The word perfume derives from the Latin perfumare, meaning "to smoke through". Perfumery, as the art of making perfumes, began in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus Valley Civilization and maybe Anchient China. It was further refined by the Romans and the Arabs.
The world's first-recorded chemist is considered to be a woman named Tapputi, a perfume maker mentioned in a cuneiform tablet from the 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamia. She distilled flowers, oil, and calamus with other aromatics, then filtered and put them back in the still several times.
In India, perfume and perfumery existed in the Indus civilization (3300 BC – 1300 BC). A Byzantine alembic used to distill perfumes. Ancient Egyptian perfume vessel in shape of a monkey; 1550-1295 BC; faience;
In 2003, archaeologists uncovered what are believed to be the world's oldest surviving perfumes in Pyrgos Cyprus. The perfumes date back more than 4,000 years. They were discovered in an ancient perfumery, a 300-square-meter factory housing at least 60 stills, mixing bowls, funnels, and perfume bottles. In ancient times people used herbs and spices, such as almond, coriander, myrtle, conifer resin and bergamot as well as flowers.