Chemistry in Muslim Civilisation - Soaps, Perfumes, Petrol

9th century chemists like Jabir (Geber), Al Kindi (Alkindus), Al Razi (Rhazes) and Ibn Sina (Avicenna) changed the way we live our lives.These scholars evolved chemistry from an occult art (alchemy) into a scientific discipline.

For example, Al-Kindi's "Book of the Chemistry of Perfume" describes more than 100 methods and recipes for making perfumes. Learn how these ideas are still used to make expensive perfumes from the South of France.

Chemists from Muslim civilisation developed and popoularised the process of distillation, which we now use to give us soaps, high-quality perfumes, petroleum for our cars, diesel for our trucks and the plastics we use every day.


1001 Inventions is a global educational initiative that promotes awareness of the scientific and cultural achievements of Muslim civilisation during the Middle Ages and how those contributions helped build the foundations of our modern world.

Working with worlds leading academics, 1001 Inventions engages with the public through educational media and interactive global exhibitions, in order to highlight the shared cultural and technological inheritance of humanity.

Launched in the United Kingdom in March 2006, 1001 Inventions has successfully educated more than a million people, promoted cross-cultural understanding and strengthened social cohesion.

1001 Inventions was created by the academic Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) with support from the British Government.

The 1001 Inventions touring exhibition will embark upon a global tour, starting at the London Science Museum in January 2010 and visiting major international cities over a four-year period.

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