Explore how perfumes were made in the ancient Roman world and blend your own fragrance with the same materials ancient perfumers used. This class will cover: A brief history of ancient perfume in the Mediterranean, with a concentration on the Campania region in Italy, which was second only to Alexandria, Egypt in the production of perfume. During our time together, you’ll explore approximately 20 essential oils – most of them used in the ancient world – and discover how perfume is composed of top, middle, and base notes. Class participants will learn how to blend and each person will make their own fragrance using the ingredients covered in class.
My grandmother owned a small perfume and apothecary shop in her Italian village in the 1930’s. There, she made natural perfumes and apothecary items from ingredients that have been used by people in the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years — smoky resins, moroccan rose, lemons from Capri. She wrote all of her “recipes” in her “ricetti di libro” (recipe book) which she handed down to me. Villa of the Mysteries Perfume is a way for me to connect to my grandmother across generations by recreating her most beloved fragrances with a modern touch.