History of Air Fresheners
When we smell a particular fragrance, such as, say, clean laundry or a fresh peach, we instantly and unconsciously connect that smell to a portion of our memory. A smell can evoke feelings and bring back memories that we forgot we had. Perfume is, quite simply, a mastery of some of the most frequent scents, and the artful combination thereof to produce a unique smell for an individual person.
Origins & History of perfumes
Egyptians were responsible for the origin of perfume. They utilized scents in everything from religious ceremonies to burial preparations and even daily wear. The rich elites of Egyptian society, male and female alike, would adorn themselves with aromas like a lily to denote their status. The world’s first recorded chemist is a woman named Tapputi. She was a perfume maker whose existence was recorded on a 1200 BCE. She developed methods for scent extraction techniques that would lay the basis for perfume making. Tapputi even recorded her techniques and methods and those were passed on, with her most groundbreaking technique in using solvents.
The Persians took over the use of perfume as a sign of political status. But when the Greeks and Romans became acquainted with it that it began to be viewed as a form of art and produced en masse and in consistent quality. Archaeologists recently uncovered a perfume factory from 2,000 BC, located in Cyprus. It seemed to have specialized in the production of scents like coriander, laurel, myrtle, lavender, and rosemary. Perfume slowly spread throughout the globe, and for a while, scents were reserved mainly for use in religious ceremonies.
Knowledge of something perfumery came to Europe as early as the 14th century due partially to Arabic influences and knowledge. But it was the Hungarians who ultimately introduced the first modern perfume. The first modern perfume was made in 1370 at the command of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary and was known throughout Europe as Hungary Water. It was made of scented oils blended in an alcohol solution.
Modern Day Air Fresheners
In the modern day, we’ve come to assume that air fresheners and perfumes are a completely separate entity. Historically, perfumes were used to freshen up the scents of not only the human body, but linens, rooms, and even sacrificial offerings. The word perfume comes from the Latin word “per fumus” or “from smoke”. Historians suggest that it means perfumes were originally used in sacrificial rooms to hide the smell of burning offerings.
During the 18th century, the focus of scents turned to fresh, lighter flower fragrances. Many households during this time planted lilacs around windows and doors. The flowers were particularly popular with American settlers who planted the aromatic plant by their farmhouse doors.
At the 19th century, air fresheners were sought to cover up the smells of garbage, spoiling food an temporary storage of human waste indoors. According to archives of the Patent Trader newspaper, aromatic wood or pastilles were burned in small ceramic containers as an air freshener. It was also believed that lavender vapors could kill tuberculosis bacteria.
According to Housechem The first modern air freshener, as we know it, was introduced in 1948. Its original function was based on a military technology for dispensing insecticides. It was adapted into a pressurized spray using a propellant. The idea behind the product was to deliver a fine mist of aroma compounds to remain suspended in the air for an extended period of time. The air freshener was born and this first type of dispenser became the industry standard.
The most common form of Car Air Freshener as we know it today is Little trees shaped like a stylized evergreen tree. Usually for use in motor vehicles, and most commonly seen hanging from rear-view mirrors. They are made of a specially formulated absorbent material produced in a variety of colors and scents.
Little Trees were invented in 1952 in Watertown, New York, by Julius Sämann, a German-Jewish chemist and businessman who had fled the Nazis. He had studied Alpine tree aromas in the forests of Canada and was interested in the biological mechanisms used to transport and disseminate them. Little Trees air fresheners are manufactured in the United States by the Car-Freshener Corporation. They have factories (such as Royal Pine) in Watertown, New York, and DeWitt, Iowa. Several companies in Europe produce Little Trees under license from Julius Sämann Ltd. They are using the names Wunder-Baum (in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Sweden) and Arbre Magique (in France, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, and Spain). It was formerly known as Magic Tree in the United Kingdom until the “Little Tree” name was adopted in 2011.