Perfume And Fragrances : Renaissance

The Renaissance ushered in a new vision of the world.

Architects, engineers, artists and scholars traveled all over Europe. Boosted by the influence of powerful, wealthy patrons, the arts flourished. The first treatises on chemistry were progressively replacing alchemy and its recipes.

Famous explorers including Vasco de Gama, Christopher Columbus, Magellan, all brought back new and exotic raw materials from the Americas and India. These new and exotic raw materials included cocoa, vanilla, Peru balsam, tobacco, pepper, clove and cardamom.

Brought to the French court by Catherine de Medici in the 16th century, perfume remained a royal fashion and was used all the more extravagantly. It was believed that water had the power to extract the life force from the body, and hygiene was exchanged for fragrance, the birth of the very first deodorant.

Leaving their native Spain and Italy, and the Medici family, foreign perfumers established themselves in Paris. The profession of perfumer and glove maker emerged in the city of Grasse in the south of the France. Grasse was soon to become the capital of fragrant plant cultivation and leather glove making. Soon after perfumed gloves were available through out France.

The perfume industry and the production methods involved were improving considerably during this period and the formulas of plants and flower extracts are essentially the same today.

The perfume evolution was quite a different story in England under the rule of Oliver Cromwell. It was said, "Perfume is the work of the devil", and was banned and even prohibited for an entire century.

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