The Power of Scent: How Was Fragrance Used in Ancient Greece

The Power of Scent: How Was Fragrance Used in Ancient Greece

Throughout history, wearing a sweet fragrance was thought to be a cherished luxury. In ancient Greece, fragrance was not just that. It was a gift from the gods, a pleasing act for them during religious ceremonies and was often named after Greek goddesses. The popularity of perfume increased after the time of Alexander the Great when Greeks got to discover new ingredients, plants and spices from the East.


It seems that the Ancient Greeks enjoyed discovering new ways of extraction of perfume-making apart from the classic burning of ingredients which was thoroughly used by other civilizations. They were the first ones to dip spices, herbs and flowers into oil and create liquid perfume for their body. It is impressive that many ancient Greek perfume recipes have survived till today and are still being used.


In order to store the liquid perfumes, artists started creating beautiful bottles or vessels often in the shapes of animals or flowers. Wealthy women and men used to collect these bottles and enjoy the fragrance while people who couldn’t afford fragrance used to draw a vessel on their coffin to show their respect to the gods and ensure afterlife happiness. 


Fragrance was used in a variety of ways. Both men and women practiced aromatherapy to improve health and well-being while it was also used to showcase hospitality.  People were also using it for almost all traditional rituals and ceremonies to please the gods ensure happiness after life.


The Greek philosopher Theophrastus wrote a book called “Concerning Odors” where he discusses how scents are being mixed and perceived as “good” or “evil”. Also, he mentions that lighter floral notes are best for men, while sweet resinous ones are more suited for women.


The tradition of perfume-making, with its roots deeply embedded in ancient civilizations, continues to thrive today. Inspired by the rich history of fragrance and the legacy of ancient Greece, Zakiya emerges as a modern tribute to this timeless art. Experience the essence of ancient traditions with Zakiya. Our fragrances are crafted to reflect the rich history of scent-making while offering a touch of modern luxury. Join us on a journey through time, where the past meets present in every captivating scent.

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