It’s believed that usage of perfume started in Egypt approximately 4000 years ago. From there, it spread throughout Europe, most notably it was fast adopted by the Romans and the Greeks who both used perfumes as part of the elaborate and extensive bathing rituals for which they were renowned.
Although the use of perfumes, and other aromatics like incense, had been widely used in religious practices for many years it was the massive rise in popularity in Egyptian which saw perfumes become an item commonly used by everyone. Around 2000BC virtually every Egyptian visited a bath house at least once a day which involved applying scented oils and balms to their bodies. The concept of the bath house spread north from Egypt and was adopted wholeheartedly by both the Romans and the Greeks. Elaborate bath houses became synonymous with both of these cultures and helped to make perfume use a common practice which rapidly spread throughout Europe.
The Romans in particular made a huge deal out of using perfumed products. Many Roman bathing houses would contain rooms that were purely devoted to the quantities of fragrant balms, oils, and essences. Known as “unctuariums” which were rooms that were filled different varieties of fragranced products and many Romans would then apply perfumes up to 3 times a day. Many Romans would also use aromatic products to add scents to a variety of household objects to keep their homes smelling fresh.
Although bath houses gave perfumes an initial boom in Europe, they fell out of favor through the Middle Ages, and it wasn’t until the 17th century that they began to rise in popularity once more. In France perfumed gloves became a popular accessory and people began to operate as perfume-makers by trade. This rise in popularity increased, particularly amongst the upper classes where perfume was considered a sign of status. In England, many women would experiment with mixing scents to create unique fragrances, a practice which reached its peak during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
It was the 19 century which saw the greatest developments in the perfume industry. Advances in chemistry led to the invention of new ways of making perfumes, and as capitalism began to rise, the culture self-indulgent and opulent practices also rose in popularity to the position they presently hold today.
To date, the number and varieties of fragrances are virtually unlimited. There is actually no limit as to the number of fragrances which can be made for you because the quantities and types of ingredients that can be used are virtually unlimited. All are not good combinations, but there are many. Each combination of fragrances has its unique signature and are blended to get a particular effect.
All perfumes are created from an oil base and are characterized according to the amount of the scented oil base that they each contain. The oil base is the strongest formula which you can buy and has a more natural fragrance. More and more people are beginning to use the oil base as they are beginning to realize the value of the oils.