Perfumed ungents and scenting ones clothes and skin were made everyday events in the Middleast and Egypt. The Egyptians considered it both art and a science. Although much of the raw materials were offered up for worship, people employed the art of perfuming oneself as well. In the middle east bathing was a luxury and water often scarce. Incense burned could be used as a deterrent for flies and other pests.
The Rose one of Persians most treasured scents was one of the first flowers to be distilled, by an Arabic Physician Avicenna, He wrote an entire book dedicated to it's healing properties.
Blue, Pink, and White Lotus are just some of the mid-eastern treasures that King Solomon and the Persian Kings of Queen Esther's day may have enjoyed. Unsurpassed in both beauty and scent they are truly remarkable. We know this because of the many Heiroglyphs, paintings, carved columns in temples, and ancient manuscripts depicting the lotus flower were celebrated. King Solomon had lily work carved into the columns of the Temple of God.
The Lotus is probably the most celebrated flower of the ancient world as frankincense and myrrh was in creating incense and ungents. Today because of the the steam distilling process we enjoy many essences of flowers, seeds, barks, and resins previously unavailable in ancient times. Pink, White and Blue Lotus oil is very costly, but each has an unforgettable scent. Our Queen Esther's "Perfumed Presence contains Pink Lotus".
Making Natural Perfume Oils
Many call or email me asking "how do you make anointing oils?". They do not want to purchase my oils but glean from the instruction that the Lord gave me. When God called me to do this He taught me how. As I did not know the art. I believe if they seek the Lord He to will fuel their desire with understanding as He did me.
If you look at the biblical accounts from Exodus 30 God taught Moses and he taught the people. God did state that He had given the Jew "All manner of cunning workmanship" This had to have been true of perfumery as well. Also some of the Jews coming out of Egypt had to have known how to make fragrant ungents or burn incense even if it were because of their slavery. Some knowlege of the art of the perfumer must have been present as God did refer to it in Exo30:25.
Exo 30:22 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
Exo 30:23 Take also to you principal spices, five hundred shekels of pure myrrh, and half as much of sweet cinnamon, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and two hundred and fifty shekels of sweet calamus,
Exo 30:24 and five hundred of cassia, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil.
Exo 30:25 And you shall make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the perfumer. It shall be a holy anointing oil.
Exo 30:26 And you shall anoint the tabernacle of the congregation with it, and the ark of the testimony,
Exo 30:27 and the table and all its vessels, and the lampstand and its vessels, and the altar of incense,
Exo 30:28 and the altar of burnt offerings with all its vessels, and the laver and its foot.
Exo 30:29 And you shall sanctify them so that they may be most holy. Whatever touches them shall be holy.
Exo 30:30 And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them, so that they may minister to Me in the priest's office.
Exo 30:31 And you shall speak to the sons of Israel saying, This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations.
Exo 30:32 It shall not be poured upon man's flesh, neither shall you make any other like it, according to the way it is made. It is holy, and it shall be holy to you.
Exo 30:33 Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.
Never the less I generally do not share the secrets God has given to me, because I believe that God's people who have a desire, must learn to hear from God for them selves. That is how we trust in and follow Him. With in the Father child relationship with Him, hearing His voice and obeying Him out of love.
One thing I do suggest if you want to make anointing oils, read the book "Heavens Awaits the Bride" by Anna Rountree. In this book She gives the meaning of the Spices recorded in the bible. After the Lord took her on a journey to discovery, of the Lords heart toward His beloved and some of the mysteries of heaven. The the message Jesus brings through her encounter with the Lord, changed my life. I hope it does the same for you.
Also read about essential oils, and making oil infusions, and extracts. Also there are limits to how much essential oils you can safely put into a blend. Aromatic oils are highly consentrated with many volitile oil possesing constituants that are not skin safe in high concentrations. Some are stimulants and others such as cinnamon are dermal irritants.
Be aware that there is alot of middleastern mysticism entering into the aromathearapy arena these days. Do not allow yourselves to become entangled in the mix of true and false. If you begin in the truth and start to embrace a lie then before you know it you will no longer recognize the truth when it comes.
Beloved Jesus wants to show you wonderous things let Him, by becoming willing to follow Him at all cost. There is such a freedom in that. Happy is the man who's God is the Lord!
Holy Anointing Oil
Shemen Afarshimon - Hebrew - Holy Aointing Oil The Holy Anointing Oil, from the Holy Temple, was found in April, 1988 by the VJRI excavation team. After intensive testing by the Pharmaceutical Department of Hebrew University, financed by the VJRI, the substance inside the small juglet was verified to indeed be the Shemen Afarshimon of Psalm 133. The oil was used as the fragrance on the oblation for a sweet smelling savor on the sacrifices. It was also used as the Holy Anointing Oil for the priest, prophets and kings.
The finding of the oil was important for two reasons. It is the first item to be found from the First Temple period and is one of the items listed among the treasures in the Copper Scroll. On February 15, 1989, the news of the find was broken to the public by the New York Times newspaper. During the ensuing few weeks, most major news media institutions, ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN, carried the story on national and international television. In October, 1989, National Geographic Magazine featured the find, followed by Omni Magazine in December of the same year. Countless other news sources carried the story for their publications
Strongs numbers; H6944, H4888, H8081
קדשׁ - qôdesh - ko'-desh From H6942; a sacred place or thing; rarely abstractly sanctity: - consecrated (thing), dedicated (thing), hallowed (thing), holiness, (X most) holy (X day, portion, thing), saint, sanctuary.
משׁחה משׁחה - mishchâh, moshchâh - meesh-khaw',mosh-khaw' From H4886; unction (the act); by implication a consecratory gift: - (to be) anointed (-ing), ointment.
שׁמן - shemen - sheh'-men From H8080; grease, especially liquid (as from the olive, often perfumed); figuratively richness: - anointing, X fat (things), X fruitful, oil ([-ed]), ointment, olive, + pine.
Ancient Pefume Making
The Pefumes of the ancients were primarily comprised of resins, aromatic barks, seeds, grasses, whatever would produce a scent when cooked with water and oil or animal fat. A large basin like bowl hammered out of bronze, clay or even dense stone was often used to make the ancient ungent. The ingredients would often include cinnamon, cassia, calamus, myrrh, frankincense, saffron, spikenard, mint, lavender and other aromatics herbs. When a person of ancient times made a fragrant oil or ungent, it was a concoction of mostly what was available, combined with water and oil/fat cooked over heat for two to three days (similar to today's crock pot) adding more water and sometimes oils/fats until perfumed. Then strained through most likely linen cloth as it was abundant and strong then poured into jars sealed with a clay seal and bees wax coated linen, then wrapped or tied with cord or sinew.
When the tomb of the young pharaoh Tutankhamun was opened, among the luxurious contents found within were various beautifully crafted jars and containers. To the excitement of the excavators, one particular jar was discovered to contain a perfumed unguent, still radiantly fragrant after so many centuries.
Unguent is the classical word used to describe what modern English-speakers might better understand it as an ointment or a solid perfume, similar to a jar of lip balm made with bees wax and other oils or butters. Despite the occasional ancient Egyptian image or the discovery of what certainly seems to be functional distillery equipment in the ruins of Mohenjo-Daro, there is little known of the ancient processes they used. As far as we know today the distillation process was not popularized until the 10th century of our time. Thus, Egyptian perfumes were very different in texture from the liquids now considered "perfumes". For a close modern comparison, consider the solid perfumes currently imported from India, packaged in small carved wooden or stone containers. (The resemblance is in texture, presentation and appearance, not necessarily in fragrance.)
The perfumed ointment found in Tutankhamun's tomb was of a solid nature, although it was noted that it melted and became more viscous within the heat of a hand. Observers at the time found the aroma similar to coconut oil and also remarked that it resembled the scent of valerian (Valeriana officinalis), the first tip-off to what the jar probably contained.
The perfume was analyzed in 1926 and was found to consist of a "neutral animal fat" and a resin or balsam. At the time they were unable to be more specific. However, the primary fragrant component is now believed to be valerian's close cousin, the ancient and precious spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi).
Still reasonably rare and reasonably expensive, most find spikenard's name much more familiar than its fragrance. Its reputation is ancient and healing. It is an ingredient in some formulas for Kyphi, the famed sacred Egyptian temple perfume. Spikenard was also a component of the sacred incense offered in the Jewish Temple of Jerusalem. It is mentioned no less than three times in the Song of Songs.
The ancient Greeks had a beloved perfume fragrance based on spikenard. Spikenard's main claim to fame comes from its prominence in the New Testament. It was ointment of spikenard that Mary of Bethany (whether she is one and the same with Mary Magdalene, now matron saint of perfumers, is still the subject of intense debate, as it has been for centuries) used to anoint the feet of Jesus Christ, filling the entire room with its aroma. Rather than its wonderful fragrance, however, what is most famous about spikenard is its high cost. Two of the gospels comment on its price. Judas Iscariot was apparently offended at the anointing of Jesus, demanding to know why the jar of ointment wasn't sold and the proceeds given to the poor. In the light of its discovery in Tutankhamun's tomb, it can be appreciated that spikenard was truly a fragrance fit for a king.
Why was spikenard so expensive? Because of where it grows and the difficulty in obtaining it. Spikenard is not native to Egypt, Punt or the Middle East. It is native to the Himalayas and grows at high altitudes. Its use in the ancient world is a demonstration of their sophisticated trade routes and of the importance placed on aromatic material: they went to a lot of trouble to obtain this little root. Spikenard was packaged in carved alabaster boxes, carefully brought down by caravan and exported over the ancient world. As recently as one hundred years ago, spikenard was imported from Nepal to Egypt for use as a folk medicine. Beyond various medicinal uses, like valerian, it has relaxing, sedative properties, spikenard was anciently believed to bear mystical and romantic powers.
Today, spikenard is available as an essential oil and as an herb. It is steam distilled from dried and crushed rhizomes and roots, resulting in a pale golden liquid. What does it smell like? Not necessarily what you might expect a perfume to smell like, if your expectations are of a floral garden. Spikenard has a profound and complex aroma, a combination sweet/spicy/musky/root like, a very strong earthy scent and tenacious. The root from which the finest fragrance is obtained is tufted and sort of "hairy" in appearance; at one time it was surmised that spikenard was an animal's tail. (Remember, the plant came from very far away. Those who obtained it many miles away never saw the living plant and the perfumers of the time were a mysterious bunch, who kept their trade secrets to themselves.) Pliny called spikenard root "little goat". Historically camel caravans brought alabaster jars from what is now India and the Himalayas into Egypt, Media and other parts of the Persian empire.
A historically correct re-creation of Tutankhamun's precious unguent might involve rendering goose fat for a base. A version more palatable to modern tastes might substitute coconut oil. The original excavators of the tomb noted the unguent's resemblance to coconut oil; like animal fats, this vegetable material solidifies at cool temperatures, thus approximating the texture of the ancient perfume.
One quarter cup coconut oil
6 drops of essential oil of spikenard
6 drops of essential oil of frankincense
For blending purposes, the oil should be liquid. If the oil has solidified, place one-quarter cup of the solid oil in the top of a double boiler and warm gently. (If you don't have a double boiler, improvise by creating a water bath. Put the oil in a container and place it within a pot of water. Warm the water gently on the stove, under constant supervision. The oil must not actually be in the water.) When the oil is liquid, blend in the essential oils. Place in a container and allow to harden at room temperature again.
Reference material on Tutankhamun's ointment may be found in Aytoun Ellis' "The Essence of Beauty: A History of Perfume and Cosmetics," published by the MacMillan Company, New York, 1960.