Since the beginnings of perfume in ancient Egypt, perfume has been the accessory of choice for women who wish to add another level to their appeal. Cleopatra and Nefertiti clearly understood the power of a beautiful scent; their frequent use of fragrance reflected a reverence by their society at large; perfume was used throughout the ancient cultures of Egypt before being adopted by Greek and Roman cultures.
Such ancient cultures used the oils infused with the scent of burnt wood, spices, and aromatics as a part of their bathing rituals and religious ceremonies; but its eventual popularity in Europe truly sparked the modern woman's love affair with perfume. Since this time, women's perfume has continued to grow in popularity as manufacturers keep pace by introducing new designer and brand name fragrances to the market every year.
Perfume initially came to Europe somewhere around the 12th century by way of the Arabs who brought scents as part of trade of the day; but its popularity peaked in the 18th century in the French court of Louis XV who delighted in fragrance so much that he demanded a different scent everyday.
The application of perfume at that time – to the body as well as to the home – was largely to cover body odor that stemmed from infrequent bathing. It is no wonder, with his frequent use of fragrance that Louis XV's court came to be known as the le cour parfumme (the perfumed court). From that time, fragrance continued to gain popularity in France.
Queen Elizabeth I was one of the first women of the time to champion women's perfume. The Queen demanded only pleasant scents and a variety of fragrances were designed to please her; women of the time followed suit, elevating perfume to a level of creativity in which people felt comfortable to experiment. The popularity of perfume continued to reign in France – even through The French revolution and beyond – as well as in Europe as a whole. Before long, chemical advancements were made in the world of perfume in which systems were implemented that are still in use today. To this day, France holds the title of largest manufacturer of perfume in the world.
In the United States, the advent of the department store can be held largely responsible for the popularity of perfume. The early 1920s saw an influx of popular fragrance to the marketplace. Most notably was the creation of Chanel No. 5 in 1921 – a classic fragrance that would go on to be the one of the most famous women's perfume in the world. New scents were added to the shelves every year and were reflective of the women of each particular time period.
Today, women's perfume comes in a variety of scents – and in beautiful bottles to match. While perfume of all prices and quality can be found in high-department stores, there are also a multitude of online stores where women can shop for their favorite fragrances at often more affordable prices. And in the name of convenience, your purchase will be shipped straight to your door.
Women's perfume will undoubtedly continue to evolve over the years to keep pace with changing styles. But no matter which perfume you choose make sure that complements your personality and fosters your personal style.
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