“All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand! Oh, oh, oh!” Shakespeare wrote. Lady Macbeth says this because she has realized that nothing in the world will erase the stain of King Duncan’s death from her conscience.
Perfumes symbolize mysteries, but perfumes also appeal to our senses. It’s quite interesting that it holds a history and its evolution. The use of fragrances always symbolizes mystery, imagination, passion, and romance. In modern days, perfumes are all about dressing yourself with an aroma that truly represents your personality.
The term perfume is ascertained from the Latin word “per” which means “thorough” and “Fumus” which means “smoke”.
In this article, we want to make you aware of the history of perfumes, the evolution of perfumes, and how they were developed in 17 the 18th centuries, and how people got attracted to them.
Evolution of Perfumes
Indeed, incense was the first type of perfume, created by the Mesopotamians roughly 4,000 years ago. At their sacred rituals, ancient tribes burnt a variety of resins and wood.
Around 3000 B.C., incense arrived in Egypt, but until the start of the Egyptian Golden Age, perfumes were only employed in religious ceremonies. Over time, the priests’ exclusive privileges were gradually revoked and made accessible to all Egyptians. The populace enjoyed lavish baths and fragrant oil soaks for their complexion. Although the history of perfumes is quite interesting, we still need to determine who actually invented perfumes.
Usually, the credit was given to the ancient Greeks, but it is recorded that it was Arabs who actually invented perfumes, they made it happen through the distillation process and thus making the manufacturing of scent inevitable.
The seventeenth century saw enormous success for perfume, particularly in France. In those days, hygiene was very shoddy, and foul body odors were covered up with fragrances. Both King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I made frequent use of scents in England. During Elizabeth’s reign, every public space was scented because she could not stand offensive odors.
How innovations in technology add value to perfumes
It is the amalgam of art and technology that brought innovation to every industry, the fragrance industry enjoys a rise in the 19th century. Back in the seventeenth century, perfumes emanated from a single flower aroma. But in the 21st century, the process of extracting fragrance is totally different.
Today’s perfumes are made of a variety of natural and synthetic substances, referred to as “notes” or “overtones,” and are incredibly complex. The first perfume to use synthetic ingredients was Chanel No5, which was also the first to use current chemical principles in its creation.
Eau de cologne
Eau de cologne is the most famous brand ever in the entire perfume industry. Specially manufactured for men was created by an Italian barber in the German city of Köln at the start of the eighteenth century. As a result, the city’s French name is “Cologne.” The most interesting thing about this scent is that it was first marketed as a “wonder remedy” under the name “Aqua Admirabilis” (Admirable Water).
Fortunately, Napoleon had the eye to identify a jewel and gave the wonder water high praise because of its exotic aroma. It was first offered for sale as a fragrance with the title tag 4711, which was also the location of Koln’s first eau de cologne store. It is still the oldest scent that has been made repeatedly.
Popular perfume manufacturing techniques
The first stage in making perfume is the extraction of fragrant essential oils from plants. While many methods can be used, distillation is the most common one. Steam distillation is based on the principle that plant materials placed in boiling water will release their essential oils which then evaporate with the steam.
Once the steam and oil have been condensed, the oil will separate from the water and can be collected into a bottle.
Thousands of kilos of flowers may be needed to obtain just one kilo of essential oil, which partly explains why many perfumes are so pricey.
The oils are then diluted with alcohol, which also serves as a fixative, giving fragrances their long-lasting effect by delaying evaporation. The diluted solution is then left to steep in special copper or stainless-steel pots before being cooled in order to allow any resins or waxy particles to settle. Next comes the filtering process, and last but certainly not least, packaging.
The transformation of perfumes in the 19th century
synthetic ingredients was Chanel No5, which was also the first to use current chemical principles in its creation.
Plant materials are immersed in boiling water, their essential oils will release and evaporate along with the steam. Following the condensation of the steam and oil, the oil will segregate from the water and can be collected. One kilogram of essential oil may require thousands of kilograms of flowers, which helps to explain why many perfumes are so expensive. Alcohol, which also acts as a fixative and dilutes the oils, gives scents their long-lasting effect by delaying evaporation.
The scientists experimenting with different materials to prepare perfumes are called perfumers. A good perfumer has some distinct qualities like he knows the essence of every material just like a good musician who knows every beat!
Although different businesses have distinct selection processes for their perfumers, or “noses” as they prefer to call them, most applicants serve as apprentices for at least six years. They must not only have a keen sense of smell to distinguish between different raw materials, but they must also be creative and have a solid grasp of chemistry. A good “nose” needs to be both a skilled artist and a diligent chemist.
Nowadays, chemists are using both synthetic and natural ingredients in the manufacturing of perfumes. Perfumers are making a combination of leaves, roots, herbs, shrubs, and citrus fruits along with different kinds of animal extracts.
Types of Perfumes
Perfumes is a popular fashion accessory Scents can be classified into different categories according to the number of essential oils they contain. It is noteworthy that the amount of its concentration makes a perfume unique and special.
- Parfum (concentration 20 to 50 percent)
- Eau de parfum (concentration level 20 to 15 percent)
- Eu de toilet (concentration level 3 to 15 percent)
Effects of fragrance
Fragrance affects differently, it depends on the skin how it reacts to a certain scent. That’s the aroma that develops as the fragrance combines with your particular skin chemistry. It usually takes around 20 minutes to completely develop the sense of fragrance.
The base note, or the scent created after the fragrance has dried, is the last manifestation of your perfume. The odor is what lingers. The same perfume may smell differently on each individual due to our varied skin types.
Scents or aromas have a special effect on our emotional as well as the psychological side. If we smell a pleasant fragrance, it will reach the thalamus before contacting to the cerebrum, the small signals or an aroma will pass directly to the area of the brain and causes to arouse emotions, inventiveness, and nostalgia. Some fragrances have a pleasant effect on our minds that ultimately refreshes our entire body.
- We feel refreshed.
- We feel good vibes, our mood suddenly changes.
- It can make us happy or annoyed depending on thearoma of the fragrance.
Sometimes, it’s a distinct type of fragrance that triggers our memory and we start recalling any event or incident that had happened in the past.
Other kinds of sensory information are relayed through the thalamus before reaching the cerebrum, whereas smell messages are routed directly to the area of the brain that determines emotion, creativity, and memory. Thus, an odor can instantly trigger a feeling or a recall of a long-past event. As a matter of fact, case studies have shown that students exposed to specific smells while studying show better recall during exams if the same smell is present.
Wearing the same perfume while studying as during an exam may actually help. Of course, this is not a miraculous answer to students’ studying woes. The best way to obtain a good grade is just hard work.
Wearing perfume is considered a style statement, like Armani, Chanel, and Dior, it all smells to succeed and lead. Somehow wearing perfume represents your elegance and enhances your beauty and confidence. It shows how elegant and sophisticated you are in picking your fragrance. It’s you who decide on passion or sophistication. Be the person you are and choose the fragrance that truly represents yourself, it’s you and your fragrance that drives you to succeed.