The use of perfumes was common among the Hebrews and the Orientals generally, before it was known to the Greeks and Romans. Moses also speaks of the art of the perfumer, in the English Bible "apothecary;" and gives the composition of two perfumes, of which one was to be offered to the Lord on the golden altar, Exodus 30:34-38. And the other to be used for anointing the high priest and his sons, the tabernacle, and the vessels of divine service, Exodus 30:23-33.
The Hebrews had also perfumes for embalming their dead. The composition is note exactly known, but they used myrrh, aloes, and other strong and astringent drugs proper to prevent infection and corruption. See EMBALMING, and OINTMENT.