Grasse, the city in south France became the leader of perfume production and in the 18th century was in the first place in Europe. In Grasse, the «enfleurage» technique was developed, which was applied in fragrance extraction from flowers which were very sensitive to be exposed to high temperatures, mainly the jasmine. Cologne was its competitor in perfumes and it gained its fame because of the product Eau de Cologne.
French chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse introduced the term “aromatherapy” for the first time in 1930. He had a burn on his hand during an experiment and he had only lavender essential oil in front of him. So, he dipped his hand in it and cured it of the injury.
Since then, he started the research about the healing properties of essential oils. Although Gattefosse was a chemist, he defined the base of the therapies by using medicinal plants. He says that the substances should be used undivided and pure, because the isolated substances of the essential oils are not as active as the whole essential oil.
During World War 2 doctors used to heal the soldiers’ injuries with essential oils. Since 1950 essential oils started to be used in massage. Since then, essential oils and their beneficial properties are used in perfumes, aromatic additives, cosmetics (with a pleasant fragrance and natural substances for better action), food, drinks, household products etc (cleaners, fresheners).