Americans spend over $5 billion each year on perfume products, and people worldwide spend a whopping $25.5 billion. With over 1,000 perfume brands, and 82% of women using the product, perfume is definitely big business.
Women of the 21st century are not alone in their desire to smell beautiful, the popularity of perfume dates back thousands of years. While many people consider wearing natural perfumes to be a modern trend, the foundation of perfume actually harks back to being formed from true natural means.
The First Perfumer
As far as recorded history is concerned, perfume originated in Mesopotamia. The name of the very first perfume-maker, a woman named Tapputi, appears on a tablet dating back to the 2nd millennium BC. Tapputi used essences from plants and flowers, and her knowledge of chemistry to produce fragrant incense, which is considered the very first perfume.
Perfume in Ancient Times
Like the Mesopotamian perfumers, ancient Egyptians used a variety of incenses to scent their hair, body, and environment. The queen Hatshepsut was particularly fond of surrounding herself in fabulous aromas, and sent adventurers off on expeditions far and wide to find new fragrant flowers and trees.
She filled her courtyard with these findings and recording the results of the expeditions on the walls of her palace.
For many years, perfume was enjoyed only by royalty and was used primarily in religious rituals. The Romans broke tradition by making perfume-use more widespread. Public bathhouses featured jars of the aromatic stuff, and citizens applied perfume as often as three times a day.
You must keep in mind that while people used bathhouses, they still did not shower or bathe as regularly as we do today. The Greeks followed suit after conquering Egypt.
The French Connection
France is one of the leading producers of perfume, and it all began in a small town called Grasse during the 18th century. The town supplies one of the most sought-after ingredients in the perfume industry- rose absolute.
The process to extract the substance from fresh-cut roses is very demanding, and the end result can cost over $9,000 per kilogram. While synthetic rose can be used in place of the real thing, itís not nearly as pure and fragrant. High-end perfume creators will only use the real stuff.
Throughout early times and up until the mid-20th century, perfume was considered a luxury that could only be afforded by the wealthy, or used only on very special occasions. During the 1970s, however, the commodity began to become more affordable for the average person.
While there are still very expensive brands that can put a major dent in your wallet, many companies found ways to create inexpensive scents using synthetic ingredients. Now that itís affordable, perfume is one of the most popular beauty products in the world.
The only problem is that it IS synthetic, and today it more of a luxury to indulge oneself by wearing a scent made of natural ingredients instead of chemicals.
It is also much better for your skin to wear natural oils and perfumes.
Life Never Smelled So Sweet!