Perfume was first used by the ancient Egyptians, who used fragrant scents in religious ceremonies. They believed that they could communicate with their gods through the use of scented smoke. The word perfume is derived from the Latin phrase "per fumum," which means "through smoke."
Egyptians also used scented balms and ointments for cosmetic purposes. Early Muslims, Chinese and Indians also used perfume for religious purposes. Widespread use of perfume for cosmetic purposes began during the Middle Ages, when scents and spices began trading on international markets. Eau de Cologne was invented in the 18th century by Jean-Marie Farina in Cologne, Italy.