Curiosities from the «fragrant» history of the world

  • Did you know that women have a better sense of smell than men? They have trained it since prehistoric times. They needed a more sensitive nose than men to pick fruit and prepare food. Toxic or spoiled food could have poisoned the entire community…
  • Want to know the scent of the famous Egyptian queen Cleopatra, who seduced even the mighty Caesar? Her secret was the fragrant oils of myrrh, cinnamon, cardamom, lotus, iris, marjoram and saffron.
  • The perfumes were also used extensively by Empress Josephine, the wife and greatest love of the life of the French military leader and statesman Napoleon. The boudoir in which she lived smelled of her perfume another 60 years after her death in 1814.
  • The real eau de cologne was developed in 1709 by Giovanni Maria Farina. 100 years later, the brand was bought by Ferdinand Mühlens, but after litigation he had to rename the perfume. Thus, the famous colony is called 4711, inspired by the number of his house.
  • In the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the fragrance of the Living Flowers from the Karlovy Vary hot thermal springs – of lilies of the valley, carnations or violets, with flowers immersed in a fragrant liquid-  was created in the 1960s. The „Tuzex” fragrance have been available only after 1989.
  • Until the 1970s, men were only accustomed to colonies after shaving. The change was caused by a shocking advertising photo from 1971, in which Yves Saint Laurent posed naked, with a bottle of the first YSL men’s perfume in nature.
  • In past centuries, perfumers had about 150 natural perfumes, now they have about 400. However, artificial ingredients have been added since the nineteenth century, so modern specialists work with about 3,000 ingredients.
  • Relatively few people today deal with the art of perfumery. There are only 200 to 300 true professionals worldwide. In addition to their undeniable talent for creating perfumes, perfumers have to study for years, for example at a special institute in Paris.
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