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The Geography Of Perfume

Neha Shetty 0658899

Why did I choose perfume as my geographical theme?


I chose perfume as my geographical theme because it is something I personally have
always enjoyed using. I was aware that there are different uses for this product in
various countries around the world.

What I did not know is the specific method of how perfume is made, its historic
origins, and the reasons behind why it is so expensive in todays world.

My portfolio is filled with resources to answer these questions and many more. It is
a fantastic theme that can be linked to physical, cultural, economic, and social
aspects of geography. This is an important theme because it allows students to see
how everyday products that are around them have so many links to geography.
Through learning the geography of perfume students will learn to think more
geographically about various other products that they use on a daily basis. This
theme will create a geographically stimulated and curious mindset for students to

carry into their lives outside of the classroom.

Introductional videos to the geography of perfume


History of Perfume
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orwn2BCKaZ8
This is a fantastic video that showcases a visual time line of the history of perfume.
Starting from the historical origins at 3500 BC in Ancient Egypt up until the
economic impact of the perfume industry in 2013. This video would be a beneficial
resource for students to see the journey of perfume through a short (1:32) length,
well made film. It is ideal introduction to get students intrigued about the
geographic theme of perfume.

Luxury Perfume More Expensive Than Gold


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uECPWsNuZ_A
This video can be used as an introductory video as well. It is longer in length (5:26),
but is thorough with live visual aid. It presents the history of perfumery and pays
special attention to the influence of perfume in the Middle East, where it is still
widely incorporated into culture. The video does a wonderful job of introducing

students to the use of Oud within the perfume making process. The resource on
the Agarwood tree, within this portfolio, will provide greater detail on how Oud is
produced, what it is, and the importance of it to the geography of perfume.

Physical Geography of Perfume


The History of Perfume is as old as the human being exists.
http://www.everythinkaboutperfume.com/history.html
This website provides an interesting read about where perfume originated from and
how it spread to different countries through various historical periods and empires.
It carries the reader through the uses of perfume by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans,
and Arabs. The article then showcases the significance of perfume during the middle
Ages, the Enlightenment era, the 20th century, and finally the perfume industry in
our modern era. This is a great resource for students to be able to read, in
interesting details, about how the use of perfume differed from place to place, but
still became a part of peoples daily life, just as it is now. It presents information on
how many people worked in the perfume industry at different times throughout
history, which individuals were allowed to wear perfume in the past, and the
reasons for why there is a sense of elite divinity associated with perfume.
Assignment/Activity: This article could be given to students to read, as it is not
too lengthy but very informative and interesting. After reading it students could break
into groups and create a visual time line of where perfume originated, the places it
spread to at certain time periods, and how it was used at that time. The teacher could
then ask students to discuss which time period and country interested them most on

their time line, and a small writing assignment explaining their choice could be
assigned as homework.

Archaeological dig sniffs out worlds oldest perfumery


http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/archaeological-dig-sniffs-out-world-soldest-perfumery-1-737387
This article describes an archaeological excavation of the oldest discovered
perfumery found in Cyprus. It describes how the ingredients discovered there date
back to 2000 BC and how economically the natural ingredients needed to create
perfume in that time were of great scarcity at one point. This had so much of an
impact that the Pharaoh of Egypt, Ramses III, exercised great control over the
production of perfume at that time. This is an important and helpful resource for
teachers to use because it presents the present with the past. Archaeological digs
provide us with great information about the ways of life of those who came before
us, all over the world. It is important for students to understand that the history of
cultures that came before us have molded our present day culture to be what it is.
This earth is our home, and has been throughout history. What lies within the soil is
a glance into what came before us, and this should always be treated with respect as
world citizens.
Activity: The article lists spices and plants that were discovered in the
perfumery, such as, cinnamon, laurel, myrtle, anise, and citrus bergamot. Though some
of these ingredients may be difficult to find, many of them are readily available and it
would be beneficial to get students to smell them. These smells are the chance to create
an environment of the past within the classroom. It would be hard for the class to go to

Cyprus and see the perfumery, but the teacher and students can transform the
classroom into the perfumery through this experiential activity. Students could then
compare their thoughts on the smells and the reading, in small groups. A large class
discussion can follow from this activity with ideas of what they might use from their
own natural surroundings to create their own perfumes.

How to make your own perfume


http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-Perfume
This resource provides 5 techniques to make your own perfume. There are options
that are classroom friendly, using soap, ethanol, and natural ingredients, it would be
a fun and interactive activity for the teacher to incorporate into the geography of
perfume lesson theme. It incorporates using what is natural around us to create
something that has been utilized and of great importance to human beings
throughout history. Going outside into nature and using our own hands to create
something that we are learning about is a beneficial method to understand the
entire process of making perfume. It also engages students with nature and physical
geography outside of the classroom.
Activity: Take students outside, on the school grounds, to pick flowers, plants, or
bring whole spices like cardamom and cinnamon from home. Students will bring
ingredients that they think smell nice, and then in class, or the chemistry lab, using the
resource on how to make perfume, students can begin to prep their ingredients and
create their own perfume. Students can be provided with the resource below to assist
in their gathering of ingredients.
Graph Of Scents
http://www.eliteproducts8.biz/attachments/CropImages/cfa980c14a551fd3427de
a9dfd16bb6b.jpeg

Cultural Geography of Perfume


Perfume Crusaders- and the Renaissance: Perfume Society
http://perfumesociety.org/discover-perfume/history/perfume-crusaders-and-therenaissance/
This article is an informative resource to understand how each society provided
different aspects of the uses of perfume. From the Arabs coming up with ways to
capture fragrance and creating glass perfume bottles (which the resource on
Egyptian glass blowing will display), to the Chinese using smoke within their
spiritual customs. The original use of perfumery comes from the Latin word per
fumus which means through smoke. Beginning from the burning of wood for the
release of smoke, and leading to the extraction of oils from wood to create perfume
that can be applied to the skin, it is important for students to understand how these
raw materials, used in different forms, all connect to what perfume is and
represents now.
Assignment/Activity: This article covers 7 groups who influenced what perfume
was used for and is still used for today. The class could be split into 7 groups each
covering one part of the article. They could make points of interest from their part of
the article and then come up in front of the class to present their part of the article to
the rest of the students. A general class discussion could take place after this to

compare how the aspects in the article still apply to modern uses of perfume. This is an
important way of relating concepts in the article to their daily life around them.

The Ancient Perfume and Incense Route


http://www.wysinfo.com/Perfume/Perfume_route.htm#The%20Ancient%20Perfu
me%20Industry
This resource could fit under the category of physical Geography as well as cultural
because it does provide very helpful maps of the historic trade routes of perfume.
The resource is rich in information about how perfumes were transported for trade,
which spices were used for particular perfumes and where those spices came from.
The resource can be helpful for a teacher to create a lesson plan on the cultivation of
ingredients for making perfume, the process of creating it, and the individuals who
used it at those times. It also touches on the economic impact of the trade routes and
is a very useful breakdown of all aspects of the Geography of Perfume concisely
presented on one web page.
Assignment: Students can be given the website by the teacher and class time
can be provided for students to explore the information presented within the site.
Students should then pick their favorite perfume, or a perfume they have seen
advertised on television and they will conduct a mini research project on this perfume.
They will need to find out whether the perfume was made in Canada, and if not then
where was it made? What are the key ingredients in it, and where are those
ingredients originally found? This will allow students to get closer to the geography of

the product and understand the process it takes with ingredients and labor from many
different parts of the world to create the final product that they have the luxury of
using, a luxury of very ancient times.

Economic Geography of Perfume


Miracles of Oud Agarwood
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v27vMKN-r5Y
This (5:43 length) video is the perfect resource for students to understand the
importance of the Agarwood tree in the process and history of perfume making. The
Agarwood tree is grown in few physical geographical locations, and is an extremely
labor intensive tree to grow. The fungal infection of the tree and extraction of that
infected wood is what provides the unique and brilliant smell of the wood that is
eventually burnt. The video takes the viewer through the process of growing the
tree till the stage of extracting the extremely expensive oil essence, which is called
Oud. Oud is used in various cultures for religious ceremonies, cosmetics, and
modern day perfume. It comes at a very high cost, as it is something that ripens with
age. The fact that the older Oud oils that are over 100 years old are finite makes
them that much more expensive, and this is an important fact to understanding why
some perfumes are so expensive in our society today as well. This ties into the price
based on ingredients and labor. The next resource will provide more information on
the prices of Oud.

Activity: The teacher could get the students to guess how much some Oud oils
may cost, and then after viewing the video a class discussion could take place on why
the price is as high as it is for this product (the labor that has gone into growing the
Agarwood Tree, selling the wood to foreign countries, and the production of perfume
through the extraction of the rare Oud Oil).

Agarwood or call it Oudh- Raw Materials


http://www.fragrantica.com/news/Agarwood-or-call-it-Oudh--2500.html
This article provides information about the process of extracting Oud oil from the
infected Agarwood tree. It is a good substitute for the video above on the Agarwood
plantation if a teacher would prefer to provide students with something to read
about this method instead of watching a video. The article explains the reasons why
Oud oil is so costly taking the reader through the aging process of the oil itself and
how that affects its economic value. Two point two pounds of Oud oil may cost $225
where as after 20 years that same oil would cost $1500. The economic value
associated with Oud oil and its aging process is something students should be aware
of with regards to the geography of perfume. It also has an impact on the trade,
production, and market value of Oud being sent from Southeast Asian countries to
the highest Oud demanding countries located in the Gulf.
Activity: Get students to break into groups and compare the difference in price
according to Oud that comes from trees grown in different countries, outlined in the
article. Groups can then present their findings to the class. This will give students
insight into the specific economic differences between regions and their quality of
products in trade.

For a Coveted Resin, the Scent of Rarity Takes Hold


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/world/middleeast/28iht-M28CPERFUME.html?_r=0
This article is a great resource to present to students for them to understand the
impact of cutting trees, especially when it comes to the perfume market. It is not a
link you would normally associate but it is of utmost importance to the economy of
the perfume industry. The article takes the reader through what has been happening
to the Agarwood trees in a number of countries. It has effect on the market price of
the trade of this wood, the impact on the perfume industry, and the raise of market
value for Oud oil as a result. All of these are important economic factors to
understanding how all the themes of Geography link with one another to affect our
entire world.
Assignment/Activity: The teacher can get the students to read the article
individually and then for homework half the class can cover the natural impact of
cutting trees that is outlined in the article, and the other half will cover the economic
impact as a result of this. The next day students will pair up with one another from
each side of the class and they will swap their points from the article on their assigned
article topic. The class can then break into small groups and talk about the overall
cultural impact that both the economic and natural issues surrounding the Agarwood
tree have presented for cultures who so strongly depend on Oud for their daily life. This
is an important activity for students to understand how people must adapt to
globalization of local products like the Agarwood tree, Oud oil, and any other

resources used in their daily lives. Cultures are constantly adapting to these
Geographical influences.

Social Geography of Perfume


The History of Egyptian Perfume Bottles
http://www.firemountaingems.com/encyclobeadia/beading_resources.asp?docid=
db0y
The benefit of this resource is that it gives students an understanding of how history
shapes current social customs and practices. The glass blowing of Egypt is worldrenowned. The beautiful glass perfume bottles that come from this country are
embedded deep in history and this article provides how this custom came into
practice and the impact it has had on perfume up to our modern times. This is a
great resource because students can relate to it. Most of the perfumes we buy now
come in a glass bottle, there are reasons for that, and history behind its origins and
purpose.
Assignment/Activity: After presenting this short article to students, have a class
discussion about their thoughts on this ancient custom and get them to reflect on their
own surroundings. Ask students to think about if they can think of anything that they
use in their daily life that may have a link to Geography the way glass perfume bottles

do. They may think of things such as beds, or mirrors, and this will spark an interest to
look at the geography behind these objects. The teacher can then plan a class unit
where students choose their own favorite theme of Geography and do a small research
project on it, which can then be presented to the class, so the entire group learns from
one another. The assignment is much alike to this portfolio, but with more emphasis on
class presentation.

How To Make Glass Perfume Bottles


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGz88-mo_54
This is a wonderful visual resource to accompany the above resource on Egyptian
perfume bottle making. The video is only 1:45 seconds in length and will allow for
students to have an understanding of the craftsmanship that goes into the
production of these bottles. There is also a historic connection to be made with this
craftsmanship, which has been carried to modern day from ancient times.
Activity: This video could be presented to students to lead them into thinking
about the craftsmanship that goes into hand made products, such as pottery and
woodworking. Students can think about how these methods of craftsmanship started
and the importance of things being done by hand as opposed to being produced by
factories. An assignment on the impacts of industrialization and the loss of hand made
quality products would be beneficial for students. They could link back to the other

resources about the scarcity of Oud oil and its impacts on the market, production, and
cultural use of perfume all over the world.

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