Volume 95, Issue 85

Thursday, March 14, 2002
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Scents and sensibility: the world of perfume

Quick facts on the history of human stench

Dirty pop: has the time come for a curtain call?

Quick facts on the history of human stench

  •  the world's first perfume was incense, used by the Egyptians for religious rituals
  • the Greeks were the first to recognize that aroma has stimulating, seductive and calming effects
  • Ancient India, Arabia, Greece, Israel, Egypt and Rome used scent to heal, attract and anoint
  • in the Middle Ages, pleasant scents were the main weapon against bodily and atmospheric pollution
  • fragrances were often mixed into prescriptions during the Middle Ages
  • the court of Louis XV in France was named "The Perfumed Court" due to the scents applied daily to skin, clothing, fans and furniture
  • during the French Revolution there was a perfume called "Parfum a la Guillotine"
  • France is known as the perfume capital of the world
  • babies identify their mothers by scent
  • scent is the centre of emotion and memory in the limbic part of the brain
  • scent emanations are an essential element in one's choice of sexual partner
  • all blends and perfumes fall into distinct groups – florals, green and grasses, citruses, woods, resins, plants, orientals and musk

    Sources: www.ParfumsRaffy.com, www.globalscentcompany.com

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