The ancient Egyptians used perfumes and fragrances to boost their sex appeal, to provide a pleasant scented atmosphere and to mask unpleasant, secondary smells in their homes.
Natural, as well as synthetic sources, were used to produce these products, which were then rubbed onto the skin and clothing.
Perfumes were usually stored in beautiful white alabaster bottles and probably in blue bottles as well.
The very best and most authentic perfumes have been described as essences, or extracts that come from natural sources and containing some natural oils.
Many ancient perfumes were extracted from plants and then burned in special oils burners, a practice that is still prevalent today.
The ancient Egyptians had a habit of sprinkling and rubbing perfume onto their dead and assigning particular perfumes to their deities, whom they revered.
They described perfume as 'the fragrance of the gods' and this has given perfume a certain allure.
Indeed, throughout the ages women have uses rare and expensive perfumes to demonstrate their wealth and status.
Some ancient Egyptian bottles have been dated to 1000 BC. However, the secrets of perfume manufacturing soon spread to Europe where it reached a peak in 18th century Venice.
Many of today's celebrities market their own brand of perfume and the packaging is designed to reflect their character. Fans will therefore buy the perfume to be closer to their heroes and not necessarily because it's a good quality product.
Women's perfume is often light and delicate and associated with flowers, whereas men's tends to be darker and be more 'masculine'!
Today, perfume manufacturers use presentation packaging to reflect the quality and character of their perfume brands, to draw people in so they make a purchase.
The bottle containing the perfume and the outer perfume box, which may be made from wood, cardboard, metal, or ceramics, is usually carefully branded and designed to be as enticing as possible.
The ancient Egyptians were pre-eminent in the manufacture and use of perfumes and fragrances and associated them with the gods because they recognized their positive effects on health and well being.
They also recognized how perfumes and fragrances could boost their appeal to the opposite sex and so were very popular. The international perfume trade today is a testament to their legacy.