The article’s abstract, which I am including below, is a most interesting read in its own right and hopefully serves as impetus for seeking out the full text.
“From the beginning of recorded history, trading of fragrant oils, spices and precious woods were important items of early commerce. By 3000 BC the Egyptians - when learning to write and make bricks, were already importing large quantities of myrrh. In November 1922 when the archeologist, Howard Carter, discovered the tomb of the boy pharaoh, Tutankhamon, a world of knowledge about an age 3000 years before would unfold. As the painstaking discovery and cataloguing of artifacts proceeded, of the items found were perfume containers filled with spices & aromatic substances (such as frankincense) preserved in fat that still gave off a faint odor. From Japan, China, India to the Middle East, the use of precious woods such as sandalwood, agarwood, patchouli and cedarwood, as well as frankincense and myrrh, have been used from antiquity for religious ceremonies and for pleasure. Aromatic woods and plants were burned during funeral ceremonies, providing a connection between this world and the after-life. The word perfume derives from the Latin '' per fumum '' (by means of smoke) and refers to the ancient practice of burning aromatic woods and scented material in religious ceremonies to deepen the connection between people and their Gods. It should also be mentioned that burning aromatic woods and resins was also necessary to cover the stench after animals (or even humans - as practiced in India) were sacrificed in the flames so as not to drive away all participants of these religious rituals (1).
Today, in the Middle East, the aroma of sandalwood and patchouli still permeates coffee shops and bazaars as a mixture of these aromatics are used in the tobacco paste called '' Jurak '' smoked by men (and only rarely by women) in a water-pipe (or Shisho, Narghile or Hookha).
The use of aromatics derived from such Woods (or in the case of patchouli, the sweet, heavy woody scent derived from the leaves of the herbaceous shrub, Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth.), remains popular in modem perfumes.”
Image: The making of Lily perfume, fragment of tomb decoration, 4th Century BC. Department of Egyptian Antiquities, Louvre. Source: commons.wikimedia.org
Reference: “Chirality and odor perception - Scents of precious woods”, Chimica oggi [0392-839X] Leffingwell yr:2006 vol:24 iss:4 pg:36 -38