‘It has been said, with some justice, that the world was discovered in perfume’s wake’ – Mandy Aftel, Essence & Alchemy, A Book of Perfume

Inspired by this quote and by the origins of our July focus brand Carthusia, join us as we follow the tendrils of the past to discover how perfume has grown and shaped from a budding flower, into the full blooming industry we know today

If you read our last blog, you’ll know Carthusia’s heritage began in the late 1300s. A surprise visit from the Queen to Capri had the monastery’s father prior plucking the island’s most beautiful flowers from the soil and placing them in her room. Upon throwing them away, the water was noticed to have obtained a fragrance and thus, the first Carthusia fragrance was born.

It’s a wholesome tale of connection with the natural world, but we can go back even earlier than that to Ancient Egypt, where hieroglyphs tell of ancient formulae and inhalations. The Egyptian people knew how to harness the power of scent, using it medicinally to aid ailments and ritually to connect with their gods. As international discovery of the world grew, spices, plants and flowers from new civilisations were given a coveted status in society. To have access to such luxuries was a boast of the wealthy

But it was the body-conscious Greeks who created the first perfumes worn on the skin and crafted the beginnings of perfume as we know it today. Scent has always played its part in pleasure – Cleopatra used to scent her sails so Mark Antony would know she was on her way – but putting it on the skin was the ultimate technique in seduction, especially because everyone kind of smelled a bit back then…

Fragrance went on to experience varying waves of popularity across the continents. The Dark Ages brought a European lull, but Arabic countries, with their impressive knowledge of perfume making processes and access to some of the best ingredients in the world, helped to re-introduce the rest of the world to the joys of scent

Riding the perfumed waves of time into the 16th century, members of the upper class scented everything from furniture, to gloves and clothing. Queen Elizabeth 1st even demanded all public places be scented because she hated bad smells. In the 17th Century – and verging on obsessive – King Louis XIV demanded a different fragrance every day (we say obsessive, but we fully support his sentiments), and France proudly held the title of the European epicentre of perfume production around this time

In an era where a connection to the world around was the norm, a sense of smell played a large role in the day to day. But as the 19th century rolled around, tastes changed once again, and the invention of synthetic ingredients came to the fore. Chemistry became the new alchemy, and it became easier to make less readily available and more expensive ingredients in a lab, rather than waste time obtaining them from their natural sources

They say fashion is cyclical, and indeed there are some trends that have come back around, although it’s not always a good thing (praying pedal pushers stay away) but when you consider the last 10 years or so of perfume, the same thing can be said. The demand for more natural concoctions is rising, and a move toward more traditional ways of making perfume is being adopted and appreciated once again

People are more aware of what they’re putting on their skin, and they’re tuning in to the benefits of scent in spiritual and medicinal ways in 2021. A return to the wholesome ways of before is happening, and we’re here for it. Are you?

Photos from Carthusia, Pixabay and Flickr

Spotlight On: Linari Fragrances

As the days grow shorter and the weather starts to turn, you’re likely finding yourself reaching for scents you already […]

Eco-friendly – DING! Non-toxic – DING! Sustainable DING! What business doesn’t have these buzzwords on their mind right now? The […]

Quirky niche fume brand D.S. & Durga recently launched a video campaign celebrating their #1 global best seller I DON’T […]

‘It has been said, with some justice, that the world was discovered in perfume’s wake’ – Mandy Aftel, Essence & […]

Spotlight On: Carthusia

An isolated jewel in the Mediterranean, the island of Capri harbours an ancient history as graceful as the fragrance brand […]

Last month we launched our newest fragrance brand Ellis Brooklyn at Harrods Beauty stores. The already established store at Lakeside […]

Sexy and bold. Elegant, and most decidedly present. That’s Photogenics+Co Scroll on down to keep reading, as we shine a […]

If you read our blog about the effects of the pandemic on the fragrance industry (You missed it? Find it here) […]

Cosy up and listen in, because we’ve got a story to tell. You might have spotted the name Ellis Brooklyn […]

Covid-19 has got a lot to answer for, wouldn’t you say? No one would have thought a year ago we’d […]

The fragrance world is rooted in history as far back as the late 1300s. It’s evolved through the ages, as […]

At the start of this month, we were graced with the presence of another of D.S. & Durga’s illustrious fragrance […]

Spotlight On: D.S. & DURGA

‘The power of scent is equal to that of sight and sound’ – D.S. & Durga As we write this, […]

‘Perfume is armchair travel’ This tagline is the backbone supporting every fully formed fragrance and every new olfactory idea from […]

Spotlight on: Abel

Last week’s blog was all about the joyous new scent from Abel, Cyan Nori. But we want to shine the […]

Originally formed in Amsterdam, natural fragrance brand Abel have recently moved across the world to New Zealand, where they now […]

We like to think of ourselves as the custodians of niche, here at Luxe Associates. The brands we work with […]

Liberty. London’s emporium of pioneering design, beautiful merchandise and unexpected edits from the world’s greatest brands, brought to the public […]

Us lovely lot here at Luxe HQ recently teamed up with Liberty London and niche fragrance house DS & Durga, […]

On 24th October, we wholeheartedly welcomed the first Indie Beauty Expo to the UK. Born in New York City, the […]

Earlier this month we hopped across to the emerald isle to witness the launch of new and intriguing skincare brand […]

Since it’s unveiling, Harrods Salon de Parfums has been the go-to destination for some of the world’s most expensive and […]

If the joy brought to you through Carthusia’s fragrance for skin isn’t enough, you’ll be delighted to learn they’ve recently […]

A brand which draws its history and inspiration from the tiny Italian island of Capri, we introduced Carthusia to the […]

With a global approach to curating their distinct scents, IDEO Parfumeurs’ founders Ludmila and Antoine Bitar are masters of telling […]

Did you know Luxe Associates have four of our brands as part of the beautiful men’s department at Fortnum & […]

We are happy to announce that the new Carthusia colour collection, Acqua di Carthusia, has officially launched at Fenwicks in […]

With the festive season upon us now is the perfect opportunity to pay Liberty of London’s fragrance department a visit. […]

Feeling Festive yet? Luxe Associates are excited to introduce the LINARI Albero Di Natale Christmas Tree This contemporary Christmas tree […]

AVE MariaL – New Fragrances Launched at Liberty Luxe Associates are excited to introduce two new fragrances from MariaL, which […]

In the early twentieth century, in a room on the upper floor of the family chateau, the son of a […]

Steven Victor MD Miraculous Skincare Steven Victor MD is a luxurious range that aims to reinvent the skincare regime. Victor […]

PittiFragranze Florence

PittiFragranze Florence Last weekend, 12-14th September, Luxe Associates attended the 12th Pitti Fragranze in Florence – the international fragrance event, […]

The Luxe Associates and LINARI teams have had another successful show at Maison & Objet, where we celebrated the launch […]

As Harrods celebrates the anniversary of its Luxury Living department, we thought we would take some time out to highlight […]

Fancy winning a bottle of Ulrich Lang New York’s newest fragrance Aperture, with the chance for your photography to be […]

After centuries of splendid isolation, the most seductive perfumes in the Mediterranean have reached the shores of the continent In […]

We would like to thank Dario Torre and Stafania Bartolotti from the Profumi del Forte team, who recently travelled all […]

You may have noticed we have recently joined Facebook! If you are not yet a fan (why ever not?) then […]

Walking along the beach on the northern part of the beautiful island of New Zealand, perfumer Mark Buxton was taken […]

We have some very exciting news to share with you all! Aedes de Venustas won “Fragrance Extraordinaire” at the Fragrance […]

Last night we attended the launch of luxury Italian fashion brand Marina Rinaldi’s new Mayfair flagship atelier A good time […]

Today was our exciting press launch for the new Ulrich Lang fragrance, Aperture, in the Heritage Suite at Liberty London […]

Established in 1995, the AEDES DE VENUSTAS boutique is positioned as the ultimate Art Perfume Gallery specialized in fine fragrances. […]

Today we had a bright and early start as we showcased the launch of Orto Parisi at Liberty London We […]

Nasomatto – Blamage

The lastest of Alessandro Gualtieri’s Nasomatto range, Blamage is an “unwise and unfortunate” creation borne out of bad judgement and […]

Carthusia

Legend has it that in 1380, the father prior of the Carthusian Monastery of St. James, picked a bouquet of […]

MariaLux is a niche, luxury clothing brand founded by seasoned fashion designer Lilian Driessen After 25 years in the fashion […]