Perfumes have been around for centuries. In fact, some of the world’s earliest fragrances are reported to be created by the Ancient Egyptians, who used essential oils to embalm the deceased. Due to the increasing frequency of use, the Egyptians created elegant stone bottles and glass vessels to store the scented oils. Over time, the use of fragrances evolved and common people started applying the scents on the skin for ornamental, as well as medicinal reasons.
Since then, perfumes have become a dire part of every person’s dress-up routine. As they are so common, the use of fragrance has undergone some extreme transformations. Take a look at these interesting facts about perfumes and fragrances.
1. The use of whale vomit
One of the most common raw materials used in the productions of perfumes is Ambergris. The sweet ocean-like scent of Ambergis is extracted from the material produced in the intestines of sperm whales. Initially, Ambergis was burned and heated by the Ancient Egyptians to be used as an incense, whereas, in modern Egypt, the primary use of this material is to scent cigarettes. However, due to the high cost of extraction and attainment, Ambergis is rarely used in perfumes today. In fact, some of the popular perfume manufacturers now rely on the use of a synthetic version to create a similar scent.
2. The spray and rub method is a myth
There have been many myths surrounding the application of perfumes. One of the common mistakes that people make is spraying on the inner wrist, only to rub it out. Perfumes comprise of a top note, a heart note and a base note, each of which lasts for a limited duration. When you rub your wrists together, the friction causes the top note to mix with the body’s natural scents, which distorts the smell altogether. Therefore, when you apply perfume, make sure to spray the pulse points and let it be!
3. The nose becomes immune to your signature smell
Your nose becomes immune to the way you smell. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. For starters, if you spray on your favourite perfume every day, but are concerned that the scent is not emitted into your surroundings, you can put your mind at ease. However, this could also mean that if you have a strong body odour, you may not be able to identify it. Although, you can easily tackle this issue by spraying your favourite scent on the pulse points while getting ready for the day.
4. Authentic musk requires killing an endangered animal
Musk is an aromatic substance that is commonly used in the creation of perfumes, as well as in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCF) for healing purposes. However, the raw and authentic musk is acquired from the Musk deer, which is an endangered species that creates the fragrance through glandular secretions. Although, now, several perfume manufacturers are replacing the authentic musk with a synthetic substance.
5. Coal tar is used as a substitute for Jasmine-based fragrances
Perfume manufacturers often use a substance called Indole, which is extracted from coal tar. This material is used to produce some of the base notes and heart notes in Jasmine scented perfumes and fragrances. Indole is often used in small concentrations to produce a soft, lower-like scent.
6. There is a perfume that smells like bacon
In 1920, a Parisian Butcher called John Fargginay, fulfilled the ultimate fantasy of individuals who wished to smell like their favourite food. He created a mix of eleven essential oils and infused the scent of bacon into the solution. This ingenious idea birthed the fragrance called Bacōn by Fargginay, which is still available today. The butcher’s inspiration came from the idea that bacon, being the most preferred breakfast food, brought back the fond memories of childhood for individuals who inhaled it. As a result, the customers that visited the shop were gifted with a discrete package that uplifted their mood. However, the secret formula was lost on July 4, 1924, when the butcher’s shop caught on fire. Now, the ingredient has been rediscovered and recreated and is now available to be purchased.
7. The same perfume can smell differently on different people
Whether you buy the most expensive perfume or a cheap perfume in the UK, the way it smells on you can differ from the fragrance it emits on the scent strip. This is because the applied fragrance can merge with the pre-existing body oils. Considering this, it is important to make sure that you test the fragrance on yourself rather than the scent strip.
8. A common ingredient used to be extracted from the faecal matters of Civet cats
Previously, the pungent ingredient, known as ‘civet’ was extracted from the faecal matter or the anal glands of civet cats. This material, combined with other substances, emitted a warm, floral scent, which was used in several perfumes. Now, similar to other animal byproducts, the ingredient is replaced with a synthetic version, which is known as civetone.
Over time, the use of perfumes has gone through some major changes in recent years. From replacing the use of animal byproducts to using coal tar for the substitution of flowery scents, the changes in the production of fragrances have been carried out for the betterment of the planet. With these modifications, you can now apply your favourite fragrances, without carrying the guilt of harming the wildlife or the planet!