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History of Perfumes

BY: john mercyeser | Category: Others | Post Date: 2009-01-13

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Perfumes have been in use since thousands of years. The word ‘perfume comes from two Latin words i.e., ‘per' & ‘fume' meaning ‘through smoke'. The oldest method of perfume known is the burning of incense & aromatic herbs giving out aromatic fumes. Earliest perfumes were used by rubbing the body with fragrant water made with such herbs.

Although perfumes, in one form or the other, have been used in other cultures as well including Greek, Roman, Chinese, Arab & French, the Egyptians are said to be first ones to use perfumes in their culture. The earliest perfume bottles found are Egyptian from around 1000 BC. Later, incense & other aromatic herbs & oils were available to a common man in ancient Egypt as they were ordered by the priest to perfume their bodies at least once a week. For this reason, they used to carry a perfume with them throughout their lives. Cleopatra of Egypt later used saffron in her warm bath. Beautiful jars were made to keep these perfumes safely which the Egyptians felt very proud of. These perfumes were also used in the preservation of dead bodies into mummies.

In the ancient Greek culture, daily bath was important for every citizen & the perfume shops were considered to be a nice place to meet. They used different kinds of oils & creams to make these perfumes with a different type for each part of the body. Greeks were the first ones to make liquid perfumes by mixing fragrant powders with oils.

Romans first used perfumes in religious ceremonies. Although they were known for their extraordinary gardens, a common man started using perfumes during the time of Alexander the Great. Massaging their body with fragrant oils & lotions was a part of the famous Roman bath. Frankincense, myrrh and jasmine were initially used very sparingly by the priests only.

In the Chinese culture, although makeup & perfume were never extensively used, Taoists believed that a plant's fragrance could represent the liberation of one's soul. The word that Chinese used for perfumes was ‘heang'. In the ancient Chinese culture, perfumes were lavishly used by the upper class for scenting their clothes, homes & temples. Sandalwood was commonly used for making fans while camphorwood was used for making huge statues of Buddha. They imported fragrances from different parts of the world e.g., jasmine-scented sesame oil from India &rosewater from Persia.

Arabs were experts in making perfumes for which they used rose water, musk & civet extensively. The invention of highly effective distillation & purification methods by Arabs brought a great change in the history of perfumes. These Arabs are the ones who linked the past of the perfume industry with its present.

The modern perfumes were first manufactured in France around 300 years ago. The real perfume capital in France is Grasse, not Paris & is also called the ‘world's perfume capital'. Rose, jasmine, irises, mimosa & lavender have been grown here for this purpose. In France, perfumes flourished during the reign of Catherine de Medici who even made her own perfumes secretly in a laboratory so that nobody could steal her formulas.

Article Source: http://www.saching.com

About Author / Additional Info: Justin DiMateo is a business man working from home. Along with her internet based business, He is also a freelance writer and written on a href www.perfumesofparis.net Perfumes of Paris a site

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