BioAroma, an integrated unit centered on the world of plants and herbs, with its own organic crops, distillery for the production-distillation of essential oils and open to the public museum and herb garden in Agios Nikolaos, Crete, was founded after long-term studies of archaeological evidence by Minoan perfumers as well as old recipes from the grandmothers of our island, in order to create the first 100% natural, handmade cosmetics line made with raw materials from the natural abundance of Crete such as beeswax, olive oil, dittany, laudanum, etc.
The manufacturing process takes place in the traditional way along with new technologies for quality control and safety, without any use of chemicals or preservatives with the result that… there is no problem if it is eaten.
Herbal cosmetics and the Minoans
The Cretan earth is a botanical paradise because of suitable climatic conditions and quality of the soil. A fact that prompted the Minoans to exploit this wealth over 4,500 years ago and become the first producer of cosmetics worldwide by preparing unique natural cosmetics for the face, herbal products for the body and natural hair care products such as: creams, ointments and oils which were offered to their royalty and also exported to other nations.
That’s the reason that the most popular Minoan profession of that era was the manufacturer of perfumes, ointments and make-up.
Studies indicate that:
Cosmetics were not only intended to cover up peoples’ odors, but were to a large degree created to arouse sexual desires. They argued that physical relaxation and a gentle - erotic touch are the elements that stimulate our brains and because, as we all know, sensuality of the body is processed in the brain and in order to be stimulated you must be relaxed, sensual massage oils play an important role in this process. Another known fact is, that the pre-Hellenic word “Vrenthis”, was given to the aromatic oil extracted from a mandrake.
The art of perfumers was something between simple cooking and real chemistry: Special craftsmen manufactured cosmetics for eyes, cheeks and lips. Often many have referred to the eyelids of La Parisienne of Knossos, a great goddess or priestess, that painted the edge of her eyelids in black, or red, applied with a paintbrush on her lips.
In cosmetics, the Minoans considered Dittany and Laudanum as the holiest of ingredients. Dittany in olive oil was the highest gift to their gods and the Laudanum resin was a key component in their creams, and was also used as incense.