PerfumeWomen – and men – have been using scents since the ancient Egyptian days, and before.  Even the three wise men chose the coveted scented oils, myrrh and frankincense, as presents at the birth of Christ.  How much do you know about fragrances?  Test your knowledge with these fragrance facts.

1. True perfume is the costliest of fragrances and contains 22 percent of essential oils.  Eau de perfum contains between 15 and 22 percent, and Eau de Toilette contains 8 and 15 percent.

2. The city of Grasse, in the south of France, is considered the perfume capital of the world.  Fields of lavender, used in many fragrances, grace this region.

3. Coco Chanel introduced Chanel no. 5, created for her by Ernest Beaux, in 1921.  Today, Chanel sells a bottle of this popular scent every 30 seconds.

4. Jean Patou’s perfume, “Joy,” introduced in 1935, was voted the Scent of the 20th century by the Fragrance Foundation in 2000.

5. By 2004, fragrance sales around the world topped $10 billion annually.

6. There are over 5000 chemicals used in the fragrance industry.  That’s in addition to the natural ingredients.

7. Until the late 1800s, virtually all fragrances came from natural plant and animal sources.  Today, between 80 and 90 percent of fragrances are synthetic.

8. Perfume keeps longer in a cool, dry place.  Heat and humidity cause a scent to lose its potency.

9. The fragrance term, Cologne, is derived from the German town of Koln, written “Cologne” in English.

10. It takes over eight hundred pounds of jasmine flowers to produce one pound of essential oil.