As Homer narrates in his Odyssey, Ulysses took ten years to return home after the end of the Trojan War. In his grueling journey Ulysses reached distant and magical lands, inhabited by cyclops, by people who ate the fruit of the lotus that gave oblivion, by nymphs and sorceresses, he overcame its mortal nature descending into Hades to interrogate the prophet Tiresias, he was called to face mermaids and sea monsters, until he was shipwrecked, alone and without companions lost along the journey, in the land of the Phaeacians. There, to a tired and hungry Ulysses, Nausicaa appeared, the daughter of the King of the Phaeacians. The girl, unlike her maidservants, did not run away from the sight of Ulysses but, intrigued, approached him and decided to give him hospitality in his father's house. But before, Ulysses was encouraged to wash himself in the water of the river, Nausicaa gave him clean clothes and a golden ampoule containing a precious oil with which to anoint his body. And so it was that Ulysses, clean, well dressed and anointed with the oil given by Nausicaa, appeared to the girl, shining and similar to a god. The ancient Greeks used to anoint their bodies with flavored and perfumed oils after taking a bath, this beauty treatment helped the skin to remain elastic, hydrated and clean, since they did not know the soap! Today, therefore, we try to recreate at our home a very special beauty treatment, an aromatized body oil that, once applied, can make us fly in that magical time where gods, heroes and human beings lived, loved and performed deeds that would have been remember in immortal poems.
The massage oil of the gods
In ancient Greece the oil that was used as an ointment for the body was olive oil to which aromatic herbs pounded in a mortar were added and left to macerate so as to release their essential oils. We can use different vegetable oils today, more beneficial to protect the skin barrier and moisturize the skin. And we are fortunate to be able to use the ready-made essential oils that make preparation faster. Sweet almond oil is emollient, improves skin tone, fights aging processes and stretch marks (Tzu Kai Lin et al, Int J Mol Sci, 2018). Alternatively, jojoba oil is also excellent, which has the advantage of being a very oxidation-resistant oil, is anti-inflammatory and fights skin aging (Tzu Kai Lin et al, Int J Mol Sci, 2018). One of the favorite perfumed oils by the Greeks and often named by Homer is the rose eleion, or rose oil. In 50 ml of the vegetable oil you have chosen add 5 drops of rose essential oil, which is relaxing and analgesic, fights muscle fatigue, anxieties and pains (Mohebitabar et al, Avicenna J Phytomed., 2017). An extra touch? In ancient Greece a particular perfume, called susinon, prepared with rose, myrrh and cinnamon was very popular. To the lotion that we have just seen you can add 5 drops of cinnamon essential oil, which improves microcirculation by contrasting retention and cellulite (Rao et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2014), and 5 drops of myrrh essential oil, also this able to fight stagnation and to perform an analgesic and anti-inflammatory action (Cao et al, Molecules, 2019). Apply to the wet body, after showering, bathing or after spraying a floral water.