Updated: Mar 24, 2021
Do you love perfume? Are you interested in finding out more about its origins? Well, we’re giving you the chance to find out about the history of perfume and who created it. The word “perfume” comes from the Latin word “per fumus”, meaning “through smoke”. In this write up, we’re going to look at its origins and how it has become as we know it today.
THE ORIGINS OF PERFUME Perfume has been around since prehistoric times. To begin with, it was used as a kind of air freshener or in religious ceremonies, until people started to use it on their skin. The ancient perfumes were discovered by archaeologists in Cyprus, where they found the first perfumery, which was over 4,000 years old. Egyptians were the first ones to manufacture perfume for human use. Oils, balsamic essential oils, ointments, resins dissolved in wine… A whole range of products that were used in medicine, cosmetics and in the process of embalming the dead. It was so important to them that they even had a God of perfume, Nefertem.
ANCIENT ROME AND CHRISTIANITY
It was when the Romans came along that people started to use fragrances as part of their personal hygiene, mainly women across all social classes. There are still many recipes in existence today, both Roman and Greek. However, with the rise of Christianity, people stopped using them as part of their daily routine, except for the elite. During the Middle Ages, a time when personal hygiene wasn’t widely practiced, women would smother themselves in strong and long-lasting scents, like amber.
THE ARRIVAL OF ALCHEMY
It was when alchemy and the Arab civilization came along that the experimentation and development of perfumes re-emerged. The discovery of alcohol as a good solvent made way for the creation of delicate and longer-lasting scents. The Arabs, who arrived first in Spain, spread perfume culture throughout Europe.
PERFUME IN THE EAST
For the Indians & Chinese, smell is one of the most important senses, so essences and perfumes have always been important to them. In India even “The Kama Sutra” even talks about applying perfume as being a compulsory part of it. In the 6th century, they had big plantations dedicated to the production of perfume. They cultivated flowers and then pressed the petals to extract the essence.
Nowadays, there a lots of types of perfumes and millions of ways to create them. With synthetic aromas, new smells that don’t exist naturally can even be created. New techniques allow us to extract different essences, so to create perfumes that are identical. What better way to honour the creators of perfume than by taking a look at the range of perfumes that we offer and choosing the fragrance that best suit our personality.