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Perfume is a fragrant liquid that is used to give a refreshing aroma to a person’s body. In the ancient times a fragrance was made from essential oils obtained from flowers and spices but due to mass production the real flower scents had to be replaced by synthetic fragrances.

The people we have to thank for introducing us to a new world of scent is the Egyptians. They utilized scent in everything! Men and Woman would decorate themselves with fragrances to grant their rank. Later on, the Persians took over the use of perfume as a symbol of political status. It only started to become a work of art when the Greek and Romans become acquainted with it. They began to produce them in mass and consistent quality.

The first recorded chemist was a perfume maker. She lived in Babylonian Mesopotamia. Tapputi specialized in developing techniques for extracting scent but mostly in methods by using solvents. In a Hindu Ayurvedic manuscript the distillation of oil was mentioned. They produced fragrances for Royalty and Queens of Harems.

A perfumery was discovered in Cyprus by archaeologists. Up to date, this is one of the oldest identified perfume factories. According to the archaeologist they specialized in perfume consisting out of plants such as Coriander, Rosemary, Laurel, Myrtle, and Lavender.

Chinese used their fragrance in quite a unique way as they did not use it for cosmetic purpose but used scent by burning fragrant materials. They then used it for food, medicine, disinfection, and purity. Some dynasties used personal perfumes a lot. Italy, especially, Venice became the capital of perfume. The first liquid perfume was formulated and made in Italy. They only had natural ingredients available. With this in mind, they managed to be responsible for some of the most loved elements in perfume.
Rose-Rose Water
Lavender and Spikenard
Sweet Flag
Orange and Lemon
Hungarians made the first alcohol-based perfume in the 14th century by the request of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary. The fragrance consisted of alcohol, oil, and herbs.

“Since the 6th century, perfumes have been involved in Islamic culture for religious traditions since the user is instructed even in Islamic literature. Traditional duties as such gave incentives to scholars to develop cheaper and more efficient ways to produce scents. Consequently, Islamic cultures contributed immensely to the advancement of Western perfumery in two significant aspects: perfecting the extraction of fragrances through steam distillation and in introducing new raw materials. Both have greatly influenced Western perfumery and scientific developments, particularly chemistry.”

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Most fragrances reached its peak in England while the rules of Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I was followed. Queen Elizabeth disliked bad smells, and therefore every public place was scented!

As for Russia, the perfume manufacture only started growing after 1861 and became globally recognized by the dawn of the 20th century. In 1930, the Soviet Union started producing perfume as part of an economic strategy, but unfortunately, the output wasn’t as high as expected.

America was introduced to colognes and scents when explorers decided to visit from New France. A simple mixture called Florida Water which consists of Eau de cologne clove oil, cassia, and lemongrass were the most popular. Americans did invent a unisex fragrance that smells flattering on anyone.

In modern time it’s not unusual for a person to wear perfume. It is used by everyone irrespective of social status or religion. In 1921 Coco Chanel launched her perfume, Chanel No 5, which was one of the first perfumes manufactured with synthetic ingredients. This was made in Paris and is still one of the best-sellers worldwide.

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