The History of Perfume


Perfumery and the use of scents for personal or ritual enhancement is a very ancient art, dating back to at least biblical times in the West and perhaps even farther back in Africa and the East.


But the history of the ‘Eu de Toilette’ Parfum and Cologne that we have now has a very specific origin and is intertwined with the history of France and royal houses across Europe.


The Greek, Pliny the Elder, describes recipes ‘for use in perfumery’ in his various histories and writings, but the modern method still in use today, was, according to several sources, brought to Europe by the Arabs, who used aromatic oils to scent themselves, in the 14th Century. The first record of the formula for perfume, as defined as a mixture of essential oils in a base of alcohol was first produced and recorded by Queen Elizabeth of Hungary in 1370, and was know at that time as ‘Hungary Water.’ The techniques used in hungary were discovered and further refined by the Italians during the Renaissance of the 16th Century.


But it was Catherine de’ Medici, the Italian born Queen of France who brought the secret recipes to French high society and made them famous. Her personal perfumer, Rene le Florentin, even had a hidden underground tunnel from his apartments to her palace, so that he might bring them to her undisturbed.


The courts held by Louis the 14th were often named for a specific scent used at each, with scents being applied daily to courtesans, not only to the skin but also to clothing, fans and furniture. They were even sometimes used as a replacement for soap and bathing.


Napoleon too loved cologne. The King’s personal favorite? Violet and double extract of jasmine, f which he was said to go through sixty bottles a month.


The center of perfume production in Europe, then and now is the town of Grasse in the South of France. Interestingly perfumed gloves were once so popular that the trades of glove and perfume making shared a combined guild.


On a darker note, perfume makers were at times called on to make poisons, using the same botanical extraction techniques that went into the perfumes. These poisons were used as weapons of war and in more than a few high profile murders including one French Duchess who was killed by poisonous oils applied in secret to her clothing which slowly absorbed into the skin.


Queen Elizabeth the First of England was said to have such a sharp nose, she had all  public places throughout England scented as she could not tolerate foul odours. She also trained the ladies of her court in the making and mixing of their own personal scents alongside the usual artistry of painting, writing, and music, practiced by the upper classes.

We have a new campaign to help some wonderful causes!

cruelty free campaign

This is the press release for Ausganica’s forthcoming Beauty from Within campaign.



Giving the Gift of Compassion

An Australian local business wants you to remember that the true spirit of the holidays is about compassion and doing good.

Sydney local organic skin and hair care maker Ausganica is launching a campaign to support one unique charity a month in the coming year, starting with A portion of the proceeds from the sale of every skincare and hair and body care product during the campaign will go to support the organization. (Approximately $3 from every skincare and $1 from every hair and body care product.)

Choose Cruelty Free (CCF) is an independent, non-profit organisation based in Australia, which actively campaigns for an end to animal testing of cosmetics, toiletries and other household products. CCF is an Animals Australia Member Society. All CCF work is performed largely by volunteers who believe in a cruelty-free lifestyle.

Over 6.5 million animals were estimated to have been experimented on last year in Australia alone. (according to Many for beauty products including rabbits subjected to the cruel “Draize test” which involves testing potentially toxic substance by putting them in the rabbits eye. Often causing permanent scarring or loss of eyesight for the rabbit.

Ausganica founder, and trained aromatherapist Moreen Liao had this to say, “We at Ausganica love animals. I myself have always loved animals and it saddens me that even in our advanced modern age, we are still resorting to this cruel and unnecessary, outdated, method of testing beauty products on animals. Choose Cruelty Free has always been a leader in championing not-tested-on-animals beauty products and animal rights education. We are so excited to have them in a partner in this campaign.”

Ausganica products are available at over 200 shops throughout Australia and at for those wishing to participate. More information about animal testing and animal rights is available at

Contact: [email protected]


We are going to partner with a new charity every month. Do our fans have any suggestions for some great charities?


Why are organic products more expensive?

Finance shock.

Many friends have told me that they’d love to switch everything they eat and use organic if only they could afford it. Some people feel the organic movement is just a marketing craze put out by industry. The following are my observations as to why real organic products are, in fact, more expensive. After reading, you can judge for yourself whether you want to pay more for them.
1. The land: under many certified organic standards, the land has to have been free from chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides for at least 7 yrs and has to pass soil testing.
2. The seed: the seed of plants grown have to have been non-GMO for at least 3 generations, sometimes longer. The seeds used (organic seeds) are also more expensive than conventional ones.
3. Spacing of the plantation: the plants have to have enough space to breath and in some hot countries like Australia, plenty of space between plants is critical for healthy growth and to be free from pests and bacteria (which often occur more frequently in crowded conditions). Some fruits, like grapes or peaches require spacing as wide as a truck, and smart planning of row direction to allow adequate cooling breezes to sooth the over-heated fruits and soil during long, hot summer days.
4. Crop rotation and fallow: normally, plants like soy require fields to rest for 1 full year for the soil to recover and re-mineralize back to conditions suitable for another yield. In “modern” agriculture, with GMOs and fertilizer, many plants produce twice a year, and hens are induced to lay eggs twice a day (instead of the normal once a day) through the “help” of hormones.
5. Certification fee: the organizations that setup and monitor the standard as well as certify processors or manufacturers charge annual fees and sometimes additional taxes for the products to carry their logo and approval.
So there you have it! That’s why organic cost more.
The nutrition values are typically higher in organic products than conventional ones (according to this study here: Also, under most standards, they contains none or only minimal artificial ingredients. Personally, I feel it is very reasonable to pay a little more for organic products, especially certified ones. What do you think?!
:) Moreen

What makes hair healthy and beautiful?

What makes healthy and beautiful hair?! The answer is as simple as, a healthy body.
Chinese medicine believes a healthy kidney makes the blood clean and improves blood flow, that in turn imparts shine and a wonderful texture and body to the resulting healthy hair. But if the kidneys suffer from fatigue for too long or become very weak, the hair will gradually turn white.
The liver strengthens the hair’s root and the hair follicle, so the hair stays in longer (and don’t fall out) and has less chance to have larger overall problems.
The lungs are also closely connected to the cleanliness of the scalp, which means that those who suffer from an oily scalp, acne or scalp impurities usually have issues with their breathing systems as well, or live in an environment with too much air pollution.
Of course, there are other factors: poor diet, stress, certain medications, or applying harsh, non-organic, non-natural products to the hair and scalp can also cause issues and affect the appearance of our hair.
What we do daily to our body and what we put into it is reflected in our hair, skin, and body. We need to take care of ourselves!

Holiday travel tips! Using essential oils to travel better


After several homy days and happy time @ home, many of you might be planning an exciting road trip right about now. :)
Here are some tips to make your time easier on the move.
By airplane:
Germs avoiding – wear a mouth/nose mask with a couple drops of eucalyptus oil if you want to stay awake; use lavender if you wish to sleep or relax during your flight.
Swollen feet, ankles, or legs? – use a drop of ginger oil on each ankle or knee, rub it in with your hands.
Uneasy tummy – avoid tea, coffee, milk, and soy milk before and during the trip. Mix 2 drops of lemon oil in a teaspoon of honey, and eat. You can also melt the mixture into luke warm water and drink before boarding.
The first thing you want to avoid during driving is fatigue. If you drive in the country you may also want to repel insects. Good news is you can solve these 2 problems with 1 magic oil – peppermint. Here’s are how you can do it:
In drinking water – add 1 drop to 200ml of water boosts alertness. Also a great cooling drink without sugar or synthetic additives.
On the temples – rub 1 drop of oil on your temples to stay energetic for prolonged driving.
On clothing – spray the oil onto your clothing directly to repel insects. If your outfit is very delicate or expensive, you can put several drops on tissue paper and keep this scented tissue inside pockets or between undergarments and the skin. :)
By boat:
Sea sickness? – inhale grapefruit oils with warm steam, or from a damp cloth or tissue paper. Can also wear a mouth/nose mask with grapefruit oils on it.
Have a nice trip and stay with my blog with more tips to make your trip an ever more enjoyable!
Moreen :)

Last minute tips for holiday decorating

Happy Holidays my friends!
Some of you may be fully prepared and having dining table set for tonight’s Christmas dinner. Some of you may still running around to make your home an even more inviting place for family members and friends to come. Here are my quick tips for last minute scent decoration for holiday theme.
Christmas Blend (essential oils):
Orange Sweet 5 drops
Eucalyptus 2 drops
Lemon Myrtle 2 drops
(Lemon Myrtle can be replaced by Pine)
Cinnamon 1 drop
Bottle above oil blend into a spray bottle filled with 100ml water. Spray onto the soft toys hang on the Christmas tree or around the decorations in the house.
If you’re lucky enough to have a fire place with log wood, leave a few drops of the oils on the fire wood will diffuse the scent the whole time its burning. Leave a few days for the oils to soak into the wood before burning though, to avoid inflammation.