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The House of the Vetti perfume cherubs
Upcoming Events

Ancient Perfumery in Pompei

 

Indigo Perfumery welcomes the Mini Museum of Perfume History’s traveling exhibit, Unguent, Unguentarium and U, on Thursday, August 13th.

 

While preparing for this fun and educational exhibit, we decided to explore the history of perfume. This journey led us to Pompei and the story its frescoes revealed. The Pompei friezes are a bit younger than the perfume bottles in our exhibit, but give us insight into the importance of perfume in ancient times.

Who would have guessed that after the production of woolen clothing, perfume production was the second most important industry in Pompei?

Early 20th century postcard by G. Sommer, no.124, showing painting of cupids from the east wall. Photo courtesy of Rick Bauer

Early 20th century postcard by G. Sommer, no.124, showing painting of cupids from the east wall.
Photo courtesy of Rick Bauer

Perfumes have been used since the dawn of civilization. The first recorded perfumer was Tapputi, often referred to as the world’s first chemist living four thousand years ago in Mesopotamia. She reportedly used a still to distill natural materials such as balsam and myrrh.

The Egyptians famously used perfumes to anoint and cleanse, even including them in burials tombs for the after-life. In India, the creation of attars has been known for thousands of years. Cypress was the home of the oldest known perfumery, also 4,000 years ago.

Natural materials were exclusively utilized, placed in an oil (usually olive oil) base. Myrrh, cinnamon, frankincense, balsam, galbanum, labdanum, saffron and cassia were some of the ingredients used.

In Pompei, the perfume industry’s key component was the strongly scented flower of the region, the rose. Its precious oil was obtained by distilling the petals in horseshoe-shaped furnaces. (Roses and other local flowers in the Campania region were also used for creating garlands.) Other materials were often costly, having to be brought in from far places.

Red roses P2

 

Perfumes were usually reserved for the wealthy due to their high costs of production. Through excavations and testing, it has been discovered that their personal gardens were large, well organized and well tended. The gardens contained the botanicals used in making perfumes, unguents, and flower garlands.

The famous House of Vetti’s triclinium (dining room) contains detailed friezes of cherubs compromising nine masterpieces, depicting among other things, picking flowers and making garlands, baking bread and harvesting grapes.

Pictured below are the three scenes from the perfume related frieze in which the cherubs are manufacturing and purchasing perfumes.

 

Crushing flowers and working with the press to extract their oils

Crushing flowers and working with the press to extract their oils

 

 

 

Mixing the oil in vats

Mixing the oil in vats

 

 

Selling perfumes to a young woman

Selling perfumes to a young woman

The bottles used to hold the perfumes (unguents) and ointments are called unguentariums. They were created out of blown glass and are often found encrusted with sediment.

The exhibit at Indigo will feature three Roman perfume bottles from the first century A.D.,

typically used to contain ointments (unguents), cosmetics, perfume, balsam, and fragrant oils.

July 4th sale car
Indigo Perfumery, Upcoming Events

July Fourth Celebration Sale

We invite you to celebrate the Fourth of July with us: receive 20% off orders of $100 or more of FULL BOTTLES only in our website collection on July 4th & 5th!

 

Use code Special Fourth during checkout.

This offer is not good on gift certificates, samples or premium lines**.

The minimum order amount is pre-tax and pre-shipping.

Orders will be shipped on July 7th-8th.

**Tauer, Jul et Mad

Father's Day 6-15
Upcoming Events

Father’s Day: The Possibilities!

Looking for ideas for Dad? Not quite sure what he will like?

Indigo suggests a few fragrances to help your choice become a bit easier:

Acquasala by Gabriella Chieffo is a thoroughly modern, salty, marine and spicy scent, backed by incense and oakmoss.

Mahon Leather by Floris London is an elegant, woody fragrance with key notes of leather and saffron woven into an elegant heart of vetiver and underscored by deep woods and amber.

Classic Opoponax by Von Eusersdorff opens with a rose/jasmine combination that deftly moves into the heart of its objective: a resinous, balsamic sweet myrrh. Benzoin and sandalwood accent the headiness. Its longevity is enhanced by the amber/vanilla/patchouli base, with a bit of castoreum thrown in for depth. Very smooth.

Salt Caramel, the classic by Shay and Blue, is one of the most popular fragrances for men in the shop. It’s gourmand opening drifts into sea salt, tonka bean and sandalwood- a combination that takes one to a deeper edge. It is addictive!

R’oud Elements by Kerosene reveals soft wafts of woods- oud and sandalwood, accented by amber, vanilla and lavender . The scent is soft, deep and longing for closeness and invitation.

 

To ensure sufficient time for delivery, all web orders should be placed by Wednesday, June 17th.  Complimentary gift wrap is available-  just ask!

Kerosene at Indigo 6-27-15 bl
In Conversation..., Upcoming Events

Kerosene Trunk Show

Indigo invites one and all to meet the incomparable John Pegg, the creative force and perfumer of Kerosene.

John will be bringing all of his creations (even the ones Indigo does not presently have in house).

Here is your chance to actually speak with a creator, find out a secret or two and appreciate the wide variety of fragrances that John creates.

We’ll have liquid refreshments and nosh…

Indigo Perfumery

Saturday, June 27th

1:30-3:30 p.m.

MD 5-10-15 Ep
Perfumes, Upcoming Events

A Gift For The Epicurean Mother

 

Finding a scent that matches her essence is the key to success with the Epicurean Mother. She’ll instinctively pay attention to the ingredients and may even opt for the unexpected. Lavender, vanilla and spices are within the comfort zone of the passionate gourmand.

Like This, by État Libre d’Orange, will delight her senses with its unexpected olfactory assortment of notes. Created with Tilda Swenson in mind, one can expect that it will make its own statement with a distinct gourmand quality.

Indigo Vanilla, created by Shelley Waddington of En Voyage Perfumes, is an unconventional gourmand with a subtle spice trail complimenting its focus on violet. Yes, there is very good vanilla, but don’t worry, Indigo Vanilla avoids being too sweet or edible. It’s just plain beautiful.

Provanilla (Providence Perfume Co.) also has to be included for Our Epicurean Mother. Whether your Mother is a connoisseur of vanilla or not, she will love Charna Ethier’s uniquely creative ode to vanilla. Not only does Charna incorporate five different (sublime) vanillas, she discovered that adding the unexpected twist of a clean aquatic accord keeps the fragrance light and fresh throughout. (Order directly from Providence Perfume… our bottles are not here yet…)

Gift certificates are always available as well.

To ensure sufficient time for delivery, all web orders should be placed by Wednesday, May 6th.

Complimentary gift wrap is available.

Please let us know if you would like it in the Special Request box during checkout.

MD 5-10-15 Travel Mom  new bl
Perfumes, Upcoming Events

A Gift For The Loves-To-Travel Mother

 

The Loves-to-Travel, Adventurous Mother craves new experiences and needs to pack up quickly and easily.

Copacabana’s (Sabé Masson) soft perfume ease of use and vacation-perfect scent

contrasts with L’Air du Désert Marocain (Tauer Perfumes), a spicy, memorable perfume with lots of character.

Of course you can always opt for a gift certificate.

To ensure sufficient time for delivery, all web orders should be placed by Wednesday, May 6th.

Complimentary gift wrap is available.

Please let us know if you would like it in the Special Request box during checkout.

MD 5-10-15 Athletic Mom
Perfumes, Upcoming Events

A Gift For The Athletic Mother

 

 

The Athletic Mother benefits from a fresh scent with a big pick-me-up like Aqua Sextius (Jul et Mad) with its sophisticated, fresh green piquancy of an outdoor day,

or Zazou (Sabé Masson) invigorating citrus notes complimented by its woody dry down.

Of course you can always opt for a gift certificate.

To ensure sufficient time for delivery, all web orders should be placed by Wednesday, May 6th.

Complimentary gift wrap is available.

Please let us know if you would like it in the Special Request box during checkout.

MD 5-10-15 New Mom new bl
Perfumes, Upcoming Events

A Gift For The New Mother

 

The New Mother faces how to balance the overwhelming duties of being a new mom while remaining true to herself.

Perfect Veil by Sarah Horowitz is a gentle scent that will remind her of her prettier side while never overwhelming the baby.

She saves Neroli Blanc Intense, by Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger, to feel sultry for that much-needed date night out.

Of course you can always opt for a gift certificate.

To ensure sufficient time for delivery, all web orders should be placed by Wednesday, May 6th.

Complimentary gift wrap is available.

Please let us know if you would like it in the Special Request box during checkout.

MD 5-10-15 GrTh new blog
Perfumes, Upcoming Events

A Gift For The Green Thumb Mother

 

 

The Green Thumb Mother’s love of nature and flowers is reflected in her fragrance choices.

Ciel d’Opale, by Ann Gerard Parfum, takes you to a sunny afternoon under the linden tree.

Caterina dè Medici, by i Profumi di Firenze, portrays the most beautiful flower garden imaginable.

Of course you can always opt for a gift certificate.

To ensure sufficient time for delivery, all web orders should be placed by Wednesday, May 6th.

Complimentary gift wrap is available.

Please let us know if you would like it in the Special Request box during checkout.

MD 5-10-15 Career new blog
Perfumes, Upcoming Events

A Gift For the Career Mom

 

 

Mother’s day is fast approaching.

Let Indigo assist you this week with our daily scent guideline.

We’re matching scents with a wide range of moms.

Today: it’s The Career Mother.

The Career Mother needs a fragrance subtle enough for the office.

Hedonist Iris (Viktoria Minya) is a refined fragrance that focuses on the delicate scent of the iris flower.

Parisian Rhapsody (Sabé Masson) is a soft perfume in a tube, an easy-to-wear floral with subtle spice and fruit notes.

Of course you can always opt for a gift certificate.

To ensure sufficient time for delivery, all web orders should be placed by Wednesday, May 6th.

Complimentary gift wrap is available.

Please let us know if you would like it in the Special Request box during checkout.