The production and use of essential oils is an ancient industry which has its roots in the human desire for better tasting foods and a beautifully smelling environment. Early use of herbs, flowers, fruits and spices added variety to an otherwise bland and uninteresting diet and encouraged the consumption of food products that might otherwise have been wasted. To use these odoriferous materials in religious ceremonies and to enhance the beauty and attractiveness of men and women of early times is well documented.
By the middle ages, simple methods for producing essential oils were developed in the Middle East and these techniques soon spread to the countries of southern Europe, patiicularly Italy, Bulgaria and France.
During the early part of the eighteenth century, the essential oil industry began to develop in southern France, particularly in the region of Provence. About the same time, an Italian by the name of Paul Feminis doing business in the German city of Cologne, introduced a new and fragrant mixture which became the sensation of the day. Based primarily on neroli, lemon, bergamot and lavender, it was called L’Eau Admirable.