Perfumes were mixed by persons skilled in the article In the Ex 30:25,35; 37:29; Ec 10:1).these are called "apothecaries" (raqqach). The (British and American) "perfumer" is probably a more correct rendering, as the one who did the compounding was not an apothecary in the same sense as is the person now so designated (
Today incense is used in connection with all religious services of the oriental Christian churches. Although there is no direct mention of the uses of incense in the Eph 5:2; Php 4:18) would seem to indicate that it was used by the early Christians.
The delight of the people of Syria in pleasant odors is recorded in their literature. The attar of roses (from Arabic `iTr, "a sweet odor") was a wellknown product of Damascus. The guest in a modern Syrian home is not literally anointed with oil, but he is often given, soon after he enters, a bunch of aromatic herbs or a sweet-smelling flower to hold and smell. During a considerable portion of the year the country air is laden with the odor of aromatic herbs, such as mint and sage. The Arabic phrase for taking a walk is shemm el-hawa’, literally, "smell the air."
James A. Patch