(רֹקֵח, rooke 'ch, seasoning, i.e. with aromatics; Sept. μυρεψός, Ex 30:25; Ex 37:29; Ec 10:1), correctly rendered in the margin "perfumer;" so also in Ecclesiastes 38:8; 49:1: the word means also any thing spiced (1Ch 9:30); hence, ointment, confection (Ex 30:35). The holy oils and ointments were probably prepared by one of the priests who had properly qualified himself in Egypt, where unguents were in great use. SEE ANOINTING. Roberts (Oriental Illustrations, p. 80) states that in Hindoo temples there is a man called Thile-Karan, whose chief business it is to distil sweet waters from flowers, and to extract oils from wood, flowers, and other substances. From our version having rendered the word "apothecary," it would seem to indicate that the business of a perfumer was not distinguished from that of an apothecary in the time of the translators. Thus Shakspeare, a contemporary writer, says,
"An ounce of civet, good apothecary, To sweeten mine imagination."
Indeed perfumery is almost inseparable from a druggist's stock in trade. Sacred oil appears to have been as copiously used by the heathen nations as it was in:the Jewish tabernacle and temple, and during the patriarchal economy; the Sanscrit writers prove its retention in the present religious services of India, and that it was adopted in the more ancient we have the authority of Strabo (lib. 15), where he refers to a ceremony which calls to mind the words of the psalmist, that it ran down upon Aaron's beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments (Ps 133:2). Sir William Ouseley, also (Trav. in Persia, 1, 391), mentions the statue of a man at Shapur, which, according to the Nozhat al-Colzb, princes went on pilgrimages to visit and anoint with oil. SEE PERFUME.