Traditionally in Southern India, people have been using turmeric,
green gram powder, henna, sigaikai and usilai for their skin and hair care.
These were mostly home prepared products that are used for grooming. Today,
cosmetics have a high commercial value and have become chemical based
industrial products. Providing personal care services has become a major
industry. In recent years, people have realized the hazards of chemical-based
cosmetics and are turning back to
Botanical name : Aloe vera
Family: Asphodelaceae (formerly Liliaceae)
It is a native of Sudan. It is cultivated
on a large scale in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil
‘Aloin’ (a mixture of glucosides) and its gel are used as skin
It has a cooling effect and moisturizing
characteristics and hence used in preparation of creams, lotions, shampoos,
shaving creams, after shave lotions and allied products. It is used in
gerontological applications for rejuvenation of aging skin. Products prepared
from aloe leaves have multiple properties such as emollient, antibacterial,
antioxidant, antifungal and antiseptic. Aloe vera gel is used in skin care
The word perfume is derived from the Latin word Per
(through) and fumus (to smoke), meaning through smoke. It refers
to the age-old tradition of burning scented woods at religious ceremonies.In
early days, when people were less conscious of personal hygiene, essential oils
not only masked offensive odours, but also may have acted as antiseptics.
Perfumes are added to baths and used for anointing the body.
Perfumes are manufactured from essential oil which are volatile
and aromatic . Essential oils are found at different parts of the plant
such as leaves, (curry leaf, mint), flowers (rose, jasmine), fruits (citrus,
straw berry) and wood (sandal, eucalyptus).
Botanical name : Jasminum grandiflorum
Jasmine, as a floral perfume, ranks next to the rose oil. Major
species cultivated on the commercial scale is Jasminum grandiflorum, a native
of the north-western Himalayas. In Tamil Nadu, the major jasmine cultivation
centres are Madurai and Thovalai of Kanyakumari District. The essential oil is
present in the epidermal cells of the inner and outer surfaces of both the
sepals and petals. One ton of Jasmine blossom yields about 2.5 to 3 kg of
essential oil, comprising 0.25 to 3% of the weight of the fresh flower.
Jasmine flowers have been used since ancient times in India for
worship, ceremonial purposes, incense and fumigants, as well as for making
perfumed hair oils, cosmetics and soaps. Jasmine oil is an essential oil that
is valued for its soothing, relaxing, antidepressant qualities.
Jasmine blends well with other perfumes. It is much used in modern
perfumery and cosmetics and has become popular in air freshners, anti
-perspirants, talcum powders, shampoos and deodorants.
Botanical name : Rosa X damascena
R.X damascena, has its origin from the
Middle East. Major scented rose cultivating states include Rajasthan, Delhi,
Haryana, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Rose oil is one of the oldest and most expensive of perfume oils. The oil is
concentrated in the epidermal cells on the inner surface of the petals.The
average oil yield is a little less than 0.5 g. from 1000 g. of flowers.
Rose oil is largely used in perfumes, scenting soaps, flavouring soft
drinks, liqueurs and certain types of tobacco, particularly snuff of chewing
Rose water (panneer) containing much of phenylethyl alcohol and
other compounds in dissolved confectioneries syrups and soft drinks. In India,
the water is much used in eye lotions and eye-washes. In addition, it is
sprinkled on guests as a ceremonial welcome.
Botanical name : Santalum album
Sandal tree is native of South East Asia.
Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are states that possess large natural populations of
Santalum album in India. The heart-wood is scented due to the presence of
santalol, from which oil is extracted. The oil yield from a wood chips, varies
from 4-5% being the highest when distilled from roots (10% of the dry weight).
Sandalwood oil is a valuable fixative for other fragrances due to
the excellent blending properties. More than 90% of the oil is used in the
manufacture of scented soaps, talcum powder, face powder, creams, hair oils, hand
lotions as well as in perfumery and pharmaceutical industries.