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The History of Perfumery: From Ancient Times to Modern Day

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

Perfumery has been a part of human history for thousands of years, and the art of creating fragrances has evolved significantly over time. In this blog, we'll take a journey through the history of perfumery, from its earliest origins to modern-day innovations.

Ancient Times

Perfumery dates back to ancient times when people used natural ingredients such as flowers, herbs, and spices to create fragrances.

The Egyptians were particularly renowned for their use of perfumes and even used them in religious ceremonies. The Ancient Greeks and Romans also used perfumes, and the Romans were particularly famous for their use of perfumed oils and baths.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, perfumes were primarily used for medicinal purposes. It was believed that certain fragrances could help cure various ailments, and perfumers were considered to be important members of society. In the 13th century, the art of perfumery was introduced to Europe by the Moors, who brought with them the technique of distillation.


The Renaissance period saw a resurgence of interest in perfumery. Perfumes were considered luxury items and were used by the wealthy and aristocrats. During this time, the first perfumery guilds were established, and perfumers began to experiment with new ingredients and techniques.

18th and 19th Centuries

In the 18th and 19th centuries, perfumery became more widespread, and new techniques such as solvent extraction and enfleurage were introduced. The use of synthetic fragrances also became popular, as they allowed for the creation of new scents that were not found in nature. The Industrial Revolution brought significant advancements in perfumery, allowing for mass production and distribution.

20th and 21st Centuries

In the 20th and 21st centuries, perfumery has continued to evolve and innovate. New fragrance families such as chypre, fougère, and aquatic were introduced, and modern technologies such as gas chromatography have made it possible to create more complex and sophisticated scents.


Today, the perfume industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and perfumes are used by people all over the world for various purposes. From niche fragrance houses to luxury brands, the art of perfumery continues to inspire and captivate people with its ability to evoke emotions and memories through scent.

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