Understanding Fragrance in Personal Care

Perfume use is as old as human history. In fact, the word perfume derives from the Latin per fumem, meaning “through smoke,” since it was customary in Antiquity to burn natural salves, herbs and oils to produce incense for religious rituals. Perfume use has been recorded in ancient Egyptian, Persian, Greek, Carthaginian, Arab and Roman civilizations. Excavations directed by Maria Rosaria Belgiorno from the Italian Archaeological Mission of the National Research Council found an ancient perfume manufacturing site in Pyrgos, Cyprus, dating back to 2000 B.C. , possibly the oldest known perfume factory found in human history. The perfume included many scents found in today’s fragrances, including rosemary, lavender, bergamot and coriander.1

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