The word ‘aromatic’ may look like an innocent word. But it has produced history. Do I surprise you? Read on. The aroma may have many applications and uses. I take up the most harmless use. Aroma in cooking. When man hunted his food and ate it on the same day, he didn’t think of added aroma. He was attracted to harmless food by its natural aroma. But when the harmless food had to be preserved over a period of time, man had to think of various means of preserving the natural odour and taste. A few thousand years ago, pepper, cinnamon and other flavouring agents were important ingredients to help the old food regain its taste and flavour. But, unfortunately they were available only in India and other far eastern countries. Travel to India was possible only through the hostile Arabia. A new route had to be invented or the required aromatic substances had to be bought at exorbitant price from the Arab tradesmen who had easy access to India and other eastern countries, both by sea and by land. You will not believe it. The discovery of the sea-route to India rounding the Cape of Good Hope by Vasco da Gama was the result of his quest for aromatic food additives. The discovery of the American continents was also the result of Columbus’s attempt to find a sea-route to India – what for? to buy the aromatic spices and sell them at a premium in Europe.