30 maggio 2016

The Perfume of Cyprus. From Pyrgos to François Coty the route of a millenary charm

di Maria Rosaria Belgiorno

The Perfume of Cyprus.
From Pyrgos to François Coty the route of a millenary charm

Maria Rosaria Belgiorno
formato 17x24 cm, 400 pagine
ISBN 978-88-6975-120-2
23,00 euro
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The Perfume of Cyprus is an interesting and through-provoking read. 

Maria Rosaria Belgiorno demonstrates the significance of the production 
and use of perfumes from the Bronze Age to the present day with the case 
study of the wonderful archaeological site of Pyrgos; a site which has 
in situ examples of the differing implements and ceramics involved in 
perfume production.
Notably she places Cyprus into the broader context which is an important 
aspect when considering the production and use of perfumes that clearly 
held significance.
This is clear from the extensive trade of Cyprian perfumes which gives 
the island of Cyprus a central role in the trade of perfume and 
cosmetics. Indeed, the similarities and connections with Egyptian 
perfumes, in both their production and traditions, demonstrate the areas 
of contact and influences as well as allowing for a wonderful 
comparison. Whilst the production and trade perfumes has seen a 
continuation even to this day with a specific olfactory family.
Additionally a significance of the specific ingredients has been made 
clear, although it is a shame the exact quantities and process of the 
production of the most ancient Cyprian perfumes is still unknown. 
(Perhaps this is scope for further research?) Certainly the importance 
held by certain key ingredients, such as wine, imbues further 
significance onto the perfumes themselves, not to mention the clear 
skill and knowledge needed in the choice of ingredients and the 
production. As such the ingredients are of interest when considering the 
modern day; even though presently chemicals are often used in the 
production of perfume, the significance and persistent use of wine, for 
example, in differing recipes and as a popular drink has been maintained 
throughout the centuries until the present day.
Moreover the connection Maria Rosaria Belgiorno draws upon between 
scent, perfumes and cosmetics with divine powers, gods and goddesses, 
such as Aphrodite, brings the focus towards the beliefs and aspects 
important to contemporary prehistoric society. As well as the powerful 
connection of the human mind and scent which overall demonstrate the 
significance perfume held and therefore the importance of research into 
its production at Pyrgos and across Cyprus.
The Perfume of Cyprus: from Pyrgos to François Coty the Route of a 
Millenary Charm is a fascinating read which will allow the reader to 
really understand the world of scent both today and in the past.

Amber Roy. PhD New Castle University