The word perfume is derived from the Latin word: perfumare, which means "to smoke through". Perfume making roots can be traced to Indus Civilisation, Mesopotamia and Egypt. The first recorded perfumer is a woman named Tapputi in Mesopotamia. She made perfumes by distilling oil, flowers and other ingredients. Perfume was used much earlier than was thought as archaeologists in Cyprus in 2004 discovered the oldest surviving perfume. 

Perfumery evolved over time and there was no major development until the 16th century when France became one of Europe's centres for perfumery and manufacture of cosmetics. Some notable compositions made during this time are Hungary Water (made from herb oils), Lavender Water and Eau de Cologne (made from citrus oils). 

In the 18th century, Grasse (in France), Sicily and Calabria (in Italy) became the leaders in the perfume industry because these regions were growing the aromatic plants which provided raw materials to the perfume industry. Even today, these regions still are spearheading the perfume industry and trade.