Essential Oil History

When did humans first become aware of the power of aroma to affect them? Was it as they gathered and hunted for food? Was it as they burned different wood in their fire, or added herbs, nuts, seeds, leaves and spices to foods? Perhaps it was when they realized that these ingredients had beneficial properties. It was probably a combination of all these experiences that led to them using herbs, flowers, leaves and other essences in food, as medicine, and to alter their consciousness.

Trade in essential oils started more than 4000 years ago. Cities grew up around trade routes and collapsed or expanded due to the trade in essential oils and spices. Their rich and complex aromas were more valuable than precious metals or gems.

The earliest evidence of essential oils usage occurred in the period of 3000 – 2500 B.C. The Egyptians using essences were the royal families and priests. Vessels found in tombs had remains of unguents that still had a slight scent of Frankincense, Spikenard and other essences. As their society advanced, it became more commonly used by all the people. Essences were used in foods, medicine, massage oils, cosmetics, and perfumes.

The Greeks and Romans gained much of their knowledge of essences from the Egyptians. The Greek physician Hypocrites (460-377 B.C.E.), known to us as “The Father of Medicine” documented the effects of some 300 plants for medicinal uses.

Throughout the ages, essences have been used in religious ceremonies by burning incense and anointing for purification of both the soul and body, as perfumes, as medicines, for mood altering, and as aphrodisiacs.

Essential Oils were created originally by soaking or heating the plant in water. They were also pressed from the plants’ leaves, peel, or bark. Today’s method of distillation is credited to the Persians in the 10th century, although there is evidence of distillation long before that by other ancient cultures.

In 1928, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, a perfumer, plunged his burned hand into lavender oil and realized it eased the pain and sped his healing. This led him on a journey in the therapeutic uses of essential oils. Also at this time, Albert Couvreuer wrote a book about medicinal ways to use Essential Oils. More discoveries were made during WW II using Essential Oils for their antiseptic properties on soldiers.

Today, more and more people are finding Essential Oils a more natural way to treat and revitalize themselves.

We hope you will enjoy Aroma Sense Essential Oils, whether you are beginning your journey into Essential Oils, or expanding your knowledge in the deepening pleasure of them via our premier oils from distant regions brought to your home.