The period when essential oils were used first on an industrial scale is difficult to identify. The nineteenth century is generally regarded as the commencement of the modern phase of industrial application of essential oils. However, the large-scale usage of essential oils dates back to ancient Egypt. In 1480 bc, Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt sent an expedition to the country of Punt (now Somalia) to collect fragrant plants, oils, and resins as ingredients for perfumes, medicaments, and flavors and for the mummification of bodies. Precious fragrances have been found in many Egyptian archeo-logical excavations, as a symbol of wealth and social position.

If significant international trade of essential oil-based products is the criterion for industrial use, "Queen of Hungary Water" was the first alcoholic perfume in history. This fragrance, based on rosemary essential oil distillate, was created in the mid-fourteenth century for the Polish-born Queen Elisabeth of Hungary. Following a special presentation to King Charles V, The Wise of France in 1350, it became popular in all medieval European courts. The beginning of the eighteenth century saw the introduction of "Eau de Cologne," based on bergamot and other citrus oils, which remains widely used to this day. This fresh citrus fragrance was the creation of Jean Maria Farina, a descendant of Italian perfumers who came to France with Catherine de Medici and settled in Grasse in the sixteenth century. According to the city of Cologne archives, Jean Maria Farina and Karl Hieronymus Farina, in 1749, established factory (Fabriek) of this water, which sounds very "industrial." The "K├Âlnisch Wasser" became the first unisex fragrance rather than one simply for men, known and used all over Europe, and it has been repeated subsequently in innumerable countertypes as a fragrance for men.

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