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Perfume - its magical power and abstract glamour


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Zeynab
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« on: January 16, 2007, 04:34:40 am »

The fragrance of perfumes has an incredible force along with an intangible beauty of its own.  Its hypnotic trance can work wonders.  It can drag one down the memory lane being reminiscent of the most wonderful moments of one’s life.  It can elevate spirits, change moods, bring a feeling of well being or shed tears, reflect or simply carry one away into a dream world. Such can be the force of exotic perfumes.  And such is the power of our olfactory sense over our minds. 
 
Being an ardent perfume lover myself, I thoroughly enjoy digging and sharing the various facts of the perfume culture from its infancy till it became a roaring upscale business of the modern era. 
 
It is difficult to assert the origin of the use of fragrances.  Being such an exquisite trend  with so much finesse and sophistication, every ancient civilization claims to be instrumental in discovering, developing and propagating this culture.  However, from the findings of various historians, the Persians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs were the most avid promoters of the use of perfumes.  Western Europe was trailing behind at a very slow pace, and it wasn’t till the 17th century when the elites and the proletarians of France (which is today the ‘citadel’ of the production of modern perfume) began getting deeply attracted to the idea of wearing fragrances on body and clothing. 
The most rudimentary method of creating fragrances, highly popular among the early Persians, Arabs and Greeks was acquired by soaking saffron strands or rose petals in warm water for as long as it took necessary to extract its breathtaking scent.  Rose and peppermint were also steeped in oils until a perfumed ointment was formed. This unguent was then rubbed into the skin.  It's interesting to note that today the very popular aromatherapy sessions in spas use perfumed oils in precisely the same way as they did centuries ago.
 
In the past people often mixed their own potions (consisting of plants, herbs and spices) using home invented methods to create their own aromatherapy products.  Many homes had a special room for this purpose where essences were extracted from flowers and herbs.
 
Sandalwood is one of the best  known fragrances.  It is a fragrant wood of trees of the genus of Santalum, found mainly in Hawaii.  Sandalwood is a relaxant with a scent described as rich, sweet, delicate, woody and warm.   The oil is used for all types of skin care. It may also be used in the treatment of bronchitis, laryngitis, depression, stress and scars. 
 
In the 17th century scents were applied on objects such as furniture, gloves and various other household items.  By this time, non greasy eau de cologne was developed that was used for preparing perfumed baths and mouthwash.
 
According to the Persian Culture Journal:  “Scents are classified as notes based on their olfactory character. A perfume is a unique mixture of top, middle, and base notes designed to give a particular harmony of scents.  “Several methods are employed in modern perfumery. Essential oils of citrus may simply be squeezed from the peels. Other essences are obtained by distillation or extraction methods. Many scents that are difficult or costly to obtain from natural sources can be produced synthetically. Essential oils may be found in roots, flowers, leaves, fruit, seeds or bark of the plant.”
 
Composition: Modern-day fragrances are made from approximately 80% ethyl alcohol and a remainder of essential oils. Perfume consists of 22% essential oils, eau de parfum contains about 20% essential oils, followed by eau de toilette with 15% oils, and the weakest being eau de cologne with just 4% essential oils.
 
Types of fragrances: Few of the major fragrance categories pertaining to floral, herbal or fruit are -  bay leaf, cardamom, cedar wood, eucalyptus, frankincense, gardenia, rose, lavender, lemon, lilac, lily, magnolia, orange, pine, raspberry, sage, sandalwood, vanilla and violet. 
 
Animal products used in perfume are musk from the male musk deer, ambergris from sperm whales, castoreum from secretion of the beaver, and civet from the civet cat. 
 
Tips on wearing perfume:  When you apply perfume, apply them to pulse points such as the joints of wrists and elbows, neck and back of knees.  Do not rub the wrists together as this diminishes the fragrance.  Spraying a little into the air is a wonderful idea as it helps to create a very positive atmosphere. 
 
Layering perfumes can have amazing results. This means using the same perfume in various products.  Begin with bath gel or shower, and then apply body lotion or spray with a matching after bath spray.  Finally apply the concentrated fragrance, preferably as perfume or eau de parfum. 
 
The use of body lotion greatly enhances the sweet scent of the body, and it’s advisable to start the application at the feet.  This allows the scent to rise, making one feel special with a sense of accomplishment.
 
I never forget to keep the bottles tightly stopped, and away from sunlight.  I have also observed that the opaque bottles are better at storing perfumes.
 
You will certainly know when they have gone off as you'll notice that you do not get that lovely boost of heavenly scent when you spray or dab.  The perfume will also look darker in the bottle. 
 
Chronology of ‘Classic Perfumes.’  To name just a few .. Channel No.5, Guerlain's Shalimar, Femme by Rochas, lighter perfumes by Dior, Yves St. Laurent’s Opium, Nina Ricci’s Bigarade, Estee Lauder’s White Linen, Ralph Lauren’s Safari, Givenchy’s Organza and Anais Anais by Cacharel.
 
Some of the less costly perfumes with highly pleasing scents are Coty, Yardley, Max Factor, Revlon and Avon. Yardley's Lily of the Valley, French Fern bath salts and talc have always been popular gift items.  Revlon's Charlie was a top choice, popular in all segments of the society.  Avon perfumes and perfumed wrist creams had lovely fragrances and were affordable.  But Avon products were seldom available on the shelves.  They were mostly sold by Avon representatives going door to door.  
 
Max Factor's Maxi was also affordable with an addictive fragrance.  Plenty of perfume lovers are again craving for the older fragrances.  Older perfumes designed more than 50 years ago seem to cause much lesser allergic reactions.  It also feels lovely to rediscover some of the older perfumes worn by the past generations and compare their characteristics and depth with the newer fragrances.
 
I'll finish with a more personal touch  Smiley  Avon perfumes and colognes had a kind of uniqueness about them that I couldn’t let go.  Particularly Avon’s Unforgettable and Topaz were truly fabulous!  I recall, there was a time when the Avon lady used to be a regular visitor to our house, delivering at least a couple of bottles of those sleek yellow Topaz bottles to me every 3 weeks.  Family and friends perpetually teased me, calling me a “walkie-talkie perfume factory.”  But believe it or not, I realized my excessive use of Topaz when I visited a friend one day.   As I drove into the porch and stepped out of my car, my friend’s neighbors who were relaxing in their balcony more than fifty feet away across the compound wall called out to me, complimenting the far-reaching fragrance of my Topaz and how exhilarating it was!
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2007, 01:05:08 am »

wow!  you've zoomed into my favorite dressing table item, for this is one thing i can't do without Grin   and yes, perfume really does make u go down the memory lane.  whenever i'd use my mom's favorite perfume, i wud be taken down the cherished memories of her days and so on.  perfume has the same power of reviving associations and the past as music.  points very well tracked down.  very interesting, just like the one about the history of coffee Smiley  thanks sis.  i honestly admire the way u pen yr thoughts.  and that topaz bit was great  Cheesy
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2007, 02:18:03 am »

wow!  you've zoomed into my favorite dressing table item,

but i am sure it must be the most fearful dressing table item for your poor husband  teethsmile  perfume, to my knowledge, is the most expensive of all cosmetics.
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2007, 04:09:28 am »


 BismEm

 salamem

Brothers and sisters, first at all wish you a happy Eid Al ald'ha and may you had a chance to fast the day of "ARAFAT"

Second, Thanks sister for such good details and information about the subject of perfum and will be wonderful if you added the point of view of the religion in wearing perfum. I guess all brothers and sister in Islam knew that one of the things that Prophet Mohamed( P.U.H) that loved from this world is perfum where HE (PUH) had never refuse an offer of a perfum. In the meanwhile Islam guide us and especially for women to be careful when wearing perfum. I am sure this last sentence on the subject "As I drove into the porch and stepped out of my car, my friend’s neighbors who were relaxing in their balcony more than fifty feet away across the compound wall called out to me, complimenting the far-reaching fragrance of my Topaz and how exhilarating it was!" tells why Islam give such guidance.

Thanks again for your subject and will be always nice to drive the point of view of Shari'a in our writing.

Salaam Alikum.

Abu Mouaadh "Badiss"
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Zeynab
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2007, 05:08:57 am »


 BismEm

 salamem

Brothers and sisters, first at all wish you a happy Eid Al ald'ha and may you had a chance to fast the day of "ARAFAT"

Second, Thanks sister for such good details and information about the subject of perfum and will be wonderful if you added the point of view of the religion in wearing perfum. I guess all brothers and sister in Islam knew that one of the things that Prophet Mohamed( P.U.H) that loved from this world is perfum where HE (PUH) had never refuse an offer of a perfum. In the meanwhile Islam guide us and especially for women to be careful when wearing perfum. I am sure this last sentence on the subject "As I drove into the porch and stepped out of my car, my friend’s neighbors who were relaxing in their balcony more than fifty feet away across the compound wall called out to me, complimenting the far-reaching fragrance of my Topaz and how exhilarating it was!" tells why Islam give such guidance.

Thanks again for your subject and will be always nice to drive the point of view of Shari'a in our writing.

Salaam Alikum.

Abu Mouaadh "Badiss"


  BismEm
 wsalam    dear brother Abu Mouaadh

Welcome to the board after such a long time  Smiley  and thank u very much for your enlightened post.

Yes, very true that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salallah Alayhi Wasallam) was very fond of good fragrances. 

I also thank u for the reminder on the last paragraph of my article.  Actually those neighbors I was referring to were 2 elderly ladies (in their 70s) who were friends of my mother for 30 years.  Just like my aunts.  And of course, needless to say, whenever I go out I am fully dressed with high necklines, full sleeves and long loose dress like jilbab. I always use perfume over my Islamic dress.  So even if someone sees because of my perfume, they will only see a sister's face, rest of the body is totally covered.  Alhamdulilah.  I guess I should have clarified this point.  Sorry about that.

Nice fragrance doesn't attract attention in a misguided way.  There's nothing cheap, vulgar or insulting about a nice smell.  Quite a opposite.  It adds elegance and grace to both women and men.  What's truly horrific is when a sister or brother stink of body odor.

In any case, I appreciate your advise as it was in good intent;  but your perception is far from accurate.

JazekAllah Khair.  Ma'salaama.
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2007, 02:35:59 am »

I was wondering what happened to brother mr. badiss.  how come he had no response to your comments .. ?
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2007, 02:47:02 am »

He responded by writing directly at my email address, though he stated nothing worthwhile except the usual stuff about the hadith that prohibits the use of perfume.  I told him I don't take messages on email and he's welcomed to say whatever he likes but on the board.  Then he disappeared.  Nothing unusual, really.  Any critical talk on hadith and its supporters try their best to avoid challenges.  Just proves how little they trust their own opinion.  Br. badiss isn't the only one.  Several other members sent me messages either thru PM or email grumbling about hadith critisizm with nothing specific nor insightful, and hardly anyone came up on the public forum.  Eventually I had to remove my email address from view.
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