Sormeh® Persian Cosmetics


Documents from as far back as 10,000 BC reveal that Persians were among the first pioneers of cosmetics, using ointments and fragrances to enhance their beauty, well-being and spirituality.

Persians for centuries have used scented oils and ointments to clean and soften their skin. Myrrh, thyme, marjoram, chamomile, lavender, lily, peppermint, rosemary, cedar, rose, aloe, olive oil, sesame oil and almond oil provided the basic ingredients of most perfumes.

The eyes are renowned for being the focal point of beauty. Traditionally, Persians use Sormeh, a loose black powder, to embellish and enhance their eyes. Originally made from almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachio nuts and coconut ground down and roasted in sesame oil to produce a gorgeous black soot. This was then applied with either a wooden or bone applicator.

Sormeh® Persian Cosmetics
Haft Ghalam Arayesh

‘Haft Ghalam Arayesh’

Persian Make-Up Ritual

Haft Ghalam Arayesh translates as seven (haft) items of cosmetics – seven essential make-up accessories and tools. Persians believed these natural ingredients had medicinal qualities outside their cosmetic uses, so men and women were encouraged to include them in their grooming rituals.

Sormeh: Kohl, a black eyeliner used for nearly 8,000 years by Eastern cultures. Persians believed the alchemy of ingredients not only enhanced the eyes but that the unique formula would also repel evil spirits.

Ghazeh: Blusher, a reddish powder for the cheeks.

Sefidab: Translated as white water, Sefidab is a white powder made of natural minerals used as a skin peel to brighten the face and body.

Vasmeh: Woad, a fragrant flowering plant used to dye the eyebrows or hair. Vasmeh could thicken the eyebrows or be drawn between them to form a unibrow, a popular make-up trend.

Henna: Another plant with widespread application in dying the hair, nails and skin. Temporary henna body art was also drawn on the skin like a tattoo.

Zarak: A goldish dust used to dye the hair or sometimes glitter the face.

Khal: A beauty spot drawn on the face with Sormeh, mostly near the lips or the eyes.

THE EAST TO WEST LIFESTYLE CO - Persian-inspired Cosmetics and Wellbeing
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