Some Phrases from the Bible about Perfume

The history of the production and use of perfume stretches back thousands of years. In the Bible the use of scent and perfume is mentioned on many occasions. 

For example, the Song Of Songs of King Solomon, is composed of Love Songs between a man and a woman. In these verses we can find extensive use of words and sentences that relate to perfume and aromatic plants in relation to love and sensuality.

(The traditional interpretation of the Song Of Songs relates to it as an allegory to the relations between God and the Jewish people. In the Christian tradition it is looked on as an allegory of the relations between Jesus with the Christian church). 

“Song Of Songs”, In Chapter 1 phrase 3:

 “Thine ointments have a goodly fragrance; thy name is as ointment poured forth; therefore do the maidens love thee”.

“Song Of Songs”, In Chapter 4 phrase 10:  

“How fair is thy love, my sister, my bride! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all manner of spices”. 

“Song Of Songs”,  In Chapter 4 Phrase 14, we find names of aromatic plants that are used at that time: 

“Spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices”.

The Book of  Exodus Chapter 30 phrase 22-26 

“Moreover the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil”.

The Book of Esther Chapter 2 Phrase 12:

In the book of Esther there is a description of what girls had to go through before they were permitted to visit the king. They would go through 12 months of beauty treatment with herbs, perfumes, and cosmetics and were also given other training and preparation to make certain that they were as attractive as possible.

The time of purification took one year to accomplish.  The things used for purifying included: 

1. six months with oil of myrrh, 

2. six months with sweet odors and other things.

For more information about the history of perfume, see our page on the History of Perfume.


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