The History You Never Knew About Your Daily Beauty Ritual

Here at R29, we spend a decent amount of time thinking about fragrance. (Hey, perks of the job.) We’ve questioned our motives in wearing it, figured out what makes certain people smell so good, and even found perfumes to fit our personalities. But one thing our scent detection hasn’t uncovered is how we came to incorporate fragrance into our daily routines in the first place.

As it turns out, those pretty bottles we display on our vanities haven’t always been such an everyday staple. For much of the early 20th century, fragrance was revered as a precious gift — something a woman should never buy for herself and to be used for special occasions only. Thankfully those rules are archaic, but it's interesting to see how the lifestyle trends that followed changed everything. That’s why we partnered with the iconic Chloé Eau de Parfum — a scent that withstands passing fads to remain eternally chic — to take an inside look at fragrance trends over the past 100 years.

The takeaway? We now have a whole lot more freedom than we used to when it comes to scenting ourselves. And it's not just about smelling good for others, rather a little delight just for us. So whether you treat your favorite fragrance as a precious objet or spritz yourself with it on the daily, the choice is yours in how you make it your signature.

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