10 Fascinating Historical Facts About Fragrances

10 Fascinating Historical Facts About Fragrances


You know that fragrances smell different on different people. It’s old news to you that perfumes are often more intensive when applied to the hair. There’s no doubt in your mind that the Cleopatra Solid Cologne is your favorite scent in this whole wide world.


Well, it seems like you already know everything there’s to know about fragrances.


But, wait. Let’s take it to another level. What historical facts do you know about fragrances? Not much? Well, that’s perfectly fine because we’re about to share with you some extremely captivating historical facts about fragrances.


Buckle up and get ready for this sweet journey back in time.


  1. Curious as to who invented this heavenly-smelling thing we call fragrance? Well, for this you can thank Tapputi. She was the world’s first recorded perfume-maker.


But, that’s not all she was.


She was also believed to be the first recorded chemist. Rich stories about her and her fragrances were recorded on a 1200BC Cuneiform tablet found in Mesopotamia. According to the tablet, she developed methods for scent extraction that would lay the basis for modern perfume-making.


  1. As for the oldest recorded perfumery, it was discovered on the island of Cyprus. Archaeologists unearthed evidence of a massive factory from the Bronze Age — that’s around 4000 years ago.


  1. Do you know who’s as big a fan of fragrances as you are? The Egyptians! They believed that fragrances were the sweat of the god. To top it off, they had a god of perfume, Nefertem, as well. Nefertem was often depicted wearing a headdress made of water lilies — a very common ingredient in perfume back then.


  1. Just like we go to candle-making workshops and pottery classes, ancient Persians went to fragrance-making workshops. Here, they experimented with different scents and distillation processes.


  1. Surprisingly, Greco-Roman fragrances are still recreated today — all thanks to the ancient Romans and Greeks’ excellent record-keeping when it comes to perfume-making fragrances.


  1. During the Qing dynasty (way back in 1644-1912), the emperor carried a “perfume pouch” filled with fragrant herbs. Very fashionable, indeed.


  1. King Louis was known for many things but did you know one of those things is that he was a fragrance fanatic? Oh, yes. Even his court was dubbed “la cour par parfumée” — or the perfumed court.


King Louis was such a big fan of fragrance that he actually demanded a different fragrance for his place every single day. That’s a boatload of fragrances!


Plus, during his reign, the people even switched out soap and water for perfume.


  1. An Italian barber invented cologne in the eighteenth century. Wonder what’s the deal with the name ‘cologne’? Well, the barber was from the German city of Köln — or “Cologne” in French.


  1. Now, this fact may earn a side-eye from you and it should: the cologne was originally sold as miracle medicine and was favored by Napoleon.


  1. Finally, for a little tidbit from not so long ago, there’s actually a product to scent cigarettes — Habanita by Molinard.


This was available in sachets that you could slip into a pack of cigarettes to mask the smell of tobacco.


So, which of the above is your favorite historical fact about fragrances? Do you already know these facts? Well, if you do, you have full permission to chide us in the comment section. 

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