Vedic Civilization: History of Bakhoor

Vedic Civilization: History of Bakhoor

If you were to travel to modern day Pakistan or Northern India and visit what locals call an “attar” or perfumery, you would be amazed by the various oil blends and luscious scents you would find held in glass, air-tight jars. In the same area, some 4,000 years ago, the people of the Vedic Civilization were doing the same, only their jars were made from decorated clay, bronze, and copper.

Despite being referred to as ancient, the Vedic civilization lived by principles we accept in psychology today. We understand that as people, we require some basic necessities for life: food, shelter, and clothing, and that only after fulfilling them do we start to pursue other forms of maintenance. The Vedic people embodied that, seeking personal hygiene and self decorating with jewelry, bakhoor, and perfumes. In their literature historians deciphered countless mentions of “fragranced smoke” which lead them to believe that they were referring to some type of bakhoor or incense that was used to perfume their surroundings. There are also mentions of people using them spiritually during religious ceremonies and even medically. Some mentions even referred to bakhoor being used to treat emotional or psychological trouble- an early form of aromatherapy. Cosmetics was of social significance as well, as many men and women adorned themselves with plant-based perfumes and mostly women wore kohl that was fragranced and colored their eyelids. Among the plants mentioned in Vedic scripts was Guggulu, a herb derived from a Myrrh tree local to India.

The term Guggulu in Sanskrit, a language spoken in the region, means protects from disease, and the Vedic people believed it had many medical properties; they believed it soothed inflammation, cleared the sinuses, relieved skin disorders, and much more depending on the way it was used. Guggulu was also used for the scent it produced as a fragrance to keep away evils.
Though the Vedic Civilization was not the first in the region, we have more insight into their lifestyle as their written records have been deciphered and translated. They were intellectual, asking bigger questions than how to gain more land or crop. The Vedics were interested in hygiene and decorating themselves, and sought to gain knowledge on how to live, not only a long life but a fulfilling and healthy life– both in mind and in the body. To them, self-care was not limited to food and shelter, but perfumes, cosmetics, and bakhoor to alleviate their moods and better their health.


    Copyright © 2019 Amir Oud Fragrance. All rights reserved. TX 75078, U.S.A