Wearing perfume, an almost sacred beauty ritual

The majority of women put perfume on every day, so much so that 143,000 bottles of perfume are sold every day in France (source: Planetoscope). And what might seem like a simple beauty step has a much deeper cultural dimension in reality…

The use of perfume goes back to antiquity when it was used in religious rituals (as offerings to gods, for embalming bodies amongst the Egyptians). Perfume was therefore originally associated with sacredness. Today still, this theme can be found in many adverts: perfume is seen as a mysterious essence because it’s invisible yet extremely powerful, almost magical.

It was during the Renaissance that it started to be used in a similar way to its current use: perfume and glove-makers made scented gloves for aristocratic women, designed to enchant men who followed in their footsteps. It was only in the 19th century that the atomizer was invented and women started to disperse their perfume on the hottest parts of their body (nape of the neck, wrists) to better activate the particles.

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