A Scent of Choice…


Myropolist – definition: a perfume dealer

Biblical_Roman

The word perfume, describes scented mixtures and is derived from the Latin word, “per fumus“, meaning through smoke. Although, perfumery, (the art of making perfumes) began in ancient Egypt, it was subsequently developed and refined by the Romans, the Persians and the Arabs. Perfumery also existed in East Asia, but most of its fragrances were incense based.  Pliny the Elder described the basic ingredients and methods of making perfumes  in his Naturalis Historia.  Today, it seems every celebrity ‘develops’ their own perfume to entice followers to ‘smell like me’! The shops are bursting with choices from super sweet ‘candy’ scents to earthy tones in a plethora of colored and uniquely shaped bottles.

When we watch adverts for perfume they promise romance, love and an allure of fantastic fun filled days and nights. However, scent is a very personal thing. One can be pleasing while another can be gag making. The bottles are art forms in their own right, from its beginnings in humble pottery vials to fantastic colored glass shapes, the bottles are almost more important that the scent they contain.

Smell is one of the important parts of our descriptions within our narratives. They help our readers immerse themselves into the scene. Gun smoke assists a battle scene to come to life, floral scents conjure up a walk in a meadow or garden and body odor the character’s physical state. All the scents -pardon the pun – need to be present to give our readers a complete sensation of what is happening.

I ‘found’ my favorite scent decades ago and it is the only one I ever wear – Obsession by Calvin Klein. I would be heart broken if it was ever discontinued. Musty scents are much more pleasing to me.

Naturalis Historia, 1669 edition, title page. ...
Naturalis Historia, 1669 edition, title page. The title at the top reads: “Volume I of the Natural History of Gaius Plinius Secundus.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you have a favorite perfume or cologne?

If you are interested in the history of perfume this Wiki link is good.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_perfume

Czech-Perfume-Bottlegreen bottle_??????????French perfume

8 thoughts on “A Scent of Choice…

  1. Pliny the Elder – what a great name!
    I’ve just been thinking about scents and how to incorporate them in my first short story.
    There is an Irish company, Fragrances of Ireland, that makes a scent that my daughter and I both like. It’s called Inis.

    Like

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