Think of all the smells you’ve encountered in your life. From fresh laundry (or old), down to up-close and personal body odour. You may be surprised to know that in one way or the other, all those scents have garnered up and formed spoors in your mind. Spoors that have been proven to induce feelings and spark up memories tied to them.
Perfume is, quite simply, a mastery of some of the most frequent scents, and the artful combination thereof to produce a unique smell for people. Perfumes have been an important part of society since the beginning of time. To understand the concept of perfumes, let’s go back in time to find out how this originated.
The earliest use of perfume bottles was in Egypt, dating back to around 1000 BC. The Ancient Egyptians were the first to incorporate perfume into their culture, followed by the ancient Chinese, Israelites, Carthaginians, Arabs, Greeks, and Romans. The Egyptians invented glass and perfume bottles were one of the first common uses for glass.
Hieroglyphics in tombs show that Ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians were making perfume as far back as 3,000 BC. Egyptian priests, thought to be the fathers of modern perfume, used aromatic resins to mask the smell of sacrificial offerings. Remember the 3 wise men from the bible? One of the gifts, no wait, two of the gifts they brought baby Jesus were fragrances. Frankincense and Myrrh.
Perfumes have always signified status and power; in the 17th century the king of France demanded a fragrance for each day, the next smelling different from the previous.
The ancient Persian royal class was also seriously invested in perfume, so much so that it was common for kings to be pictured with perfume bottles in Persian art. The legendary rulers, Darius and Xerxes are shown in one relief sitting comfortably with their perfume bottles and holding perfume flowers in their hands (remember Xerxes from 300? Yeah, even him.). It wasn’t until the Greeks and Romans became acquainted with perfumes that it began to be viewed as a form of art and produced en masse and in consistent quality. Thank heavens for that.
Your scent is an important part of your identity. Even more than that, it makes up part of your identity. It communicates more than your clothes or demeanour because one can smell you without looking at or talking to you. Your sense of smell tends to be one the most delicate yet strong parts of the human sensory experience, as scent can evoke certain memories and give off vibes, be it good or bad.
Now back to reality and today. Time and time again, I find myself one way or the other reminding the next brother or sister on the importance of smelling good. More than just something that compliments your style or fashion sense, your scent can become your signature. The best compliment for me is to hear someone tell me I smell good. No matter how well dressed I am, I want you to smell me and remember that fragrance. Hopefully you’d fall in love with it the same way I do.
Scented oils, perfumes and other fragrances have been adorned by people since early civilization. Today, fragrances can be found all around, from scented candles, to all your favourite bath and body products. There are numerous reasons why people wear perfumes.
The first one is a no-brainer.
- Women love it. Your girl loves it, your crush does, even your mum and/or your auntie. Everyone around you loves a good scent, simply put. It could be that it reminds them of some fruits or could be a scent that invokes certain senses they never experienced before. There is a strong link between fragrance and memory. Being able to connect with memories through these fragrances triggers many emotions in people.
- Your perfume could be a means of expression. It could be an expression of your mood, how vibrant you are, your youthfulness and as it’s been for centuries, an expression of sophistication and wealth.
- They can be your signature. You can change your smell to match your mood or to match an occasion, daily. There are so many ranges to choose from, having a few 3 bottles at a time doesn’t even seem like enough. The wide variety to choose from also gives you some sort of exclusivity and a person can truly be original in what scent they decide to wear. The ability to have this kind of individuality through scent directly influences our confidence and self-esteem to some extent.
Fragrances make everyone happy. Get yourself au fait!