A Brief History of Perfume by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
January 20 2016

In the modern perfume industry, about 3000 aromas are used. Single products may contain from 10 to 300 compounds.
Although neglected by science for a long time, the olfactory sense is now the focus of a number of studies that bring new insights and raises interesting questions regarding its functioning. The importance in the clarification of this process is of interest for science, but also motivated by the food and perfume industries boosted by a consumer society with increasingly demands for higher quality standards.


Neoplasma. 2013. Cytotoxic, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant properties of the most frequent plant volatiles. Flowers, berries, leaves, barks and roots of different plants have been used through the ages as a source of flavor in food and perfume preparations. The volatiles responsible for the flavor of botanicals can be extracted from the plant material as "essential oils" (EOs), called also volatile oils or ethereal oils. The term essential is intended to indicate that the oil is the fragrant essence of the plant from which it is extracted. EOs are constituted by hydrocarbons (monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes) and oxygenated compounds (alcohols, esters, ethers, aldehydes, ketones, lactones, phenols and phenol ethers). Of the numerous groups of naturally occurring compounds examined so far terpenes are known as fragrances and flavoring agents. The data reported in this review including the data obtained in our laboratory show that many of EOs exhibit a range of biological activities inclusive of antioxidative, anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic activities. Most of them belong to phytochemicals with chemopreventive potential. On the other hand some herbal products can cause serious adverse effects. A complex research of toxic, genotoxic, anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic effects of EOs is therefore very important. Keywords:


The Egyptians

The history of perfume is fascinating. The Egyptians, during the Queen Sheba's rule (queen of Yemen and Ethiopia), were the first documented to incorporate perfume into their culture. The two principal methods of perfume use at that time was the burning of incense and the application of balms and ointments. Perfumed oils were applied to the skin for either cosmetic or medicinal purposes. The history of perfume continues during the Old and Middle Kingdoms where perfume was reserved exclusively for religious rituals such as cleansing ceremonies. Then during the New Kingdom (1580-1085 BC) perfume was used during festivals and Egyptian women also used perfume creams and oils as toiletries and cosmetics and as preludes to love-making.
     The history of perfume without a doubt begins before the Egyptians as it is quite likely that many cultures before the Egyptians used various fragrances, but we have limited information and knowledge of these cultures and which perfumes they compounded.


Greeks and Romans
In the first few hundred years AD, the use of perfume spread to Greece, Rome, and the Islamic world. And it was the Islamic community that kept the use of perfume since the spread of Christianity led to a decline in the use of perfume. With the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century AD, the influence of perfume dwindled. It was not until the twelfth century and the development of international trade that this decline in perfume use was reversed.

History of Perfume during the Renaissance - History of Perfume in France
Perfume enjoyed huge success during the seventeenth century. Perfumed gloves became popular in France and in 1656, the guild of glove and perfume -makers was established. The use of perfume in France grew steadily. The court of Louis XV was even named "the perfumed court" due to the scents which were applied daily not only to the skin but also to clothing, fans and furniture. The eighteenth century saw a revolutionary advance in perfumery with the invention of eau de Cologne. This refreshing blend of rosemary, neroli, bergamot and lemon was used in a multitude of different ways: diluted in bath water, mixed with wine, eaten on a sugar lump, as a mouthwash, an enema or an ingredient for a poultice, injected directly... and so on. The variety of eighteenth-century perfume containers was as wide as that of the fragrances and their uses. Sponges soaked in scented vinaigres de toilette were kept in gilded metal vinaigrettes. Liquid perfume came in beautiful Louis XIV-style pear-shaped bottles. Glass became increasingly popular, particularly in France with the opening of the Baccarat factory in 1765.

History of Perfume in the 1800s
As with industry and the arts, perfume was to undergo profound change in the nineteenth century. Changing tastes and the development of modern chemistry laid the foundations of perfumery as we know it today. Alchemy gave way to chemistry and new fragrances were created. The French Revolution had in no way diminished the taste for perfume, there was even a perfume fragrance called "Parfum a la Guillotine." Under the post-revolutionary government, people once again dared to express a penchant for luxury goods, including perfume. A profusion of vanity boxes containing perfume appeared in the 19th century.

Due to its jasmine, rose and orange-growing trades, the town of Grasse in Provence established itself as the largest production center for raw materials. The statutes of the perfume -makers of Grasse were passed in 1724. Paris became the commercial counterpart to Grasse and the world center of perfume. Perfume houses such as Houbigant (Quelques Fleurs, still very popular today), Lubin, Roger & Gallet, and Guerlain were all based in Paris.

Soon bottling became more important. Perfume maker Francois Coty formed a partnership with Rene Lalique. Lalique then produced bottles for Guerlain, D'Orsay, Lubin, Molinard, Roger & Gallet and others. Baccarat then joined in, producing the bottle for Mitsouko (Guerlain), Shalimar (Guerlain) and others. Brosse glassworks created the memorable bottle for Jeanne Lanvin's Arpege perfume, and the famous Chanel No.5.

History of Perfume in the 20th Century
1921- Couturier Gabrielle Chanel launches her own brand of perfume, created by Ernest Beaux, she calls it Chanel No.5 because it was the fifth in a line of fragrances Ernest Beaux presented her. Ernest Beaux was the first perfumer to use aldehydes regularly in perfumery.

The 1930's saw the arrival of the leather family of perfume fragrance, and florals also became quite popular with the emergence of Worth's Je Reviens (1932), Caron's Fleurs de Rocaille (1933) and Jean Patou's Joy perfume (1935). With French perfumery at it's peak in the 1950's, other designers such as Christian Dior, Jacques Fath, Nina Ricci, Pierre Balmain and so on, started creating their own scents.

History of Perfume continues in the 21st Century
Today there are over 20,000 perfume fragrances on the market and a perfume bottle is no longer for the wealthy since one can find a cheap perfume bottle and also top notch expensive perfume bottle. The perfume industry has undergone several changes in technique, material and style. All of which have created the modern perfume fragrance industry, one that still incorporates creativity, mystique and romance along with marketing to appeal to the masses.


Now that we know a brief History of Perfume, What really is Perfume?
Perfume is made by a mixture of essential oils and aroma compounds, and solvents used to give the human body, objects, and living spaces an enjoyable smell. The amount and type of solvent mix with the perfume fragrance oil dictates whether a perfume is considered a perfume extract, Eau de parfum, Eau de toilette, or Eau de Cologne.


Answers to some Questions
Q. Where can I find discount perfume?
     A. There are many online perfume web sites that sell discount perfume. You can visit ParfumsRaffy.com which is an excellent online perfume shop with discount perfume choices.

Q. Is it cheaper to find discount perfume from a perfume shop or from online discount perfume shop?
     A. I guess you can find discount perfume either at an online shop on the internet or in your local town, there could be a discount perfume shop. Often you can find discount perfume at even half the price at an online perfume shop than you can at major department stores. Discount perfume can be offered by an online perfume shop since their overhead is low. Even with the shipping cost, discount perfume can cost you less than having to drive to a perfume shop. If you definitely know which perfume you want, then by all means visit and search different discount perfume shops online and find one that appears to be reliable and offers good service. I prefer a discount perfume shop where a live human being answers the phone or an email question is quickly answered.

Q. Do you know a good discount perfume shop in Los Angeles?   

     A. A high quality perfume shop in Los Angeles is found at Duty Free in Encino on Ventura Boulevard.  Duty Free perfume has cheap perfume selections as well as the most expensive perfume brands. They also have a discount perfume online store and carry free perfume samples.

Q. Can perfume bottle be shipped safely overseas?
     A. Yes, a perfume bottle can be packed carefully and shipped overseas without breaking the glass.
Q. Where do I find wholesale perfume stores?
     A. Wholesale perfume can be easily found by doing a google or yahoo search.
Q. How do I know which womens perfume to buy for my wife?
     A. Perfume for women, as is perfume for men, is not easy since each woman and man has their own perfume preference. Sometimes getting a professional advice from a perfume expert could be helpful.
Q. What's your opinion on Imagine Love perfume by Bath and Body works?
     A. Imagine Love Perfume by Bath and Body works is popular and this perfume product can be a good gift.
Q. I keep hearing of Angel perfume. How is Angel perfume rated?
     A. Many people rate Angel perfume as 4 out of 5 stars.


Allergy to Perfume

About 20% of women and 10% of men experience some sort of adverse reaction to a personal care product over the course of a year. Although most of these reactions may be due to subjective sensory irritation, various studies reveal that up to 10% of dermatologic patients who are patch tested are allergic to cosmetic products or their constituent ingredients. Some of these products include deodorants and perfumes, skin care products, hair care products, and nail cosmetics.

Oak moss absolute is a long-known, popular natural extract widely used in perfumes. It is reported as the cause of allergic reactions in a significant number of those with perfume allergy. Oak moss absolute has been the target of recent research to identify its allergenic components. Recently, chloroatranol, a hitherto unknown fragrance allergen, was identified in oak moss absolute. Chloroatranol is the most potent allergen present in consumer products today.


To increase libido


Perfume Update

Those who appreciate Britain's pungent Stilton cheese can now fill their nostrils with its notorious aroma, which has been captured in a new perfume.
The Stilton Cheese Makers Association plans to introduce Eau de Stilton. The scent has the "earthy and fruity" aroma of the blue-veined cheese but is unlike the smell of "old socks" that some people associate with Stilton, the manufacturer says. The scent includes yarrow, angelica seed, clary sage and valerian and has been blended by ID Aromatics, based in Manchester, northern England. Stilton was first made in the 18th century and over a million Stilton cheeses are produced nowadays.