Although the origin of perfume is located in Ancient Egypt, it was the Arabs who knew how to perfect and develop new techniques for the manufacture of fragrances. So much so that they managed to have a monopoly on the aromas and spices trade.
At DIVAIN we go through the history of perfume and today we make a stop in the ancient civilization of Arabia to teach you all about Arabian perfumes and its influence on the rest of the world.
History of perfume in Arabia
Ancient South Arabia was very different from the desert it is today, lush and full of aromatic plants, it was an area known as the land of perfumes. In fact, in the holy book of Islam, the Qur'an, paradise is described as a scented place full of gardens and trees, great rivers and with a great smell of musk perfume.
Already in the 10th century, it was Avicenna, a renowned Arab philosopher and doctor, who introduced rose water to the Muslim world, which was used to perfume or scent the rooms of the house. It was the key element for making aromas, so much so that it was considered a symbol of the purity and wisdom of Allah.
The Arabs and alchemy in perfumes
It was the Arabs who applied alchemy to the perfume industry. This new science aimed to achieve "the quintessence" of plants by extracting their essential oils through the technique of distillation.
The Arabs took advantage of the development of alchemy in the face of the decline of the perfume industry in the West. It was they who perfected the alembic to distill the alcohol, which they used to obtain the base of the perfume. This was the rapid expansion, trade and popularity in the Middle Ages and a revolution in the way of making perfumes.
The arrival of the Arabs in Spain
The Crusades (1096-1291) was a key time for the introduction of perfumes in the West, since it was the soldiers who returned to Europe from their military campaigns who brought perfumes and essences unknown to their countries.
With the arrival of the Arabs in Spain, the perfume traveled a new route: it reached France, a country that knew how to industrialize it. Furthermore, Granada and Seville became very important perfume centers comparable to Baghdad and Damascus.
Such was the importance they attached to aromas that Al-Hakam I, the third Umayyad emir of Cordoba, ordered his servant to bring him musk and civet to perfume his beard. In case he was beheaded by the rebels, his head in the other world would stand out for his scent. Similarly, his successor Al-Hakam II had the pulpit of the Cordoba mosque built with aromatic woods such as ebony or sandalwood.
Even after the expulsion of the Arabs from the peninsula, perfumers were the only privileged ones who were saved and were able to stay in Spain. If they had left, they would have taken with them the treasure of their secrets: the unequaled formulas to make their fragrances.
The best Arabian perfumes
The Arabs were specialists in the combination of aromatic oils and floral essences, woody essences and spice essences that give rise to simple aromas full of freshness and elegance. At DIVAIN we have a wide fragrance catalog. Among which you can find the best Arab perfumes. Discover them!
DIVAIN-338, similar to Arabians de Montale
Our DIVAIN-338, similar to Arabians de Montale is an Arab perfume for women and men inspired by pure Arabian horses. Its top notes of cardamom, lavender and red thyme blend with an elegant heart of rose, patchouli and vetiver. A totally new combination of spices, musk and woody notes that will capture all your senses.
DIVAIN-709, similar to Safanad from Parfums De Marly
Like the fragrance above, DIVAIN-709, similar to Safanad from Parfums De MarlyI. t is inspired by a thoroughbred horse known as Safanad which means "The pure one". Its delicate top notes of orange and pear combine perfectly with a floral heart and a sweet and woody background of vanilla, amber and sandalwood. The beauty and elegance of this breed captured in a single bottle.
DIVAIN-314, similar to Amouage's Epic Man
Its aroma will transport you to the legends that revolve around the ancient Silk Road from China to Arabia. DIVAIN-314, similar to Amouage's Epic Man. It is a masculine explosion of oriental ingredients where its top notes such as pink pepper, saffron, incense and nutmeg are mixed with a heart of myrrh and geranium to finish melting with a woody background of leather, patchouli, cedar and musk.