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When was perfume invented?

When was perfume invented? This is a very good question, I have read on many blogs, websites or researched about it and there are many versions. Many wish to appropriate the exclusivity of the first time.

Chinese, Indian, Egyptian etc…. for sure perfume making is very ancient. It’s most likely that the Egyptian’s started making perfume, it was used in the mummification process. Egyptian’s associated a good smell with holiness. 

According to historians, the inventor of the distillation process is an Arab called Al Kindi. He was born in Iraq around the year 801 of our era.

Alembic Perfume Distillation
Alembic Perfume Distillation

He described in a book called, “The chemistry of Perfume and Distillations” the distillation process of wine and how to extract Rose oil.

Alembic comes from an Arab word, it’s an alchemical still consisting of two vessels connected by a tube, used for distilling. 

Where is perfume made?

Nowadays , hundreds of Fragrance Manufacturers/Distillers are located in Europe ( France, Switzerland, U.K etc…) most of the production is made there.

Then there are a few fragrance factories active in the U.S.A, India (Kannauj city) & GCC countries (Saudi Arabia, U.A.E). 

The most well known place in the world, when it comes to the art of perfume is

France, more precisely in the South of France, in an area called, The French Riviera.

The City of Grasse is the worldwide capital of perfumery. It has been well known for producing perfume for more than 300 years, France is one of the largest fragrance manufacturers in the world.

Grasse Perfume
Grasse Perfume

Nowadays, factories benefit of both modern/high tech material & also old school tools to obtain concrete, absolute or basic essential oil (steaming distillation process). 

Ingredients used in modern perfumery are both from a natural & synthetic origin .

Distillers directly source/harvest natural ingredients from all around the world such as vanilla from Madagascar, or Rose from Bulgaria or cedarwood from Morocco etc…by working closely with the local farmers. Then they bring back to their laboratory to elaborate fragrances.

French Perfume
Grasse City

What’s the difference between natural and artificial Perfume fragrances?

Synthetic raw materials form the basis of contemporary perfume making. Since the mid-19th century, modern chemistry has enabled the perfume industry to develop so as to fulfill the qualitative and quantitative expectations of the global market.

The first perfume to use these new synthetic products was the famous Chanel N°5 created in 1925 – one of its components is an aldehyde. Synthetic raw materials obtained through petrochemistry have as high a quality of fragrance as those derived from natural raw materials.

Although they are not always less expensive than natural raw materials, using synthetic raw materials is often more ecologically desirable and also ensures more consistent product quality. 

What is the difference between Perfume & Eau de Parfum?

Nowadays its become very confusing for the consumer as the Fragrances/Perfumes market is totally saturated & flooded by the thousands of fragrant products made by hundreds of brands. Who has never been lost while visiting a fragrance store ?

This is normal, we’ll explain to you in simple words than anyone can understand.

The difference resides in the perfume concentration in the final product.

Concentrated perfume oil: It is a pure oil and non diluted. The aromas are very powerful and are mainly made of essential oils (blend of natural & synthetic). Manufacturers also call it “The juice”. This is the main raw material to prepare EDP, EDT  etc…

Concentrated Perfume Oil
Concentrated Perfume Oil

This concentrated oil is widely used directly on the skin in Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, U.A.E, Kuwait  etc… a few drops of this elixir is enough to remain up to 10 hours. It’s usually sold in a small vial (3 ml) and it can last for weeks before finishing a small bottle! In the Muslim world its called Attar. 

They are often diluted with a carrier oil like jojoba or DPG to reduce the power.

Extrait  de Parfum : More than 30% of concentrated perfume are oil alcohol free.

The scent can remain for 12 hours and above, usually the fragrance is very powerful and for some people it can be unbearable. 

Eau de Parfum: Also known as EDP, it contains between 15 to 20% of perfume inside.

This is the most common final product that you may find in fragrance stores, when  applied on clothes the scent can remain for 1 week.

Eau de toilette: Also known as EDT, usually contains between 5 to 15%.

Cologne: or Eau de cologne (EDC) here the concentration may vary from 2 to 4%.

Very often after cutting your hair your hairdresser will apply on your neck the Cologne and 

the sensation of both burning and freshness that you feel is due to the presence of a large quantity of denatured alcohol at 96%.

Spray Bottle
Eau de Parfum

Eau Fraiche: Eau fraiches are mixed with mostly water, here the perfume concentration is low from 1 to 3% only. The aroma will last most of the time around one hour.

This article was written by,

Mr Abdulhedi

Almarwaperfumes Founder