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The Exotic History of Perfume
The story of perfume goes back to Egypt, although it was standard in East Asia as well. Early perfumes were based on incense, not chemicals, so aromas were passed around through fumes. The Roman and Islamic cultures further refined the harvesting and manufacturing of perfumery processes to include other aromatic ingredients.
Thus, the ancient Islamic culture marked the history of contemporary perfumery with the advent of spices and herbs. Fragrances and other exotic substances, such as Jasmine and Citruses, were modified to be harvested in climates outside of their indigenous Asia.
The extraction of scents was improved through steam distillation. In turn, the Islamic cultural generation of fragrances and distillation innovation inspired the scientific communities of western culture during the fourteenth century, especially in France, which brought further adaptation of these raw materials and introduced chemical-based perfume.
Modern technology in the history of perfume can be credited to the West, but the cultural envisioning still belonged to Islam: "The taking of a bath on Friday is mandatory for every male Muslim who has reached the age of puberty [and then] the using of perfume if it is available." (a claim made by The Prophet Mohammed, which is also recorded in Sahih Bukhari).
The use of spiced and fragranced perfume during the Renaissance was available only to the royalty and wealthy for the purpose of covering body odors linked to their sanitary habits. Thus, perfumery as an industry was established in the West. This is where the story of perfume denotes the association of perfume with the upper-class.
It wasnt until the eighteenth century that the Grasse region of France harvested aromatic plants to account for the increasing demand for fragranced and spiced perfumes. Perfumery flourished! The world history of perfume came to a head. France is still the perfume center of modern-day Europe, which exchanges with the United States.
The latter, however, has founded its own perfume industry and trades with the rest of the industry. Perfumery is now a worldwide industry and serves as a major division of the world fashion industry. The history of perfume is now globally involved.
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