The use of perfumes goes back thousands of years. The Egyptians used plants, gums, and resins in religious rites. As the years went by, scented substances were used to enhance body attractiveness and to make homes and public places more pleasant.
Fragrances are considered normal components of our everyday lives. Many people feel the need to wear a fragrance in order to feel good: this is probably because there is a connection between scent and emotion as well as between scent and memory; moreover, studies have shown that some fragrances can alter moods and even alleviate anxiety and stress.
Perfumes can be defined as substances that emit and diffuse a pleasant and fragrant odor. They consist of manmade mixtures of aromatic chemicals and essential oils. Until the nineteenth century perfumes were usually composed of natural aromatic oils. Nowadays, most perfumes are synthetic and may contain many components.
This article deals with the different types of products containing perfumes, raw materials, legislation and safety aspects, analytes of interest, and analytical techniques.