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The History of Incense

The use and acceptance of incense is increasing and broadening. The primary uses are the enjoyment of the pleasant smell sensation, mood making, spiritual purposes and to combat bathroom, tobacco, cooking or pet odors. The current investigations of the effects of aerosol can usage is having a favorable effect on incense usage. Incense represents an item currently being sold and consumed throughout the world.

Incense making is an ancient art:

The Chinese discovered Musk, which is almost as popular today as it once was throughout the ancient Chinese empires. It was Chinese custom to burn incense at funerals and during burial processions, a practice that was later followed in , western European culture.

In the beginning of Asiatic civilization, the Hindus also burned incense for their gods. Such-E has - been the special mystery and power of incense that through its earliest users lie long buried beneath the desert sands, the sublime odors of incense still exert their special magic into the twentieth century. In those two most remarkable areas of the ancient world the fertile crescent Dead Sea, and the Nile Valley, reaching from the Mediterranean' to the heart of Africa, one can find the earliest use of incense. The Egyptians, Israelites, Carthaginians, and the Arabs all developed the art and science of aromatics. For those inhabiting the fertile lands of the Nile, perfumes and incense were closely related to eternal life. The lifeless bodies of the Pharaohs once mummified were covered with perfume and their fabulous burial vaults were filled with precious metals, jewels and beautiful fragrances. This was the ritual for awaiting reincarnation and all efforts were devoted to pleasing the gods who would soon grant -immortality. The historical route of incense continued to follow the pathways of civilization. As Greek thought and culture spread throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, so too did the use of and enchantment of the incense. The Greeks offered incense to their gods in the hope of gaining personal favor. and rewards and throughout Greek mythology one finds references to those perfumed essences. In the later Hellenic era, the same philosophers who discovered in the heavens the music of the spheres found in the devoted laborious study to the art of perfumery. By the time the,, Roman culture came to absorb and control the people of the ancient world, the many traditions of -incense were firmly established. Along the Apia way and the sea-lanes piloted by the Roman galleys, merchants trafficked and, fortunes were made in the perfume trade. To Tyro, Constantinopal,, and Alexandria, the traders went forth to barter for the riches of cinnamon, frankincense, and sandalwood. Military campaigns were undertaken to open up new roads to the perfumes and spices of the East and that would help fill the coffers of Rome with gold.
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Last Revision:January 19, 2000