PERFUMERY (from perfume, OF. perfumer, I Fr. purl atm.); to perfume, from Lat. per, through funiure, to smoke, from fumus, smoke; con nected with Skt. dkunia. smoke). A substance which is prepared for use on account of its agree able odor. Perfumes have been used from the earliest times. Among the nations of antiquity an offering of delicate odors was regarded as a token of respect and homage. The burning of incense formed a part of the Hebrew as of pagan rituals, and hence its use is frequently referred to in the Old Testament. This prac tice still continues, particularly in the cere monials of the Roman Catholic Church. The use of perfumes was common among the Greeks and Romans, and both Pliny and Seneca pos sessed considerable knowledge respecting per fume-drugs. Among the Athenians perfumes were used at feasts, at funerals, and in theatres. the odor of the violet being generally preferred. Both nations learned the use of the still from the Egyptians and applied it to the manufacture of perfumes. The Arabs were skilled in the preparation of fragrant waters; and it was from them, through the Crusaders. that the art was re introduced into mediaeval Europe. The discovery of the process of distillation, which seems to have been forgotten, gave, in the fifteenth century, fresh impetus to this industry, and at its close distilled oils of benzoin, cedar, cinnamon, rose, and rosemary were articles of commerce.
Perfumes may be divided into two general classes, viz. natural perfumes and the artificial or synthetic perfumes. Natural perfumes are of animal or of vegetable origin: artificial per fumes are chemical compounds which resemble natural perfumes in their odor. Artificial per fumes are also of two general classes. ln one, the compounds which produce the perfume in nature have been discovered and then reproduced synthetically; this is the case with vanillin. In the other, only the odor of the natural perfume is imitated in a substance which is itself unlike the substance whose odor it possesses; this is true of artificial musk.
The four principal animal perfumes are musk, civet, ambergris, and castor. Husk is the dried secretion of the preputial follicles of the musk deer. A similar substance is secreted by the musk-ox, muskrat, and the Florida alligator. Civet is secreted by the Viverra eivetta and Viverra zibetha. It is found in a double pouch under the tail, from which it is taken from the living, caged animal, two or three times a week. Ambergris, a binary secretion of the spermaceti whale, is supposed to he produced by a diseased conditions of the organs. It is found floating on the water. Castor is a glandular secretion of the beaver. When fresh it is in a semi-liquid condition and is prepared for commerce by drying in smoke. The animal perfumes are valuable for the permanence which their presence imparts to the more evanescent vegetable odors.
The list of vegetable perfumes, if complete, would be very long. The odor of plants may be found in the leaves, as in sage, thyme, and mint ; in the bark, as in cinnamon and cassia ; in the wood, as in cedar and sandalwood; in the flow er petals, as in the rose and violet ; in the seeds, as in annis and caraway; in the roots, as in the orris; in the as in the orange; or it may be secreted in the form of resinous gum from the tree itself, as the camphor and myrrh. Per fumes of the last named class have been used from time immemorial.
A series of patient experiments conducted dur ing the latter half of the nineteenth century by Grimaux, Lauth, and other chemists, resulted in the discovery that natural odors could be re produced in the laboratory by combining the substances which produce such odors in nature.
The synthesis of vanillin. the active odorous in gredient of the vanilla pod, by Tiemann and Hartman, marked the beginning of the manufac ture of artificial perfumes on a commercial basis. Tiemann discovered that coniferin, the glucoside found in the sap of the pine, could be split up, by means of dehydrating agents, into glucose and coniferylic alcohol, of which vanillin is the alde hyde. Later it was found that the same sub stance could be produced more cheaply by the oxidation of eugenol, the chief constituent of the oil of cloves, and it is from this source that artificial vanillin is manufactured. The industry has acquired considerable importance both in Europe and America. Another important per fume is ionone, or the artificial odor of violets. It is obtained by condensing citrol with ordinary acetone in the presence of an alkali, the resulting product being then treated with dilute acids. Mirbane oil, the artificial oil of bitter almonds. is derived from benzene. The benzene is treated in a still with two parts of finning nitric acid and one part of concentrated sulphuric acid. These acids are added slowly and at the end of the chemical reaction the liquor, on adding water. separates into two lavers. one of which, on fur ther purification, produces the mirbane oil. ;Ninny other synthetic perfumes have been discovered, some of which are produced as the by-products of other industries, or from what were formerly regarded as purely waste materials. The manu facture of artificial musk was introduced by Baur in 1888. A mixture of isobutyl chloride and toluene is heated with aluminum chloride del and Water is added to the produet of this reaction, the compound is distilled, and the distillates arc collected, and treated with nitric and sulphuric acids, and the product is washed with water. When treated with alcohol, crystals having a marked odor of musk are produced.
The processes employed in obtaining natural vegetable perfumes are deseribed under OILS (sec tion, Volatile or Essential The centre of the natural perfumery industry has for many years been in Grasse, Franee. in whose factories. it is said, the product of 5.500,. 000 ponds of orange blossoms, 4,400,000 pounds of roses, 400.000 pounds of jasmine, and 3:30, 000 pounds each of violets, cassia. and tuberoses are consumed. The culture of flowers for per fumery is carried on chiefly in Turkey, Bulgaria. Arabia. India, and Syria. In the United States, according to the Census of 1900, there are 266 establishments engaged in the manufacture of perfumery and cosmetics. The total capital in vested is reported at $3,499.168: the total num ber of employees, 1768, and the total value of the product, $7,093,713 annually. According to the United States Statistical Abstract for the same year the value of perfumeries and other toilet preparations imported was $533,411, and ten earlier was $444,964.
Consult : Askinson. Perfumes and Their Prepa rat ion (New York, 1892) ; Perry, The Chemistry of Essential Oils and Artificial Perfumes (Lon don and New York, 1900) Durvelle. Fabrication des essences et des parfums (Paris,. 1893) ; Mier Dic Ricchstoffc (Weimar, 1894) ; Savers, Naturg11 History of Raw Mate rials and Drugs Used in the Perfume Industry, Intend( for Growers, Manufacturers, etc. (Lon don, 1894).