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The marriage and the scented rituals throughout the world

April 19th, 2012

 

 In China:  What is the role of perfume in a marriage?

Chinese women are given in their childhood a personal sachet of perfume, called the Hin, which describes their essence.

It consists of a blend of sacred plants, including Artemisia and orchid, which symbolise betrothal.  The ritualistic of encounter between man and wife involves perfume.

When a woman goes to see her husband, she must fast, rinse out her mouth, put on special clothes, brush and pin up her hair, but most of all remember to tie to her waist her sachet of perfume.

There are six types of incense: tranquil, recluse, luxurious, aesthetic, refined and noble, which are harmonised with different flowers.

 

 In India:  Which scented ceremony surrounded the future bride? 

In India, the future bride was purified in scented baths in the days preceding the marriage ceremony.

A sacred fire was lit and scented oils were poured down the young bride and groom.

 

What was the role of “the perfume man” during the marriage ceremony?

The legend of the “perfume man” with his range of scented and cotton tipped bamboo sticks took roots in India of the Maharajas in the 19th century.

In the morning of the marriage ceremony, the perfume man, expertly rubbed mint into the future groom’s Adam’s apple, belly button and underarms, because  it is said that this is where Indian women like to rub their noses when in the loving embrace of their husband.

 

 In the Arab culture:  Which fragrances play the protective and purifying role during marriage?

During the wedding, perfume protects the future spouses against evil spirits: scented water and rose water, as well as incense burners are present during the ceremony.

The bride wears a crown of orange blossoms and jasmine flowers.

 

 In Africa:  Did you know that Peul women can only use perfume after they marry? 

Peul women can only use perfume and incense once they are married.

Young women can use moisturising creams and soap alone. Once married, the Peul woman must appear in the eyes of society as clean, elegant and fragrant.

If she doesn’t, her dirty and negligent appearance can dishonor her husband and the family.

 

What is the role of fragrant necklaces?

In Mauritania, fragrant necklaces are reserved for the exclusive use of married women, who only wear them in the presence of their husbands.

The fragrance is considered to have aphrodisiac powers. 

 

 In different cultures:  Which flower is the symbol of marriage and is always present in marriage ceremonies?

Orange blossom is associated with marriage in different cultures.

The bride’s bouquet is often decorated with a white satin bow, composed with a crown that the young women wore in her hair.

The legend says Zeus had offered orange blossoms to Hera when he chose her for his wife. The evergreen leaves have become the symbol of lifelong love.

The white flowers symbolize the fiancée’s candor while the fruit that ripens between the flowers represents the hope for descendants.

 

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