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Fluid preparation used for scenting, composed of natural essences or synthetics and a fixative. Perfumes are concocted by the artful blending of certain fragrant substances in appropriate proportions. The art of perfumery was apparently known to the ancient Chinese, Hindus, Egyptians, Israelites, Carthaginians, Arabs, Greeks, and Romans; references to perfumes are found in the Bible. Raw materials used in perfumery include natural products, of plant or animal origin, and synthetic materials. Fine perfumes may be blends of more than 100 ingredients.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on perfume, visit Britannica.com.