The Latin origin of the word perfume, fumare, i.e., to smoke, brings us to rituals involving fumigation and votive offerings. Hesiod in his Theogony stresses "May the purest incense burn on the altars, so as to obtain the favors of our gods."
|Alfonso Savini, the incense burner|
Indeed the very word incense in Greek (θυμίαμα) comes from the verb thuo (θύω), meaning to sacrifice, originally denoting both the fragrant smoke of the roast of sacrificed animals on the pyre rising to please the gods (the flesh was served to the congregation) and the ritual burning of precious locally harvested—such as cistus labdanum—or imported resins like myrrh and frankincense, their smoke also rising to the enjoyment of the Eternal ones. But scents had a markedly prophylactic use beside their Olympians' appeasing one. […]