The history of perfume has been throughout the history of mankind. From the times of the Neolithic pottery to the today travel spray. Recipes have been found on papyrus of ancient Egypt and have been now used as international industrial patterns in the industry today. And let’s not forget the perfume lovers, Catherine de Medici, Marie-Antoinette and Napoleon: the history of perfume is a story of civilizations.

The first perfume was born in the temples of ancient times, accompanied by the rituals, myths and cultural beliefs. In the Middle Ages it was used for protection against epidemics and a short time after it become a factor of social distinction. In the seventeenth century, the court of France allowed the perfume corporations to officially establish themselves in the country; now the trade developed and the cities of Montpellier and Grasse experienced a considerable growth until the nineteenth century.

With industrialization, the scent became more democratic, benefitting from discoveries in chemistry and allowing big houses to create incomparable products such  as “No. 5”, which mark the now  modern times. For hundreds of years, the perfume experts of Grasse have been innovating and exploring new ways to extract the fragrances from various plants and substances, and visitors in town today can enjoy a multi-sensory experience at its  perfume museum.

Over the centuries, fragrances and their uses have changed significantly and perfumers are more detailed to capture the richness and complexity of fragrances. Nowadays the perfume explores attitudes, science and industry. Perfumes are part of mythology, customs, trade and emotions and they also give voice to the great “nose” of Chanel, Guerlain, Dior, Hermes or Cartier

 

perfumes

Grasse. Image from Pinterest

perfume in France

Office de Tourisme Grasse, Musée du parfum.

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