The history of fragrance mirrors the history of civilization. But even the perfume-loving Egyptians and other ancients couldn’t have predicted how humans would use and create scents over millennia

Perfume has existed for thousands of years and manufacturers have used scents in everyday products – candles, soap, lip balm, lotions – for more than a century. Even today’s scent-free products contain an odor neutralizer, which in essence is one fragrance that masks the scent of another, writes Dr. Anne Steinemann of the Physicians for Social Responsibility’s Environmental Health Policy Institute. Michael Edwards, author of Fragrances of the World, the definitive annual perfume guidebook that classifies more than 8,000 fragrances, says upwards of 5,000 new perfumes have been introduced since 2000.

At banquets, the Romans refreshed themselves between courses with flower-scented water. Edwards notes that perfume’s origins come from ancient Romans’ temple rituals, in which they crushed and threw flowers, leaves, wood shavings, spices and aromatic resins onto burning coals as offerings to the gods, releasing their scents “per fumum” – the Latin phrase meaning “through smoke”.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS