How Old Is The Art Of Aromatherapy?

31 March 17
how old is the art of aromatherapy

We absolutely love aromatherapy here at Melt. But the perfection of our craft wouldn’t be possible without thousands of years of innovation before us (yes, thousands!). The most interesting thing about aromatherapy techniques is that everyone had their own way of doing them, so the art evolved at different rates on different continents throughout history. We’d be here forever giving you the full detail on every one, so instead we’re just taking a quick look at the worldwide pioneers of aromatherapy throughout history.

China And Egypt: The Birthplaces Of Aromatherapy

ancient Chinese aromatherapy methods

Perhaps not surprisingly, people seem to have varying opinions on exactly how old the art of aromatherapy is. Depending on your definition, it’s somewhere between 2000 and 6000 years old, which is a fairly big margin for error! Whatever the case, though, we know that the origins of the practice definitely started in the East. The Chinese were one of the first cultures to use aromas for healing by burning calming incense, and the ancient Egyptians were another civilisation to spot the therapeutic benefits of massaging with essential oils. While they didn’t quite have the power of modern luxury scented candles or true essential oils, the clever Egyptians certainly knew a thing or two about healings with fragrances!

From Egypt, the knowledge spread to Israel, Greece, Rome and then the wider Mediterranean. This is where the history starts to get complicated as various cultures develop their ideas separately. To keep things simple on the blog we’ll just look at the Romans, who seemed to love aromatherapy almost as much as us here at Melt!

Ancient Rome: The Bathing Capital Of The World

camomile essential oil

First of all, how’s that for an amazing nickname for an entire city? It’s definitely one of our favourites! After their world-famous baths, Romans loved to be massaged, so it’s no surprise that they were amongst the pioneers of aromatherapy techniques. They then spread this knowledge throughout their Empire, so lots of others learned them too!

Sadly, during the Dark Ages aromatherapy knowledge was amongst the tons of knowledge lost to time. Then during the Crusades between 1000 and 1300AD, this knowledge was regained by soldiers and military crusaders, who brought it back to Europe. (We’re not big fans of religious warring here at Melt, but at least there was something good that came of them!) They also brought back essential oils, and the basic techniques of how to produce them.

Now, at this point aromatherapy was essentially being discovered all over again, which made it expensive for the average Joes and Janes. But over the centuries the knowledge gradually became more widespread again. There was crossover with mainstream medical techniques even as recently as the 20th Century. Wounded soldiers in the Second World War were sometimes treated with aromatherapy techniques, especially when medical supplies were running low.

At Melt, we know aromatherapy isn’t going to mend broken bones, but there’s no denying its mental health benefits. The scents from our luxury scented candles can be alternately calming, enriching and joyful, and the benefits don’t stop there! Why not find out which candle is right for you by browsing our full range? Naturally, if you ever need any help or advice, a friendly member of our team is just a phone call away – you can reach us on 01200 443377. We’re happy to help!

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