still roomwhere perfume was prepared by the women. Since the early 19th cent., chemists have analyzed many essential oils and have produced thousands of synthetics, some imitating natural products and others yielding new scents. Most perfumes today are blends of natural and synthetic scents and of fixatives that equalize vaporization of the blends and add pungency. The ingredients are usually combined with alcohol for liquid scents and with fatty bases for many cosmetics. Leading producers of perfume oils are the East Indies, Réunion island, and S France. Bulgaria and Turkey are noted for attar of roses, Algeria for geranium oils, Italy for citrus oils, and England for lavender and mint. The great fashion houses of Paris are renowned for perfumes that carry their names. See eau de Cologne.
See E. Sagarin, The Science and Art of Perfumery (2d ed. 1955); R. Genders, Perfume through the Ages (1972).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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