"It is during The Eleusinian Mysteries [ceremonies of Athenian origin which celebrated the fertility and grain goddess Demeter and Kore (i.e. Persephone, of the myth of the pomegranate)] that aromatics are used the most. The 9th and 10th day of the celebrations the hierophant makes a speech in which he explains to the initiated the joys which await them. In the Elysian Fields there is a golden city, with emerald fortifications and roads paved in ivory, where the gates are made of cinnamon. Around its walls the River of Perfume flows, a 100 cubits wide and deep enough that one could swim in it. The baths are crystal edifices held up by pillars of fragrant wood and in the bathtubs a warm and pleasantly odoriferous dew is ever flowing. Three hundred and sixty sources of pure water are located in this magnificent city, as many of honey and five hundred fountains of fine fragrance. The banqueting hall is a grove of trees bearing the most suave flowers and their fruits are cups which are automatically filled with wine when cut and put onto the table. Charming nightingales fill the air with their song and pick up fragrant blossoms which they drop onto the guests like scented snow. A thick vapor rises from the Perfumes River and floats within the banquet hall imparting a refined and suave fragrant dew."
|the fresco of the "saffron gatherer" from the Minoan settlement of Akrotiri (on the island of Santorini)|
Part of my longer article on Fragrantica, on this link (following part 1) into the history of aromatics and the preparation of fragrances in the Eastern Mediterranean region during antiquity (emphasizing the Minoan and Mycenean eras). Enjoy!