Aromatic Arts in ancient Greece

1st Symbosium

Photo by @urania_k

"For the body is the instrument of the soul."


In this 1st aromatic symbosium taking place from 12 to 14 April, we aim to revive the rich aromatic heritage of Greece and formulate a community dedicated to preserving ancient knowledge and traditions. Honoring the healing and spiritual bennefits of aromatic plants in Hellenic culture since antiquity.

The cultural history of smell

A symposium on the olfactory divide between our modern deodorant-scented lives and the alluringly fragrant lives of our ancestors.Embark on a transformative journey through the ages, tracing the sacred plants of the Olympian Gods and the revered practices of Ancient Greece. Delve into the writings of the great Fathers of Medicine and Philosophy, timeless sources of profound wisdom and understanding. Witness the enduring impact of the aromatic legacy of Ancient Greece on our culture, healing practices, and spiritual growth. Reviving the rich heritage of this ancient civilization to guidance and inspiration on our transformative journey.  

This Symposium is a testament to the brilliant minds and devoted efforts of our esteemed speakers. Each one brings a unique perspective, creating a diverse tapestry of knowledge to an era where art and culture were deeply interwired nourishing the soul . In this captivating journey we are introduced to the Greek aromtic heritage, a treeasure trove of scents and sensations that will illuminate our senses and awaken our spirits. The power of aromatic arts on  body, mind and spiritual well being.

This is addressed to you that...

  • have a keen interest in the history and art of perfumery
  • for you to engage in lively discussions with fellow participants, exchange ideas and experiences, and be inspired by the wisdom of the past
  • for you, that you want to participate in a community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for the aromatic arts
  • for you that you want to learn more before you go professional
  • you want to delve into the smells and aromas of Ancient Greece
  • to connect with the aromatic ingredients of this land and learn more about their use by our ancestors, as well as discover new ways to incorporate these practices into your routine today.

You will have the opportunity to:

  •  attend live workshops about the art of perfume making in ancient Greece.
  • Smell the scents and ingredients used back then
  • exchange ideas and experiences in live discussions
  • get inspired by the wisdom of this era
  •  meet well knowned representatives of botany, philosophy, aromatherapy and perfumery sharing knowledge about ancient Greece and  their story.


is not simply to skim the surface of aromatherapy and perfume making, but to ignite a fire within you, to delve deeper into the rich history and traditions of aromatic arts in antiquity. We are on a mission to uncover the forgotten wisdom and practices that have shaped this ancient art and the world around us. Through captivating lectures, interactive workshops, and thought-provoking discussions, we aim to rekindle a connection with the aromatic traditions of the past and discover their significance in our present. This is not just a quest for knowledge, but a tribute to the history of our land and the people who have passed down these precious practices.


Friday 12 April 2024

16:30-17:00 Welcome,

17:00-17:45 “Aromatic plants in the diet of the ancient Greeks”, Alexandros Tiliquidis

17:45-18:30 “The use of aromas as part of the Greek priestly art”, George Lathyris

18:30-20:00 “Senses seeking God: the nature of the senses according to Plato and the Priesthood of Perfume”, Despina Athena Potari

Saturday 13 April 2024

10:00-10:45 “Midas and the roses of Paggaio”, Zenobia Antoniadou

10:45-11:30 “Ancient Greek Beehives and Biology”, Magda Zografou Fili

11:30-12:45 “The Dittany through ancient folk tradition and mythology” Stylianos Tzourbakis  workshop based on the Aromomythic thought

12:45-13:30 Networking break

13:30-14:15 “Aromatic herbs in ancient Greek medicine” Maria Christodoulou

14:15-15:00 “Myrrh and aromas of Minoan Crete”, Zoe Strantzali  workshop

Sunday 14 April 2024

10:00-10:45 “The mastic of Chios”, Katerina Papakonstantinou

10:45-11:30 “Sense of smell in Chinese medicine”, Kiriaki Zoutsou

11:30-12:15 “Botanical incense of ancient Greece”, Konstantina Litsa

12:15-13:00 Networking break

13:00-13:45 “Dionysian Wine” Dimitris Kallimanis  workshop.

13:45-14:30 ” The frequencies of sound” sound bath by Nikolaos Unalome Closing

Bonus material
” Scents of History”, Exhibiting historical fragrances and smells, presented by Konstantina Vlasakidou Salachora, Léonard Gournay, Weronika Zuzanna Stanik,Maria Evangelia Michalopoulou
Optional Activities:
Saturday 13th of April 2024
9:00-9:45 Myths & Medicine Plant Walk with The Greek Herbalist, National Garden. Contact Maria at to register. 
Sunday 14th of April 2024
09:00-09:45 The Dance of Panemythmia at the Pnyka with Konstantinos Olvios. Contact Konstantinos at to register.

Subscribe now and embark on a journey of knowledge and discovery

    Perfumes were not only used as offerings to the gods during religious ceremonies, but also as a means of  healing in ancient Greece. The Greeks understood the power of scents and incorporated them into their daily routines, anointing themselves with aromatic oils after bathing for both hygienic purposes and to enjoy their pleasant scents. Aromatic medicine was highly valued and taking aromatic baths was seen as an essential ritual for promoting overall health and well-being. From ancient times, perfumes have held a special significance in Greek culture, symbolizing not only physical beauty, but also spiritual and emotional well-being.

    In antiquity there was also a remarkable skill for creating perfumes using aromatic plants,by that time they were known as ‘Myrepsoi’. Aristotle himself referred to this practice as ‘the science of poetic pleasure’, a true science that evokes delightful sensations. The myreψειon was the sacred space where these skilled individuals, honed their art by crafting fragrant oils and aromatic liquids.


    This Symposium is a testament to the brilliant minds and devoted efforts of our esteemed speakers. Each one brings a unique perspective, creating a diverse tapestry of knowledge and ideas. Their unwavering passion and dedication to sharing their wisdom will ignite new paths of learning and innovation for all attendees. 

    The seed that sprouted into our aromatic arts hub was planted by the visionary founder, Zoe Strantzali. Her gratitude knows no bounds for the invaluable contributions and unwavering support of each and every individual who has embraced and enriched her vision. We extend our deepest thanks to all of you who have honored our community Symbosium with their presence.


    Herakleidon Museum is hosting our aromatic symposium.

    A place that aims to highlight areas of ancient Greek culture that remain outside the interests of classical studies.

    Apostolou Pavlou 37, Athens 118 51



    Maria Christodoulou is a clinical herbalist exploring the wisdom and whimsy of ancient Greek herbal medicine. She offers herbal medicine tours throughout Greece and virtual courses based on the bounty of medicine and folklore of her ancestors. Maria has published on a wide-range of topics, including ancient and modern Greek uses of medicinal plants, Greek botanical mythology, and the landscapes of Greece, for both the academic and herbal communities. She is the author of “The Greek Herbalist’s Guide to the National Garden” and “The Greek Herbalist’s Guide to the Mountain.”  In 2022, Maria was the recipient of the Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities Award from the Society of Classical Studies at New York University for a project that engaged with plants of Greek antiquity and that elevated women’s voices in the field of herbalism in modern Greece. Maria also leads the Herbalists Without Borders, Athens, Greece chapter. 

    For more adventures through antiquity, visit:


    Dr. Athena D. Potari is a philosopher, spiritual teacher, and wisdom keeper of the Hellenic spiritual tradition. She is the founder of Athenoa – an Academy for Hellenic Wisdom in Greece where Hellenism is approached as a living wisdom tradition whose core consists in the synthesis of scientific reason, self-inquiry and spirituality. Her work aims to revive the deeper spiritual and experiential dimensions of Hellenic Philosophy as a living spiritual path, which combines discursive rigor, embodied meditative practices, and ancient spiritual practices with the aim of awakening to our true Self. She received her PhD from the University of Oxford specializing in Political Philosophy, and her MA in Political Theory with Distinction from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She was Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies at Harvard University, exploring possibilities for an expanded practice of Philosophy through the re-integration of elements and histories of the feminine. Prior to the creation of Athenoa, she taught at a number of Universities – including Oxford University, University of Athens, University of Patras, University of Tulouse-1 Capitol (Athens branch) and the Hellenic School of National Defense. She is the recipient of the Academy of Athens Award of Philosophy (2020), author of “A Call for a Renaissance of the Spirit in the Humanities” published by the Galileo Commission, and Member of the Galileo Commission Steering Committee. 


    Founder of the ACADEMY OF ANCIENT GREEK & TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE, aiming at the dissemination and promotion of traditional Chinese medicine and the fusion of TCM with Ancient Greek Medicine.


    Stelios Tzourmbakis was born in Crete. Since his early childhood he loved painting and  arts, as it is a form of expressing his creativity. Growing up, he developed a passion for healing and wellbeing. In 2012 he studied Aromatherapy and since then he continues to expand his knowledge. He is dedicated to helping people heal with the power of nature. Over the years he has created Aromatherapy, a technique that combines modern Aromatherapy, the healing properties of essential oils with the Ancient Greek Mythology. Stelios is currently writing his first book on Aromamythics. He teaches and lectures on Aromatherapy. You can contact Stelios at or via Facebook.


    Dimitris Kallimanis in recent years has been almost exclusively involved in his laboratory preparations, making natural cosmetics and medicines based on his laboratory experience, his botanical travels. He has so far written 4 books, 2 poetry collections in N.York. He has published 2 books on pharmacognosy, pharmacotechnics and herbal medicine in Greece (Vantage Press) and 2 books on pharmacognosy, pharmacotechnics and herbal medicine in Greece (Kyriakidis Publications, Thessaloniki), while in 2024 the publication of two more books by Kyriakidis Publications is planned. He has been researching the huge research work of Diodosviridis, the father of Pharmaceutical Science and a large part of his study has been incorporated in his first book “Natural cosmetics and treatments from ancient Greece and Byzantium to the present day”, published by Kyrias Bros. He has been a lecturer at the IHU (Institute of Agricultural Sciences) for 6 consecutive academic semesters, teaching Natural cosmetics and remedies, energy, anti-aging restorative pharmacopoeia of these with too many experiential workshops and excursions with live, experiential workshop in nature, as well as in various private organizations Besides these, she has studied and attended seminars in aromatherapy, gemmotherapy, phytotherapy, melotherapy / treatments with bee products, while she has also attended corresponding seminars under the auspices of the Athens Medical and Pharmaceutical School. He worked in the pharmacy of Dr. George Kallimanis for 12 consecutive years, exclusively in the laboratory in the preparation of natural medicines and cosmetics, in the research of their broader spectrum, in the analysis and research of raw materials, while he actively contributed, both in an advisory role and with active presence, work and research in the creation of the Botanical Garden in Mount Athos. In addition, he has written a large number of articles on treatment, as well as monographs of plants, reporting personal laboratory data in his Facebook Group ” Natural cosmetics and treatments by Dimitris kallimanis”. He has additionally studied journalism, investigative journalism, photography,specializing in plant photography.


    George Lathyris studied law at the University of Athens. He then pursued classical studies at the Athens School of Philosophy, in the Department of Philology, specializing in Linguistics. At the same time, he pursued the study of foreign languages, mainly English and Spanish. Since 1989 he has been an active  lawyer. He is a member of the Athens Low Association and since 2000, he has been an Attorney at Law.

    He was a founding member and Secretary General of the Organization for the Internationalization of the Greek Language -O.D.E.G. Founding member and Vice President of the Panhellenic Network of Conscientiousness -PA.D.I.SY. Founding member and Advisor of the Evritania Museum Centre, etc. He has given numerous lectures in Athens and in various cities of Greece. He gives courses in Greek Language and Philosophy at the Studies Departments of the Heliodoromion.


    Graduate of the Athens Law School. From 1977 to 1990 she worked as an employee of the National Bank of Greece. Since 1990, after attending Aromatherapy seminars in Greece and abroad, she has been practicing Aromatherapy and teaching introductory and advanced seminars on essential oils and hydrolysms. She has translated two books on Aromatherapy: “Practical Aromatherapy” and “Energy Aromatherapy”. Since 1998 she has been involved in the production of essential oils from wild plants of the Greek nature in a model essential oil distillation unit in the area of Olympia.

    Since 1992 she has been practicing and teaching Creative Healing, an integrated healing system for the decongestion and restoration of specific organ function and represents the J.B. Stephenson Foundation for Creative Healing.

    Sound Healer

    Nikolaos Unalome’s journey of healing awakening began with the practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Pranayama.He completed advanced seminars on Thai massage, osteo-Thai, fascia therapy and Ayurveda (the ancient medicine of India) with the practice of Abhyanga massage and panchakarma treatments.In recent years his exploration has been based in the world of sound and vibration and through this exploration he discovered the sound of Bila, flat bells with a high frequency of vibration.In addition, he performs sound therapy concerts that seek to bring a transcendental experience to listeners, beyond any acoustic concept or musical style.Being one of the few performers of Bilas flat bells in the world, he explores their fusion with other instruments, creating hypnotic melodies and sonic ripples that expand the boundaries of the known and unknown.

    Nikolaos Unalome
    Spiritual Healer


    Magda Zografou Fili was born in Athens. She studied Byzantine art and
    Architectural – Building – Linear Design at the Laboratory of Liberal Studies A.Benou – Palmer. She then studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts,  under the supervision of Dimitris Mytaras. At the same time, she attended other courses at the laboratory studies at the Athens School of Fine Arts, such as Engraving, Mosaic and Scenography. Following her graduation, she attended a two-year course at the “School of Art History” of the Archaeological Society, with subjects in Ancient Greek Art and Art History.Sculpture and Architecture. She has participated in many group art exhibitions and works as a permanent teacher in secondary education. Her long-term
    research into the investigation of visual, semiological language, led her to the writing of her original work in a book entitled: “ASTRONOMY AND BIOLOGY” In this book, but also in the book “Ancient Greek Angiography and Biology”, published by SUNIODROMEON.The author follows an innovative approach to the study of the ancient Greek mythology and the history of the ancient Greek mythology, as well as in all subsequent research works, and in all subsequent research works, the author follows an innovative approach to each topic, combining texts from ancient Greek literature and visual elements from ancient Greek art, interpreting them with the science of Biology, always with the agreement of a scientific team.


    Constantina Litsa completed her studies in Herbal Medicine/ Phytotherapy at Napier University, Edinburgh, UK in 2007.  She’s been working as a Medical Herbalist and a community educator since. Sha also completed a “Counseling in Health Care” postgraduate course and trained in Person Centered and Solution Focused Counseling. She has worked with the City of Edinburgh Council, as a member of the Health Promotion team in Schools, with the group Herbal Scotland, providing Herbal First aid in Festivals of Scotland, with the NHS project Health all Round. Her passion for Permaculture design has led her to developing educational programs, with emphasis on the relationship with ourselves, with the plants and with the world. In her “Herbal Self-Care course” she’s been sharing self- health- management tools assisting groups to learn how to design their own holistic health plan. She’s been living in Greece since 2011, where she’s had the opportunity to collaborate with several institutions as well as independent groups, like Permaculture School, sharing her knowledge and passion to increase awareness on health sustainability and environmental consciousness.


    She studied Greek and Latin literature at the University of Ioannina with a postgraduate specialization in ancient Greek tragedy and its connection with German musical works. She worked as a teacher in the private and public sector. She completed studies in Chinese medicine at the Academy of Ancient Greek and Traditional Chinese Medicine and yoga for ailments at the Lotus Academy. She works as a TCM practitioner and is co-founder of a multi-faceted and multi-thematic project entitled : Selinea, a healing herb garden in Pangeo.


    Zoe Strantzali is a Botanical Perfumer and Olfactory Educator certified by the International Perfume Foundation. In 2019 she founded Nymphaea natural perfumes and in 2023 the Aromatic Arts Hub, a community aiming to revive the aromatic heritage, the recovery of the tradition, knowledge and wisdom of the aromatic arts in ancient Greece.




    Contact us at or call us on 2109681188 or via our form