History of smell second part

L'Art du Parfumeur


The big change therefore concerns the almost complete replacement of animal fragrances with floral and fruity scents. Unfortunately, he does not give more chronological details on this subject. The evolution is certainly completed towards the middle of the 16th century, if we consider his book as a state of modes grasped essentially towards this moment. His Traité raisonné de la distillation, to which he frequently refers for supplements, dates from 1753. It is therefore necessary to advance by half a century by half a century the time of the mutation of sensitivity pushing us to prefer floral perfumes to "incremental" perfumes.

The upheaval seems irreversible, if we believe L'Art du parfumeur, by Jean-Louis Fargeon, successively supplier of Queen Marie-Antoinette and the imperial court.

Because the muse is totally banned from the preparations cited in the book, which was born in 1801. Established in 1806, the inventory after the master's death shows that he has very few in His shop. He uses only a few drops of amber quintessence to bring out the odors. His colleagues now massively prefer flowers, spices, bark fruits, to create their simple, compound or spirited waters, their essential oils, their waters of beauty and cleanliness, their quintessences. The latter come in several types, according to the number of successive distillations suffered: spirit of eau-de-vie, simple wine, rectified wine, piercing spirits, or ardent and penetrating. Very strong, very subtle, flammable, the ultimate recipes can only be made by professionals, because they evaporate easily if you are not careful.

Introduction of orange blossom, citron, neroli, iris...


In 1764, Dejean already cites formulas with citron, lemon, sime, Portuguese orange, bergamot, four fruits, orange blossom, lavender... In addition, the names of the specialties are often misleading, because the waters of angels, Cyprus or yarrows no longer have the same compositions as in the previous centuries. That of orange blossom can become very thin, for a high cost price. The taste of the time of philosophers prefers lighter, more delicately erotic scents, such as Dejean's sensual water, consisting of 7 pints of odorless Cognac, quintessence of citron, neroli, iris, macis and docus (a rare, very expensive seed). Pleasant and sweet, she should be darling of the ladies, he believes. Who would dare to claim that love can exist without drunkenness? He also recommends Adonis water (flowers, spices, plus four drops of amber, which gives "an admirable whole"), a spring bouquet, a cute water. One of the sweetest perfumes, highly appreciated, according to him, is that of jasmine, "the most pleasant of all flowers", superior to violet. As it is very difficult to obtain, specialists usually just make a hair oil, by putting the flowers, soaked in sweet almond, hazelnut or benzoin oil,


Delicate and very fragrant essence

On canvases, before placing them in a large hermetically sealed box. Another method is to alternate beds of flowers and crushed almonds, in a box, It is often necessary to change the former, then when the latter are fragrant enough, draw an oil without fire, which becomes "a very delicate and very fragrant essence". Jasmine water is made with this oil, with the addition of rectified wine spirit. All these creations are as expensive as they are delicate, but they result in a • perfume so exquisite and so fashionable". In other words, jasmine is the star fragrance of time, to fight against putrid miasmas, the madness of musk leathers being definitely over, gloves largely lose their erotic function in favor of an aesthetic of softness and elegance. They are made creamy with a paste of rye flour, egg yolks, alum and salt. Those with chamois receive a last appret consisting of several layers of fish oil.

In public, white gloves are now the only acceptables. If you want to flavor them, you must do it slightly, using only embalmed oils, orange blossom or jasmine in particular. In order to beautify the hands and arms, cosmetic gloves are worn at night, glazed with a warm mixture of wax, egg yolk, sweet almond oil.

from the civilization of smells R Muchembled the beautiful letters 2017