When was perfume invented?

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Perfume, as we know it today, has a long and complex history that dates back thousands of years. The first recorded perfume maker was a woman named Tapputi, a chemist from Mesopotamia, whose existence was documented on a 1200 BCE Cuneiform tablet. Tapputi developed methods for scent extraction techniques that laid the foundation for perfume making13. The oldest perfumery was discovered on the island of Cyprus, dating back to the Bronze Age, around 4,000 years ago. This discovery indicates that perfume manufacturing was on an industrial scale even in ancient times1. Perfume was further refined by various civilizations including the Romans, Persians, and Arabs. In East Asia, much of the fragrances were incense-based. The basic ingredients and methods of making perfumes were described by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia1. In the 14th century, knowledge of perfumery came to Europe due to Moorish influences. The first modern perfume, made of scented oils blended in an alcohol solution, was made in 1370 at the command of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary and was known throughout Europe as Hungary Water1. The art of perfumery prospered in Renaissance Italy, and in the 16th century, Italian refinements were taken to France by Catherine de' Medici's personal perfumer, Rene le Florentin. His laboratory was connected with her apartments by a secret passageway, so that no formulas could be stolen en route. France quickly became the European center of perfume and cosmetic manufacture1. During the Renaissance period, perfumes were used primarily by royalty and the wealthy to mask body odors resulting from the sanitary practices of the day. Perfume enjoyed huge success during the 17th century. Perfumed gloves became popular in France and in 1656, the guild of glove and perfume-makers was established1. In the 19th century, changing tastes and the development of modern chemistry laid the foundations of modern perfumery. The first fragrance labeled a "parfum" extract with a high concentration of aromatic compounds was Guerlain's Jicky in 188924. Today, perfumes are complex mixtures of many natural and synthetic chemicals, often referred to as “notes” or “overtones.” They are used by millions of people and are a popular fashion accessory3.
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