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A History of Home Fragrance
- Jul 19, 2018 -

Home fragrance and home aroma diffuser are the most important areas of interior design. An essential finishing touch to any room, scented candle, bamboo reed diffuser, electric aroma oil diffuser, aroma humidifier diffuser and the many other ways to perfume your home have become increasingly prevalent in recent years. The increase in demand for the latter half of the 20th century can at times make home fragrance appear a relatively new invention, however the industry is thought to actually date back over 5000 years.

Home fragrance and perfume has historically gone hand in hand, however one of the first recorded uses of fragrance was to perfume the air rather than the body. Around 3000BC, Egyptian priests became the world’s first perfumers by using aromatic resins to mask the smell of sacrificial offerings. Ancient perfume and home fragrance use is frequently described as having a spiritual link. In Egypt at this time it was believed the scents would connect people to the gods. Believed to be the sweat of the sun god Ra, the Ancient Egyptians also had a god of perfume, Nefertem, who was depicted with a head dress of water lilies. Fragrance wasn’t only reserved for rituals at this time, with the burning of incense a common everyday practice in many homes.

The history of air fragrance diffuser home fragrance also shows the concept of using scent to create a balance between body and soul originally hailed from Ancient Egypt, with balms, oils and incense used to sooth the mind and treat numerous ailments. A precursor of the aromatherapy practices we know today. The first recorded fragrance expert or ‘nose’ in the world was Tapputi-Belatikallim. The chemist from around 1200BC used her expert knowledge to distil and filter ingredients to extract scents. Tapputi was awarded the title head overseer of the royal palace and became the perfumer of the royal family through her sought-after creations. The Egyptian’s love of fragrance even followed them into the afterlife, with pharaohs and wealthy figures buried with scented oils which held their perfume until the sarcophaguses were opened in modern times.

Egypt isn’t the only starting point in the long history of home fragrance, scent played an important role in ancient Greece, China and the Roman Empire too. The Greeks also used fragrance in religious ceremonies, believing that the scents were literally a gift from the gods. They created the first perfumes to be worn on the skin through suspending ground plants and resins in oil, and were the first civilisation to link fragrance and hygiene. The ‘Father of Modern Medicine’, Hippocrates, began prescribing fumigation and the use of scents to prevent diseases during this time. A practice which would continue for millennia.

Elements of the history of home fragrance can still be spotted throughout contemporary practices. Aromatherapy for example is still enjoyed today as it was in ancient Egypt, and fragrances of aromatherapy air diffuser are frequently switched by day or season much like the French courts of Louis XIV. With its rich and colourful history, the home fragrance industry continues to adapt and grow to this day. New methods to create and enjoy fragrances are continually introduced, moving further yet endlessly taking inspiration from the ancient practices that created it.


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