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Socio-cultural Factors Impacted on the Development of Perfume

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  Vanity and beautification have therefore long been a part of perfume wearing. Vanity and beautification were also apparent in the French courts during Louis XIV’ s reign as the monarch was known for requiring different scents to permeate his palace on a daily basis (Morris, 2002). During Napoleon’ s time, Josephine was also known for her penchant for perfumes, often bathing in scented waters to satisfy her ardent desire for beauty (Morris, 2002). In further reflecting on the history of perfumes, I also note how this product was often used to mask body odors or unpleasant odors in general (Stamelman, 2006).

This was seen in Renaissance Italy where perfumes were used by the royalty and other wealthy individuals to mask their body odors. Elizabeth I of England was also known for her dislike of bad smells; as a result, areas she was set to visit were often scented to cancel out any unpleasant odors (Stamelman, 2006). I have written in my reflection that I also sometimes used perfumes to mask body odor. I was fairly confident that I did not give off any unpleasant body odor, however, during days which were particularly warm, I found myself wishing I was wearing my perfume.

In other words, I felt less confident in my scent and I felt that the perfume could somehow give me confidence in my body scent. Under this context, the wearing of the perfume was an indispensable part of my life because it gave me confidence in whatever personal vanity I had. Socio-cultural factors impacting on the development of the product mostly include the religious elements, especially as the act of burning and the resultant smoke was perceived as a way of finding favor with the gods (Blackman, 2008).

The use of perfume on one’ s body was also prompted by the need to please the gods especially among ancient Egyptians who felt that smelling good would make their gods more benevolent to them. On a more contemporary context, the attractiveness aspect attributed to perfumes is very much apparent, as indeed, I wanted to be perceived favorably by others through my perfume.

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