World’s oldest perfumery, part 2

As previously reported, archaeologists have discovered a 4000 year old perfumery on the island of Cyprus. The site was preserved after it was "buried by an earthquake in the second millennium BC".

Artifacts from the site can now be seen at the Palazzo Caffarelli in Rome, where they will be on display through September as part of the exhibit "I profumi di Afrodite e il segreto dell’olio". Apparently, they have also recreated some of the fragrances for visitors to smell. Read more about the exhibit (in Italian) at Musei Capitolini. (quote via, found via upi)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The two oldest perfumeries that I know of are Galimard (1747) and Creed (1760).

  2. Anonymous says:

    According to William Morris (Scents of Time) Floris was founded in 1730; Thomas Yardley in 1770. He doesn't mention Galimard or Creed. Newman's Book of Perfume says the oldest brand in France is Houbigant, which opened in 1775. Of course, Houbigant hardly exists at this point.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Isn't Santa Maria Novella older than all of them?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well, they are supposed to one of the world's oldest pharmacies, I think, but no idea when they became a “fragrance house”.

  5. Anonymous says:

    If I recall correctly, Floris was founded as a barbershop and started producing fragrances after 1786.

    If we are looking at companies as a whole, then SMN would be the oldest, even though they were initiated as a pharmacy and started producing fragrances a couple of 100 years later.

  6. Anonymous says:

    According to Italian Wikipedia, the monks of SMN started selling rose water as a disinfectant against epidemics in 1381. I wonder whether people also used it as a perfume. I would have. LOL!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Would have done you more good as a perfume, obviously :-)

  8. Anonymous says:

    LOL — when someone starts marketing these fragrances from Cyprus, and no doubt, someone will, they'll qualify as oldest ;-)

  9. Anonymous says:


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