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Lesson Title: Using Perfume’s History
and Manufacture to Investigate Pure Substances and Mixtures
Name: Catherine Bloedorn
School: Hammond High School, Howard County,
Grade Level/Content Focus: Grades 9-12
/ Chemistry (Properties of Matter)
Time Period: 2 class days
In chemistry, all of the material in the world is divided into elements,
compounds, or mixtures. Mixtures can be further subdivided into homogenous
and heterogeneous mixtures. Elements are made up of only one type of atom.
Examples include helium (single He atoms) and oxygen (pairs of O atoms,
in the form of O2 molecules.) Compounds are pure substances made up of
a group of different elements. Examples include water (H2O). However,
a compound is only those molecules. For example, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)
is a different compound than water. Mixtures are two or more compounds
or elements combined physically together. For example, salt water is a
mixture made up of sodium chloride (table salt – NaCl) and water.
Their atoms are, however, not chemically bonded together. Ethanol (ordinary
alcohol), used as a solvent in this lesson, has the formula C2H5OH. It
is similar, but still distinct from, methanol (wood alcohol – CH3OH)
and isopropynol (rubbing alcohol – C3H7OH).
“When, in 711, a Muslim Berber army under Tarik ibn
Ziyad crossed the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain, Roderick , the last
Visigothic king, was defeated, and his kingdom collapsed.
“The Moors, as the Berber conquerors were called,
soon conquered the entire peninsula except for Asturias and the Basque
country. Córdoba became the capital of the emir, who governed in
the name of the Baghdad caliph. In 756, however, Abd ar-Rahman I, scion
of the Umayyad dynasty, established an independent emirate. This Muslim
state, which reached its greatest splendor under Abd ar-Rahman III, who
set up the Western caliphate, or caliphate of Córdoba, included
all but northernmost Spain. In the northeast, Charlemagne created (778)
the Spanish March, out of which grew the county of Barcelona (i.e., Catalonia).
In the W[est] Pyrenees, the Basques held out against both Frankish and
Moorish attacks and eventually united in the kingdom of Navarre.
“Asturias, the only remnant of Visigothic Spain,
became the focus of the Christian reconquest. The rulers of Asturias,
who were descended from the semi-legendary Pelayo, conquered large territories
in N[orth]W[est] Spain and consolidated them with Asturias as the kingdom
of León. Navarre, under a branch of the Asturian line, reached
its greatest prominence under Sancho III (1000-1035), who also controlled
Aragón and Castile. His state split at his death into three kingdoms:
Navarre, which soon lost its importance; Aragón, which united (1137)
with Barcelona (see Aragón, house of ); and Castile, which was
eventually united with León (1230) under Ferdinand III and with
Aragón (1479) under Isabella I and Ferdinand V. This long process
of unification was accomplished by marriage and inheritance as well as
by warfare among the Christian kings; it was accompanied by the expansion
of the Christian kingdoms at the expense of the Moors.
“The Umayyad empire had broken up early in the 11th
cent[ury] into a number of petty kingdoms or emirates. The Abbadids of
Córdoba were the most important of these dynasties. They called
in the Almoravids from Africa to aid them against Alfonso VI of Castile.
As a result, the Almoravids took over Moorish Spain, but they in turn
were replaced (c.1174) by the Almohads, another Berber dynasty. In the
battle of Navas de Tolosa (1212), a turning point in Spanish history,
the Almohads were defeated by Alfonso VIII of Castile, whose successors
conquered most of Andalusia. Little more than the kingdom of Granada remained
in Moorish hands; it held out until its conquest by Ferdinand and Isabella
“Disunity among the Moors facilitated the Christian
reconquest. However, the states of Christian Spain were also frequently
engaged in bloody rivalry, and the Christian kings were in almost continuous
conflict with the powerful nobles. Alliances between Muslim and Christian
princes were not rare, and the Christian reconquest was a spasmodic, not
a continuous, process. A major reason for the Christian victory was that
Christian Spain was in a stage of dynamic expansion and religious enthusiasm
while Moorish Spain, having attained a high degree of civilization and
material prosperity, had lost its military vigor and religious zeal. In
the Moorish cities Muslims, Jews, and Christians (see Mozarabs ) lived
side by side in relative harmony and mutual tolerance. Their excellent
artisans and industries were famous throughout Europe, and their commerce
—From encyclopedia.com, “Spain”
Howard County Public School System – Chemistry
Goal 1. The student will demonstrate the ability to classify
the different kinds of matter.
Objectives: The student will be able to:
• differentiate among an element, compound, homogenous mixture,
or heterogeneous mixture; and
• differentiate between physically blended and chemically bonded.
Goal 2. The student will demonstrate the ability to explain
how matter may be identified, classified, and changed.
Objectives: The student will be able to:
• contrast physical and chemical changes.
Goal 4. The student will demonstrate the ability to carry
out scientific investigations effectively and employ the instruments,
systems of measurement, and materials of science appropriately.
The students will be able to:
• name the five techniques of perfume making;
• explain distillation and extraction;
• extract oil of clove; and
• explain the Islamic contributions to perfume-making.
• essential oil
Materials and Resources:
al-Hassan, Ahmad Y. and Donald R. Hill. Islamic Technology:
An Illustrated History. 1st ed.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Genders, Roy. Perfume Through the Ages. 1st ed. New
York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1972.
Henry, William. The Elements of Experimental Chemistry.
8th ed. Philadelphia: Robert
Desilver, 1819. Plate I, Plate X.
Lebling, Jr., Robert W., and Norman MacDonald. “Flight
of the Blackbird.” Al-Andalus. Ed.
Robert Arndt. Houston: Aramco Services Company, 2004. Pages 2-11.
Sagarin, Edward. The Science and Art of Perfumery. 2nd
ed. New York: Greenburg, 1955.
“Ziryab, the musician, astronomer, fashion designer, and gastronome.”
MuslimHeritage.com. June 13, 2003. Muslim Heritage. July 23, 2005.
Lopez.” July 23, 2005. Wikipedia. July 24, 2005.
Paul, Linda. “Pictures
of Roses.” Linda Paul Studio. July 24, 2005.
Museum Barcelona. 2003. July 19, 2005.
Spain > History. 2005. encyclopedia.com. July 24, 2005.
“Spicy Perfume: Creation of a Mixture” lab
• cloves (15 per group)
• small bottles with tightly fitting lids
• cotton swabs
Perfume PowerPoint Presentation, outlining the history
and manufacture of perfumes
“Perfume Notes” note-taking worksheet
Map of Islamic World (useful but not required)
In this lesson, students will learn a small amount about the history of
perfume in Muslim Spain. Students will make a simple perfume using cloves
and ethanol. Students will also learn about the five techniques used in
• Open a bottle of perfume (or aromatic extract
such as vanilla, mint, etc.) and set it on a table near students.
Display a picture of a perfume bottle, an alembic/distilling apparatus,
and flowers (rose, jasmine, jonquil, etc.).
• Instruct students to consider these three objects and put
them in order, then to justify the order they chose in once sentence.
(Example student response: Flower, still, perfume. The perfume starts
as a flower, and goes into the still for processing, and then the
final product is the perfume.)
• Discuss the orders that students have chosen, and why. Discuss
why the students think there is an open bottle of perfume on the table
• Lead students through the Perfume PowerPoint
Presentation on the history of perfume and its manufacture with the
accompanying note-taking worksheet.
• This may be done at the end of Day One, if there is time,
or at the beginning of Day Two.
• Hand out “Spicy Perfume: Creation of
a Mixture” procedure sheet.
• Ask students to read over the procedure. Review the procedure
with the students and direct them to the locations of the materials
in the lab.
• Students will follow the lab procedure, as well as the safety
procedure. Their product will sit until Day Two.
• On Day Two, have the students complete the data-gathering
part of the lab.
• Break the students up into five groups.
• Assign each group one of the five techniques of perfume making.
• Refer each group to the list of words, in Spanish, related
to the PowerPoint presentation, at the end of their notes.
• Each group will create a short story or skit (no more than
4 minutes to read or perform) about the history of perfume making,
and their technique, in particular, with reference to Muslim Spain,
and using at least two words in Spanish from their list.
• Students will complete questions at the end
of “Spicy Perfume: Creation of a Mixture” for homework.
• Each group will perform or read their story
or skit about perfume making to the rest of the class. It will be
graded on the basis of fulfilling the above expectations.
• Make another perfume out of other fragrant spices
or flowers, using other solvents.
• Research Egyptian perfume making techniques, or modern ones.
• Write a story about Ziryab’s adventures in Muslim Spain.
• Run a complete distillation, using an alembic.
• Categorize other household products as pure substances or mixtures.
Create other cosmetics.
Lesson PPT Presentation