfume.
In 2007 Andy Tauer created a magical mimalist perfume around incense notes, with a touch of spices, petit grain, coriander, iris, orris, dry cedar wood, frankincense and ambergris. The extract of pure Boswellia Serrata (CO2) in high doses (25%) brought a burned, crisp resin scent to the perfume.
"It captures the roughness of the climate of the semi desert where Boswellia resin tree thrives. It is translucent like the first whiff of incense smoke from the Boswellia resin on red gleaming coal. Yet, it is crisp like a night in the desert. The richness of the natural incense enchants with a array of impressions, playing differently as it develops, a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes", as perfumer describes it.
(you can find this fragrance at Tauer Perfumes' site by clicking here).
Incense has been used by most of Christians religions, specially by Roman Catholic Church, Anglican and Lutheran Churches. This practice was probably rooted from Judaism in the time of the second temple. The use of ketoret (incense), was described in the Talmud and it was a part of the Jewish services.
Also in 2007, Italian brand Profumum Roma launched a spiritualized perfumed called Olibanum. The fragrance brought the austere, gothic, mysterious chambers of a medieval church to modern times. The perfume balances the "darkness" of incense and olibanum with lighter, soft notes of orange blossom and sandalwood. The richness of myrrh resins brings a touch of sweetness and amber y notes. If you enjoyed the book "The name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco, you will be delighted with this perfume!
(you can find this fragrance at Profumum Roma's web site by clicking here).
Many perfumers find inspiration is religious places, rather than olfactive notes. temples, Shrines, sacred ritual spaces can lead their imagination to create magical, ethereal and high spirited perfumes.
Inspired by Dali Lama, the Tibetan people and the temples and sacred places in Asia, Brook harvey Taylor, the owner of Pacifica brand has introduced to her brand what she calls it "one of the most ethereal blends" of her collection - Tibetan Mountain Temple Spray Perfume.
A smokey, resinous, burnt incense note, combined with root-y earthy vetiver, a deep patchouli and fresh sparkling citrusy notes of ginger and orange zest.
(you can find this fragrance by clicking here and entering the brand's website).
Avon launched in 2001 a perfume with a temple shaped bottle. Defined by zesty citruses and fresh clean notes, combined with floral spiritual garden of lilies and jasmine. Simple, cheerful and not expensive at all...
(you can find this fragrance at Avon's web site by clicking here)
In 2009 AbdesSaalam, a perfume composer made a trip to Mecca and inspired by the pilgrimage of 4 million souls in a walk to the Mosque, souls spiritually connected and rituals of purification. The perfume is an olfactive trip to holiness and religious Islam.
Labdanum resin, combined with agar wood notes, benzoin and frankincense brings the spirit close to other souls. Amber, tonka bring roundness to the mystical notes.
Raw tobacco, Indian tuberose and Damask rose bring a special aura of Arabic culture and royal saudi families. Luxurious, precious, aromatic and involving.
My Mecca Balm experience was to transcend, to travel to a place I know, and yet to feel something I haven't. Middle Eastern cultures is a crucial part of my life, since I have lived there for many years. Although I have never been to Mecca, AbdesSaalam presented me a small video. I felt overwhelmed by the idea of the energy of that place. Balsamo della Mecca is a natural perfume that will bring this energy in little drops to you!
(find this fragrance at profumo.it by clicking here).
Armani has a private collection of exclusive perfumes called Armani Privé. In 2009 they launched a perfume inspired by Greek Gods called Cédre Olympe.
Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece and the home of the Gods in Greek Mythology. Surrounded by a rich flora, cedars and pine.
The fragrance has notes of bitter orange, bergamot, lemon tree leaves, benjoin, spices, cedar, aromates, tonka beans.
(find this fragrance at Armani's site by clicking here).
For more religious inspired perfumes...stick here with me and I will bring more!

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