The Perfume Trade
This chapter surveys the wealth of literature that has explored the history of the perfume trade. Not only were some of the first histories of smell histories of perfume, but histories of perfume also outnumber all other studies of smell in society. A survey of this literature provides a greater understanding of the commercialization of scents, as well as the commodities that are at the heart of many discussions of smell. Thus the chapter addresses the earliest production of fragrances and charts the geographical shifts in both the centers of the incense trade and scent manufacture. It focuses on certain products that were at the heart of health-care practices and religious ceremonies. It then concludes with an exploration of the emergence of the modern perfume industry and its related products, packaging, and practices.
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