The Nectar of Gaia: Aroma Chology in the 1990s

It gives me great pleasure to be here today and to have this opportunity to talk to you about a connection that exists between the fragrance industry and the ecology of our planet. Millions of years ago the only fragrance that existed came from the earth itself, through the flora and fauna that was evolving in the biosphere, That portion of the earth’s fragrance created by living plants is what John Steele and I refer to as the Nectar of Gaia.

Gaia was the ancient Greek Goddess of Earth and has provided the name for the hypothesis of British scientist, James Lovelock, that the earth is a living organism. Perfumery is the art and craft that developed from the use of the Nectar of Gaia. Aromatics have always been an integral part of our history, evolution and belief systems. Until the 20th Century, perfumery was based entirely on the Nectar of Gaia.

I believe that fragrance, rather than being considered a vanity and ornamental commodity, could have an important role to play in the vast endeavor to save the environment that is presently underway throughout the world. Sunday, April 22, was the Earth Day celebration and it was observed in 134 countries.

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