Perfumes Through the Ages

The First Perfumes

At Amyris, we are expert bespoke perfume makers, and we appreciate the long history of fragrances and perfumes. The worlds first chemist is generally considered to be a woman called Tapputi. Living in around the 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamia, she distilled flowers, oils and calamus with other scents, filtered them and put them back in a still.

The Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to really start using perfumes and even had a god of perfume – Nefertum. For the upper classes, perfume was commonly worn and smeared onto the body to keep them smelling fragrant. Unlike today, where perfumes are alcohol based, the main structure of perfumes was oil. The Egyptians traded with regions in Africa to import aromatic woods and myrrh to create these special fragrances.

The ancient Persians also took advantage of scents and fragrances and many people regard them as founders of the distillation process to create perfumes. Perfume was also popular with the Romans and Greeks so much so that we still have the formulas for many Greek and Roman perfumes. Oil was made by pressing olives then adding plants and woods, the mixture was then soaked so as to create a scent. This scent was then sold to be used in public baths and for beauty products. It was believed by many that using perfumes would bring users close to God.






Perfumes Through the Ages

Perfumes continued to gain popularity, the use of which was widespread in the middle ages. A general theory took hold during that period, in that bad air could make you ill, the theory of ‘miasma’. So, many people took to carrying a pomander, which was a case of heavily scented and fragrant materials designed to repel this unhealthy air.

Crusaders who returned from the holy wars in Arabia also began to popularize the use of perfumes, but instead of oil-based ingredients, used animal-based products using the organs of various animals.


Bespoke Perfumes. Amyris Fragrance. Scented oil.



The Foundation of Modern Perfume

A major discovery was then made in Italy, where the creation of aqua mirabilis occurred, a strong scent that is composed primarily of alcohol. This became the foundation of the modern liquid perfume that we see today and led to Italy becoming the source of much of the perfume trade in the middle ages. It is from this, that slowly led to the massive perfume market that we see today.

Bespoke Perfumes. Amyris Fragrance. History of perfume.






The Rise of Modern Perfumes

The roots of modern perfumes began in the late 19th century with the advent of synthetic ingredients. Houibigant and Guerlain were the first producers of perfumes to use synthetic materials, and a host of companies created their own perfumes using their own specialised techniques.

New techniques, new markets and increased globalization meant that the fragrance industry only grew bigger. France played a major part in this, because of its easy access to many of the raw materials necessary for perfume production and the close proximity of the fashion trade. The increased provision of perfumes in greater quantities resulted in lower costs which entailed lower prices. These lower prices allowed perfumes to become consumed by the masses. The market had truly become global, and had transformed from a product normally consumed by the elite to something used everyday by many people in the world.







Our products will be released in the near future, as they are undergoing finalisations.

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