Ancient Armenian Recipes

old Armenian bookThe Secrets of Beauty of Armenian Women

The older is mankind, the older is the history of cosmetic products. It is difficult to say when people had applied to cosmetic products, but one thing is beyond doubt; parallel to the development of human self-consciousness people’s desire to look beautiful impelled them to search in the surrounding environment for the means endowed with care and healthy traits. The Armenians are one of those ancient nations who taking experiments on different plants and other means created the first recipes of cosmetic care.
According to the early manuscripts, a unique system of medical sciences was developed in ancient and medieval Armenia. We learn about it not only from Armenian sources but also from the written records made by foreign travelers. Ancient Greek historian and general Xenophon in his book “Anabasis” praised not only aromatic wine and fine beer of our country but also unique Armenian scents and items of body care, the secrets of which were known only to Armenians.
Natural dyes and cosmetic products made of carmine (Vordan Karmir), known as the “Marvel of the Orient” were considered the exclusive privilege of Armenia’s rulers. Armenian aristocratic ladies used aromatic oils, ointments and liquors which were made for them by court chemists. One of these methods was used by Armenian queen Sahakanush, the wife of King Ashot Yerkat (10th century). She was famous for natural beauty and long thick black hair among many admirers.
The formula which our queen used to save her beauty contained simple ingredients: adding dried basil to the mixture of olive oil and violet flowers, and keeping for 40 days, she mixed the infusion and rubbed over the length of her hair. This ancient recipe has always been in the center of modern chemists’ attention and now it is kept in Matenadaran, the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts.
Surely, many things have been changed since ancient times, and today we use various modern cosmetic products for hair and body care. Anyhow, the medical means made of ancient herbs and oils have always been and will always remain the basis of today’s perfume and cosmetic products.

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