1. What does the word Perfume actually mean?
The word perfume actually comes from the Latin world ‘per fumum’ which literally translates as ‘through smoke’ and the Romans and Arabs refined the art of making and wearing perfume 2500 years ago. Emperor Nero would hold lavish feasts with rose and jasmine oil pouring through the fountains and being wafted into the air. The Arabian practice of Bakhoor which burns incense and precious wood in order to perfume clothing and the environment is still prominent today.
2. What was the first perfume?
We do not know for fact what the first perfume was but we do know that the world’s first recorded chemist, who was also a perfume maker, is a woman named Tapputi. She lived in Babylonian Mesopotamian around 1200 BCE. It is said that she developed and recorded methods for scent extraction techniques, laying the foundation for today’s perfume making. The first actual ‘factory’ dedicated to the production of perfumed oils dates back 4000 years on the island of Cyprus. The Egyptians were the first to make perfume truly a part of their culture 3000 years ago, inventing stone and glass vessels to hold their precious scented oils and balms.
3. Can perfume be an aphrodisiac?
Perfume can undoubtedly make the wearer feel sexy. There are indeed perfumes with ingredients that are known to have aphrodisiac qualities and the smell can prompt an instant attraction and intuitive sensual responses. Ingredients like Jasmine, Ylang ylang, Vanilla and Ginger are said have aphrodisiac properties. Even Cleopatra knew about the strong quality of Jasmine and used the power of this perfume to seduce Mark Antony.