112. Gum-mastich however, which the Arabians call ladanon, comes in a still more extraordinary manner; for though it is the most sweet-scented of all things, it comes in the most evil- scented thing, since it is found in the beards of he-goats, produced there like resin from wood: this is of use for the making of many perfumes, and the Arabians use it more than anything else as incense.
Ladanum is described by Herodotus (3 1x2) as particulaFly fragrant, though gathered from the beards of goats, on which it is found sticking;
"Arabia is the last of inhabited lands towards the south, and it is
the only country which produces frankincense, myrrh, cassia, cinnamon,
and ledanum. The Arabians do not get any of these, except the myrrh, without trouble..."

"Ledanum, which the Arabs call ladanum, is procured in a yet stranger fashion. Found in a most inodorous place, it is the sweetest-scented of all substances. It is gathered from the beards of he-goats, where it is found sticking like gum, having come from the bushes on which they browse. It is used in many sorts of unguents, and is what the Arabs burn chiefly as incense.
Concerning the spices of Arabia let no more be said. The whole country is scented with them, and exhales an odour marvellously sweet. There are also in Arabia two kinds of sheep worthy of admiration,the like of which is nowhere else to be seen; the one kind has long tails, not less than three cubits in length, which, if they wereallowed to trail on the ground, would be bruised and fall into sores. As it is, all the shepherds know enough of carpentering to make little trucks for their sheep's tails. The trucks are placed under the tails, each sheep having one to himself, and the tails are then tied down upon them. The other kind has a broad tail, which is a cubit across sometimes...."


Cistus salviifolius

Cistus salviifolius in North Crete.

Cistus salviifolius, common name Sage-leaved Rock Rose or Salvia Cistus, is a perennial ligneous plant of Cistaceae family.


The genus name Cistus derives from the Greek words κίσϑος (kisthos) meaning basket , while the species name salviifolius refers the wrinkled leaves similar to those of the sage.


Cistus salviifolius has spreading stems covered by clumpy hairs. This bushy shrub reaches on average 30–60 centimetres (12–24 in) in height, with a maximum of 100 centimetres (39 in). The oval-shaped green leaves are 1 to 4 centimeters long, opposite, reticulate, tomentose on both sides, with a short petiole (2-4 mm).

The inflorescence holds one or more round flowers, long-stalked, arranged at the leaf axils. The five white petals have a yellow spot at the base, forming a corolla 4-6 cm in diameter. The stamens are also yellow and the anthers shed abundant yellow pollen. This plant is pollinated by insects entomophily, especially bees. The flowering period extends from April through May. The fruit is a pentagonal capsule, 5-7 mm long.

Cistus salviifolius (white flower)  and Cistus Creticus (pink flower) North Crete.


Cistus salviifolius cultivated in the nursery industry, and grown in gardens and public landscapes, often for its drought-tolerant and pollinator habitat attributes.


This showy wildflower is native to the Mediterranean region, in southern Europe  and parts of Western Asia and North Africa.


This plant prefers dry hills, scrubs and open woodlands, at an altitude of 0–1,200 metres (0–3,900 ft) above sea level. It grows very quickly after a fire.


Pedanios Dioskurides

Pedanios Dioskurides.
Pedanios Dioskurides sd) from Anazarba in Kilikien (small Asia) (1. Century) was a Greek physician, who as an army surgeon among the emperors Claudius and Nero in the Roman service. Most famous Pharmakologe of the antiquity.

1. Cistus and Labdanum.
2.Cytinus hypocistis L.
The name ypokistis is from Pedanios Dioskurides.


Joseph Pitton de Tournefort 1700-1702

Joseph Pitton de Tournefort travelled to Crete 1700.

Joseph Pitton de Tournefort,  (b. June 5, 1656, Aix-en-Provence, Fr.—d. Dec. 28, 1708, Paris), French botanist and physician, a pioneer in systematic botany, whose system of plant classification represented a major advance in his day and remains, in some respects, valid to the present time.    

Labdanistirio from Joseph Pitton de Tournefort


Pierre Belon to Crete(1517-1564).

Pierre Belon to Crete(1517-1564).
Pierre Belon is one of the unsung heroes of France’s past - the Indiana Jones of his time. He was a doctor and an adverturer who hunted the world for medicinal herbs and plants. He became France's first official botanist. His story dates back to the Renaissance and King's Expedition of 1546:

That year, King Francois I sent a mission of cultural ambassadors to Constantinople to secure his alliance with the Grand Sultan of the Turkish Empire. Belon’s role in the King’s mission: to gather healing treasures from the East and learn how to harness their curative powers.

February, 1547: Belon left the mission to explore the plant life of the Greek Islands. He obtained there the first of his many discoveries: a sticky, brown resin used to make perfumes. The Greeks collected the resin by driving goats into the forests overgrown with labdanum bushes. Then, they scraped the resin from the beasts' coats, using a special wooden comb with long, straight teeth. It was difficult work done only in summer, under the murderous heat of the Mediterranean sun. This made the resin rare and, unbeknownst to Belon, quite valuable.

Indeed, Barbary pirates considered the resin more valuable that gold. They laid siege to Belon’s ship, carrying off both his resin and his companions. Left alone in an empty boat, Belon was forced to navigate the sea on his own. He traveled slowly and at night, following the stars and avoiding pirates. Back in Crete, he learned that even the Greeks deemed the labdanum resin so valuable that anyone caught stealing it was condemned to death.

The science of Botany was born. And to honor France’s first official Botanist, the King offered Belon a tract of royal land to the west of Paris, now the Bois de Boulogne, to cultivate a botanical garden filled with natural treasures from around the world. But Belon’s work would never begin.

Pierre Belon From Wikipedia

Pierre Belon, Les observations de plusieurs singularitez…, Paris, G. Corrozet, 1553, σελ. 10v

«Entre les notables choses que l’on peut voir en Crète est la manière de faire le ladanon, qui est une drogue les plus renommées qui soient en nos parfums. Il n’y est pas fait de la plante de lédon, ainsi que les Anciens ont estimé, mais d’un autre petit arbrisseau nommé cistus, dont y a si grande quantité que les montagnes du pays en sont toutes couvertes. Sa nature est telle qu’étant vert en toutes saisons, après qu’il a perdu ses fleurs et feuilles du printemps, et s’est dépouillée de ses feuilles d’hiver, il se revêt d’autres nouvelles feuilles quasi lanugineuses pour l’été, qui s’engraissent à la chaleur du soleil d’une uligineuse rosée par-dessus; et d’autant que le chaud est plus violent l’été, d’autant plus croît la susdite rosée dessus ces feuilles.

Il y a une espèce de ce cistus croissant sauvage par les landes de l’Oise au pays du Maine, et principalement joignant le bourg de Fouletourte, près de la Soulletière (qui est le lieu de ma naissance), correspondant en toutes marques à celui de Grèce : aussi est-il beaucoup plus petit.

Les Grecs recueillant ledit ladanon ont la manière de préparer un instrument qu’ils nomment en leur vulgaire ergastiri. Cet instrument a le fût quasi comme un râteau sans dents, lequel ils garnissent de plusieurs courroies de cuir qui n’est pas conroyé, qui sont pendantes audit instrument. Ils frottent lesdites courroies doucement contre les arbrisseaux, et la susdite rosée s’attache contre les courroies. C’est un labeur quasi intolérable, car il faut être tout le jour au soleil par les montagnes ès plus chauds jours caniculaires de tout l'été. Tel ouvrage est communément de caloyers, c’est-à-dire des religieux de Grèce. Et l’endroit en Crète où l’on en fasse plus grande quantité est ver le pied du mont Ida, au village nommé Cigualinus, et auprès de Milopotamo».


Chypre Coty 1917.

During the ensuing years up till 1917 when Francois Coty introduced his famous Chypre perfume, many perfumers worked the themes of labdanum, bergamot and oakmoss into their compositions but it was not until his classic creation came on the market that the word "Chypre" became associated with a family of perfumes that displayed, at their heart, a rich , warm, earthy, mossy, resinous, green bouquet. Coty also drew upon various synthetic chemicals to "enhance" the central Chypre theme.

Following the introduction of his perfume many famous fragrance houses introduced their own unique variations of Chypre.

With the passage of time more and more synthetic ingredients were substituted for naturals which has been the standard pattern in the commerical perfume field. Many modern chypres contain very little if any of the core accord of labdanum, bergamot, and oakmoss or any of the other natural absolutes and essential oils which originally were part of a fine chypre composition. The following natural Chypre accord built around Bergamot, Labdanum and Oakmoss should serve as a good beginning formula for those who wish to create a lovely perfume.

Hystory Chypre perfume


Prior to the Crusades, their was considerable trade between Cyprus, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Egypt and Persian countries and as aromatics in the form of unguents, incense, etc were considered highly desirable items of commerce, it is likely that Cyprus had special creations that were valued by its neighbors.

Roman Empire.
1.Roman Empire
There was at the time of the Roman Empire a perfume that bore the name of Chypre which was composed of labdanum, Turkish storax and calamus. The production of this perfume continued in Italy through the Middle Ages with a variety of natural aromatics used.

2. Crusader's
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.

3.Eau de Chypre
Soon after Richard the 1st(Richard the Lion Hearted) took the title of the King of Cyprus in 1191, a Eau de Chypre perfume appeared in France which was said to consist of of extracts various gums, resins and spices in a rosewater base.

4.oyselets de chypre
In 17th and 18th century France a new form of Chypre appeared in the form of a incense know as 'oyselets de chypre. The various gums, resins, herbs and spices were ground into a powder and mixed with gum tragacanth and fashioned into the form of birds which were then burned as we burn incense today. Oakmoss at this time was added to the basic formula which are key ingredients in the modern forms of Chypre.
Francois Coty.

5.Coty Chypre (1917)
The chypre that started it all, Francois Coty's Chypre was so named as an homage to the scents that perfumed the island of Cyprus — a combination of woods, moss and citrus. Henceforth, thanks to this groundbreaking perfume, all perfumes in the chypre category contained some combination of a sparkling citrus note (usually bergamot), floral heart notes, and rested on bases of vetiver, oakmoss, labdanum and patchouli.
Chypre by Coty is the fisrt chypre fragrance created by Francois Coty in 1917. Chypre is the name of the island Cyprus in French, where the goddess of beauty and love, Venus, was born.

6.Chypre Perfume
Chypre is the name of a family (or concept) of perfumes that are characterised by an accord composed of citrus top- notes, a floral middle, and a mossy-animalic base-note derived from oak moss and musks. Chypre perfumes may be modified by other notes such as patchouli (most often), vetiver, labdanum, ambergris and sandalwood oil.


Modern Medical Uses of Some Plants of the Qu'ran and the Bible

Holy Pharmacy
Modern Medical Uses of Some Plants of the Qu'ran and the Bible Its Relation to Biodiversity American Center Damascus, Syria - July 2000 Holy Pharmacy Modern Medical Uses of Some Plants of the Qu'ran and the Bible Its Relation to Biodiversity Lytton John Musselman

Rock Rose (Cistus creticus).
Both the Qu'ran(1) and the Bible(2) include plants that have long been used for medicine. The hadith and western folk botany are full of additional references to these plants as well. Only recently has the efficacy of these same plants been documented with modern science. I have selected just a few plants, well known in bilad-al Sham, for discussion. These include garlic (Allium sativum), rock rose (Cistus creticus), gourd or colocynth (Citrullus colocynthis), tamarisk or tamarix (Tamarix aphylla), myrrh (several species of Commiphora), mandrake (Mandragora officinarum), black cummin (Nigella sativa), and pomegranate (Punica granatum).

Plants of the Bible and the Qu'ran have been one of my research efforts for many years, a fascination that has been enhanced by living and working in Jordan and Syria. There are about 125 plants in the Bible and about twenty mentioned in the Qu'ran. Of course, allowances have to be made for the inclusion of many other species which are not explicitly stated when "fruits," "trees," "thorns," and "weeds" are discussed.

Rock Rose (Cistus Creticus)

In my last lecture, I spoke at length about rockrose, or Balm of Gilead. Because it may be confused with some of the other plants used for balm, especially myrrh, I want to refer to it again and draw upon some recent research.

Cistus creticus : pink  and Cistus salvifolius white flowers.
Together in same area(Sises Northen Crete).
Two species of Cistus are common in Syria, C. creticus and C. salvifolius. They are easily distinguished by their flower color. The large pink flowers of C. creticus and the slightly smaller but equally beautiful white flowers of C. salvifolius appear in May. On a hot day, the fragrant resin of the plants is obvious. Upon closer examination, you can see the numerous hairs that cover the leaves and young stems of both species. The resin will stick to your hands if you collect leaves.

Cistus' resin is fragrant, as noted, and has been used for millennia to produce an incense. Even today, the resin is collected in parts of Greece. It can be harvested in a variety of ways. One ancient method is to comb the hair of goats who graze in plant communities where Cistus is abundant.
Another is by dragging a rake with long, leather tines across the shrubs at the hottest time of day and then removing the resin when it is dry(14). To my knowledge, it does not have any widespread use among modern Arabs.

The resin is also used for medicine, as a balm that can reduce inflammation of the skin. Recent research on the biochemistry of the plant has shown the efficacy of compounds in the plant for dermatological disorders(15). Recent research in Turkey shows that, of the seven plants used as folk remedies for ulcers, the one with the greatest efficacy was C. salvifolius(16).


Eating and Healing: Traditional Food as Medicine Chapter 16 Aspects of Food Medicine and Ethnopharmacology in Morocco (Mohamed Eddouks) Page 359.
"The holy Qur'an and Hadith include plants that have long been used for medicine.
About twenty of the edible plants mentioned in the Qur'an appear in the context of medicines. They include garlic (Ailutm sativum), rock rose (Cistus creticus), colocyrnth (Citrullus colocynthis), tamarisk or tamarix (Tamarix aphylla), myrrh (Commi phara spp), mandrake (Mandragora officinarum), black cummin (Nigella sativa) and pomegranate (Punica granaium). In the Qur'an the olive fruit is mentioned us a condiment (Danne et al, 1993) Ginger's present-day use is as a flavoring for drinks, which is also mentioned (Faraj. 1995)."


Cretan Crook

The crook (heka) and the flail or flabellum (nekhakha), are two of the most prominent items in the royal regalia of ancient Egypt.

The crook was a cane with a hooked handle, sometimes gold-plated and reinforced with blue copper bands. It probably derived from the shepherd's crosier.

Cretan Crook today.

  • Use(for goats)

  •  Use (for walk)
Cretan men with their crook
 Other uses:lol!!!!!
It is also martial arm!!!!
A Gretan farmer swung a shepherd's crook at a riot policeman in the port of Piraeus, near Athens.