50 Fragrant Facts About Perfumes

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26Oldest Perfume Factory

The oldest perfume factory in the world was unearthed in Cyprus in 2004. It has been dated back to the Bronze Age, around 4000 years ago, and it covered an estimated surface area of over 4,000m², indicating that their perfume manufacturing was on an industrial scale.

27. Chinese Emperor Qianlong was in love with an Uyghur woman who naturally produced a fine fragrance from her skin. She was given as a gift to the Emperor and carefully escorted all the way to the imperial palace in Beijing. She was bathed every day in camel’s milk to preserve her mysterious fragrance.

28. When Febreeze first came out it was marketed as an odor eliminator (and was very effective at it) but sold poorly due to people not realizing their homes/clothes smelt bad. It was only until they added scents and marketed to people as a final touch to cleaning that it became successful.

29. Women in Ancient Egypt and 18th century France used to keep a scented pouch in their vagina for a while before presenting it to a prospective lover.

30. A Dutch designer sells a ‘memory box’ for grieving widows that contains the scent of their husband’s favorite perfume, a speaker to play his favorite songs, and a gold/glass dildo containing his cremated ashes.

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31Alan Cumming

Scottish actor Alan Cumming has a line of fragrances and lotions called “Cumming.”

32. Ancient Egyptians invented several forms of early deodorant, including cones made out of scented grease that was worn on top of the head. As the grease melted, it ran in cooling, fragrant trails down the person’s face and body.

33. In addition to books, France operates a legal deposit scheme for perfumes, where a copy of every new fragrance has to be sent to the library for preservation.

34. In 1994 Crayola released scented crayons but had to retire the food scented ones after a year because parents complained that they “smelled good enough to eat.”

35. The world’s oldest existing perfume company was started in 1709 in Cologne, Germany, by Giovanni Maria Farina. His fragrance was so popular and widely plagiarized that its name became a generic term: “Eau de Cologne.”

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36Dimethyl sulfide

Dimethyl sulfide, one of the most repugnant chemicals, is found naturally in onions and asparagus. Surprisingly it is also found in roses and germaniums. Therefore is used in perfumery to enrich the rosiness of geranium oil and to replicate the odor of the seaside, as it is one of the chemicals found naturally in the air on beaches.

37. Tapputi was a Babylonian perfume-maker who is widely considered to be the world’s first chemist. A cuneiform tablet from 1200 B.C. describes one of her perfumes, made from flowers, oils, balsam, myrrh, and various solvents.

38. Ancient Egyptians believed perfumes to be the sweat of sun god Ra. They even had a god of perfume, named Nefertum, who was responsible for the art of creating scents. Pharaohs were often buried with perfumes so that even in the afterlife, they would not have to encounter any unpleasant smells.

39. Many perfumes use the secretions from the anal glands of an animal called the civet cat to give them a ‘musky’ odor.

40. The Black Plague in the 13th century was thought to be contagious through the air because of the bad stench it made, so incense and perfumes were used to “cure” it.

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41DKNY Golden Delicious

The most expensive bottle of perfume ever sold (as of Feb 2021) was a container of DKNY Golden Delicious perfume. It was put up for sale for $1 million in 2011. Its bottle was set with tourmalines, sapphires, rubies, and diamonds.

42. Silphium was an extremely popular plant that was used as a spice, perfume, and medicine in classical antiquity. Its high demand resulted in it being harvested to extinction and thus nobody has known its taste or smell for millennia.

43. In the world of perfumery, people who craft scents are known as “noses.” One of the most famous noses of the 20th century was Jean Carles who created many of the most famous perfumes of the century. Since his nose was so important, it is said that he had it insured for $1 million.

44. In 2008, Burger King launched its own Flame body spray that offered to bring the scent of flame-grilled meat to the perfume world.

45. Beaver’s butts secrete a substance called castoreum, which the animals use to mark their territory. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists castoreum as “generally regarded as safe” additive, and manufacturers have been using it extensively in perfumes and foods for at least 80 years.

46Eau de Titan

Eau de Titan is a perfume made by ‘The Eden Project’ from titan arum which is the world’s smelliest flower. The flower smells like a corpse and the perfume is marketed towards men who want to take their scent to a “bold and completely new direction”.

47. There is a perfume intended for cows that makes them smell like humans, thereby luring mosquitoes to bite them instead of us.

48. Perfumes and cologne with citrus and floral scents expire sooner than those with heavier, woody scents.

49. It’s hard to tell how expensive a perfume is just by smelling it. When volunteers were asked to distinguish between an expensive perfume and a knockoff (Lidl’s £4 Perfume vs Chanel’s £70 scent), most couldn’t identify the famous brand. Even the liquid inside the most expensive perfume costs a couple of dollars to make.

50. After the Boston Marathon bombing, New York-based perfume company Demeter paid tribute to the heroes by releasing a perfume with the fragrance of smoke and burning rubber named ‘Boston.’


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