The history of perfume goes back to ancient Egypt, the Middle East and Rome where it was used as an essential part of the beautification rituals of women of status of the day. It played a big role in the acts of romance and courtship. In addition, it was also commonly used in religious rituals.In the early days of perfume making in Europe, classic perfumes were exclusively made with natural aromatic raw material obtained from botanical and animal sources. These were very expensive to obtain and the finished perfumes were even more expensive, reflecting the cost of production. The combination of this two factors meant only the very rich could afford the finished perfumes.The gradual transformation of classic perfume into its present day version started in the 19th century as a result of technological advancement and further enlightenment in the study of modern chemistry.The classic to modern evolution process began in Grasse in the South France and quickly spread into Paris, making it the world’s perfume capital then, as it remains till this day. Known as the flower capital of France, Grasse is a beautiful town steeped in perfume history. It’s where Rose, Jasmine, Tuberose, Narcissus and Orange plants grew in abundance to offer the perfume makers of the day some of the most wonderful raw materials to work with.Even now, Grasse continues to provide discerning perfumers all over the world with some of the finest, but very expensive natural botanical absolutes and precious oils used in perfumery.Things have changed so much over that years that in present times, when the word ‘perfume’ is mentioned, most people think of department store fragrances. Massive transformation has occurred in perfumery, artisan creativity and technology has taken the art of perfume making far beyond its origin of earlier days.Fragrances are no longer a privilege reserved for the rich alone. Exquisite, beautifully scented perfumes are now extensively crafted in vast volumes and sold at affordable prices to the general public. This is made possible because modern perfumes are mostly composed with the much cheaper, man-made aromatic compounds and substances known as aroma chemicals.Aromas chemical are made to mimic and replace some of the most expensive botanical oils and animal derived raw materials. They are also used to produce other beautiful odors that do not occur on nature, thereby extending the repertoire of pleasant odors perfume makers have easy access toOn rare occasions, some of the big perfume houses still use some botanical oils combined with aroma chemicals in some of their mainstream modern perfumes.Nowadays, natural and niche perfumers are just about the only ones who make perfumes in the classic style.