The Role of Chemistry in History

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History of Perfumes

April 24th, 2008 · 20 Comments ·

History of Perfumes/ Perfume Ingredients/ The Family of Esters/ Formula of Benzyl Acetate/ Properties of Benzyl Acetate/ Uses of Benzyl Acetate/ Benzyl Acetate in Perfumes

“The earliest recognizable chemists were women, the perfume-makers of Babylon, who used the earliest known stills to produce their wares. The first individual chemist known to history was “Tapputi, the perfume-maker”, who was mentioned on a cuneiform tablet from the second millennium BCE in Mesopotamia”

~ Paul Strathern, Mendeleev’s Dream

Ancient people realized that there is a pleasure in the aroma of a flower.

People in the area of Indus, Nile and Tigris used herbs and spices for rituals.history.jpg

The Classical world of Greece and Rome built knowledge of spices, herbs, oils, and developed the process of distillation.

Since perfumes were still a very expensive product, until the 19th century they were used mostly by the wealthiest groups of society.

After WWII the fragrance industry developed greatly with the production of synthetic aromas. These new synthesis increased the variety of scents available and decreased the cost of production, since obtaining odorants from natural sources involves very expensive process.

After 1960 the economies of US, Western Europe, and Japan experienced upward development. Accumulation of disposable income stimulated customer purchases. Now more people could afford luxuries like perfumes. Consequently, perfumes became a personal care product and a common present for family holidays.

Geographical distribution of current sales: Developed world – 80%
32% – USA
26% – Asia Pacific
25% – Western EU
17% – Rest of the World

Tags: Perfume (Esters)