Two Aromatic Herbs of Ancient Crete

by P. Faure

From the Minoan era, in the middle of the second millennium BC, and still today, Crete has been famous for the variety and wealth of its flora and its aromatic herbs, in particular. The most celebrated among them, known especially for their healing properties, are the ladanos, or labdanum, of the Cistus Creticus Boissieri genus, called po-ni-ki-jo by the Mycenaeans; and the dictamos, a marjoram, known in Botany as Origanum Dictamnus. This plant, being an attribute of the goddesses Dictyna and Artemis Vritomartys and of god Eros, was also called «theangelis» (= gods' messager) after the role Eros usually has played among the other deities.


Chypre Perfume.

The word "Chypre" is French for Cyprus.

Chypre is the French for Cyprus and comes from when the Crusader's invaded in the 13th century and brought back a material called labdanum from the sticky buds of the Cistus bush. It has a heavy, sweet, balsamic type of odour but when blended with other base notes like sandalwood, patchouli and oakmoss, made a very popular base. You need to allow at least 10-15 minutes after application to appreciate the similarity between perfumes in this group, since "Chypre" describes the "main-theme" or "base" of the perfume which you will not appreciate until the solvent and top notes have had time to evaporate.

Chypre perfumes tend to be fairly heavy fragrances and therefore last a reasonable time on the skin. Sometimes described as evening type perfumes, or "sophisticated". Our fragrances in this group are Cymbelline for the ladies and Amber for men.

François Coty (3 May 1874, Ajaccio, Corsica – 25 July 1934, Louveciennes)

Frenchman Monsieur François Spoturno, known as François Coty.

He began by selling essences derived from flowers in Grasse, and then peddled his scents to the barbers of Paris. His genius, however, was in marketing and in recognizing that the bottle made the perfume. He had bottles designed by the great ceramist René Lalique. His first great successes were his Rose Jacqueminot scent, in a bottle by Baccarat, in 1904 and L'Origan in 1905. One of Coty's greatest success, Chypre (1917), gave its name to an entire fragrance family used in the industry's classifications


Chypre Perfume -- Basic Accord

3 ounces bergamot essential oil

1.5 ounces oakmoss absolute

1 ounce lime essence essential oil

3/4 ounce labdanum "amber note" absolute