Mughal Beauty Secrets

At a time when men rode horses over the vastness of an Arabian desert, and women sat in palanquins behind them…when kings and queens governed the most fertile and precious continent on Earth…when women were said to be so beautiful and alluring in appearance in manner that love itself hinted at the genesis of formidable paradises carved from white marble that people from all over the world would pay homage to it in their artwork and textbooks, and travel hundreds of miles to visit and marvel at…

A woman would rise very early in the morning, before the rest of her family. A queen would rise before her court, to prepare herself for the day ahead. She would take her bath before seeing to the day’s important business or reviewing her schedule; the cool water would be laced with flower petals, made creamy with a gallon of goat’s milk, and enriched with minerals and salts to invigorate her skin and hair.

Then, carefully, she would apply her entire toilette; the various creams and perfumes needed to make herself presentable and give her the most advantageous start to her endeavours. Wild rose oil would be mixed into each of her cosmetics and serums, then blended with musk to create a perfume, known as “attar”, that would be totally unique to her tastes and her age. And another blend of oils, containing coconut, amla, castor, black seed, and only the finest strains of jasmine flowers, would be massaged into her scalp and combed through her long, thick mane to retain its lustre and thickness even under scorching temperatures and through long, frigid nights.

This is how, over many generations, the women of the Mughal kingdoms cared for their appearance. Although products and modern conveniences like astringent toners, sunblocks, and wrinkle-creams did not exist, families kept and passed down natural secrets and rituals that would enhance and enrich their beauty in such a way as to make them easily recognized and formidable, though lovely, in appearance.

At the time of this empire, beauty was essential, and entirely necessary for women to succeed in acquiring their place outside the home. Whether she danced and entertained kings and nobility in public as a courtesan or watched over the interests of her diplomacy and her people as an empress, she needed to command total awe and intrigue in order to keep her best interests intact.

Interestingly, women today, though the assortment of roles has greatly widened, part-take in similar rituals with similar purposes in mind. Today, a woman gets up to her alarm and hurries into the washroom to cleanse, tone, moisturize, brush, and either buff herself to presentability or perfection (depending on the day and the quality of her rest). She understands the importance of her image to her professionalism; she does not underestimate the significance of first impressions. However, in a market full of chemical potions and sweet-smelling products, although there endless prescriptions and entire lines of skin and haircare dedicated to every ailment imaginable, still she finds herself hopping from counter to counter, researching the latest trends and ‘breakthroughs’ that will nourish her beauty with the same vigor, purpose, and intensity with which she first came into the world. Instinctively, she knows her morning and evening rituals are a vital source for the drive she has inside to carve her place in the world, and create her own vision of a beautiful life.

Although she may not have armies of men and horses, ladies-in-waiting, or vast arenas of exotic gardens to her name, the basic remedial oils and elixirs used by women of the Mughal era are not beyond her reach. ABHATI Suisse has paid homage to the luxurious and sensuous cosmetic rituals of Ancient India with our CHAMBAL Sacred Hair Oil formulation, delicately enriched with Himalayan wild cherry, rose, jasmine, and coriander seed, to infuse the daily rituals with the silky, perfumed lustre that once marked the most opulent civilization on Earth; use it as a treatment on your scalp in the morning, and carefully comb it through the length of your hair; or as an intensive masque for shine and thickness one a week overnight, and rinse it out with a detoxifying cleanser like YAMUNA Nourishing Shampoo in a bath with milk and mineral salts for complete nourishment.

Oils have been used in India for centuries, perhaps since the beginning of civilization, because of their effortless but powerfully invigorating effect on the skin, hair, and body. They are natural esters that carry fatty acids, glycerol, and a number of nutrients combined in a texture that not unlike to the natural lubrication and moisture our body produces, and therefore absorbs exceptionally better than most chemical creams and lotions on the market.

With Love from ABHATI Suisse.

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