Aesthetic Aromatherapy and History

Aromatherapy has a tradition that goes back at least 5000 years. Over time, people have often used essential oils to look more beautiful and younger.

Aesthetic Aromatherapy

The word “aesthetics” means “appreciation of beauty”. Applied to aromatherapy, “aesthetics” refers to the use of essential oils for the purpose of beautifying the condition of a person’s skin, body, or hair. Aesthetics deals with aromatherapy, skin care and cosmetics.

This spiritual aspect of “aromatherapy” has tradition that goes back at least 5000 years. For centuries, fragrant essential oils were the main component of perfumes. In primitive times, people attributed religious connotations to fragrant plants. Fragrant herbs were burned as incense in Christian churches, in Buddhist, Hindu, and Shinto shrines in Asia, and in Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Jewish cultures. 

The Egyptians also used it in embalming techniques because of the protective nature of some scented plant materials. They also began to use fragrant plant extracts as perfumes. Legend has it that Queen Cleopatra designed a huge garden that she used for her beauty, specially built to grow fragrant plant materials. Cleopatra was a very intelligent woman and is said to be able to speak nine languages. She had also made Emperor Julius Caesar irresistibly attractive to her, although she wasn’t very beautiful. 

Because they lived in a very hot and dry environment, it was important for the ancient Egyptians to be able to keep their skin supple using oil. Essential oils were used at that time by dipping fragrant substances into oils (anflorage); It is formed by placing herbs in hot oils and straining (maceration) or by squeezing or pressing herbs (expression). When Tutankhamun’s tomb was opened 2200 years after his death, some of these well-preserved oils still lingered.

A new era began with the exaggerated use of perfumes and the reaction of the Christian Church by the crumbling Roman Empire. During this time, the use of oils was kept alive by Arab cultures. In Europe, in the 11th and 12th centuries, with the delicious scents brought by the Crusaders from the East, the interest in oils flared up again and gradually became widespread all over the world.

In 1550 BC, a document called the Eber Papyrus appeared in ancient Egypt. In addition to containing many drugs, it also listed 22 cosmetics. All ancient cultures had people who wrote about the beautifying properties of fragrant herbs. For example, in ancient Rome, Empress Plotina’s physician, Crito, wrote several books on cosmetics containing recipes for wrinkle and freckle removers, tonics, pomades, hair removers, and essential oils for the skin. 

Obviously, over time, people tried to be more beautiful and younger looking and often used essential oils. Over time, beauty therapy using pure essential oils became privileged for the wealthy. So it has become rarer than ever.

Essential oils are found in all types of beauty products, including face creams and lotions, peels, masks and tonics, all kinds of body lotions, weight loss treatments, tanning and sunscreen products, pedicures and manicure products.

Modern Aromatherapy

The word ‘aromatherapy’ comes from the title of the book Aromathérapie, written by the French chemist and perfumer René-Maurice Gattefossé and published in 1937. His story began in July 1910. Work accident myth: In my personal experience, a lab explosion covered both my hands with burns. Rinsing with lavender oil healed the hand. Gattefosse was so impressed that he began researching the chemical and healing properties of essential oils. Also, great success was achieved in healing the wounds of soldiers during the First World War. While collecting data on essential oils, Gattefossé discovered that it has an important role in the field of dermatology. He is referred to as the ‘father of aromatherapy’ in this field. The continued development of French aromatherapy is largely dependent on Gattefossé.

Modern aromatherapy is defined not as the time when herbal oils were first used in perfume or beauty products, but as the (20th century) when scientific research gave impetus to aromatherapy.