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Thanks for that. I decided to have a little poke around the Internet for more information and these are just some notes.
Some History on Perfume
10th Century BC: The Medes, ancestors of today’s, Kurds are generally given credit for the invention and widespread use of perfumes, presumably to hide certain smells originating from overeating and failure to observe what are now common hygienic practices. FragranceWholesale.com
Perfume is thousands of years old - the word "perfume" comes from the Latin per fume "through smoke". One of the oldest uses of perfumes comes from the burning of incense and aromatic herbs used in religious services, often the aromatic gums, frankincense and myrrh, gathered from trees. The Egyptians were the first to incorporate perfume into their culture followed by the ancient Chinese, Hindus, Israelites, Carthaginians, Arabs, Greeks, and Romans. The earliest use of perfume bottles is Egyptian and dates to around 1000 BC. The Egyptians invented glass and perfume bottles were one of the first common uses for glass.
Alchemy, generally, derives from the Old French alkemie; from the Arabic al-kimia: "the art of transformation." Some scholars believe the Arabs borrowed the word kimia ("χημεία") from Greek for transmutation. Others, such as Mahdihassan, argue that its origins are Chinese.
Apparently, chemistry is just another version of the Greek borrowed to Persian world of Kimi and represent the same thing, i.e, alchemy. (Wikipedia)
So according to these sources, perfume was used by the Egyptians first. All very interesting.
Beer and wine indeed by all accounts very popular as far back as 2,700 B.C in Babylon and Egypt and other places even since 7,000 B.C in Neolithic times. The word alcohol comes from the Arabic ‘al Kuhul’, but no one knows when it was first used or by whom. Alcohol is believed to be the oldest and probably the most widely used drug in the world. Strange that Arabs are banned from it now though.
The word sugar is an Arabic imitation of the Sanskrit word "karkara", meaning small chunks of material (gravel-like). The word candy is derived from the Arabic version of the Sanskrit word "khandakah" which is the Sanskrit word for sugar. Although Arabs were not the first to use sugar as it is purported to originally have come from the South Pacific travelled with migration to Asia.
I think that even Ghengis Khan, notable for his brutal savagery in the Arabs regions, was extremely impressed with the achievements of this region. It seems that both China and the Arab regions were very well known for their innovation and cultural achievements before the Dark Ages.