Like their modern day counterparts who become accustomed to the effluvium from a beloved, often recharged bottle of fragrance, the ancients were no less acclimatized to the ritual of their favorite perfume, rendering them increasingly unstirred by the fumes emanating from themselves.
Could it be that it was this function of fragrance which became the sword of Damocles over the head of L. Plancus's brother, twice consul and censor? Proscribed by the triumvirate as a political enemy to be exterminated, he was discovered in his hideout at Salerno due to the emanations of his fragrance, like a former-day Marie Antoinette stopped mid-escape by the revolutionaries. What's more, Pliny asks in a surge of luxuria condemnation, "Who wouldn't find the death of such a man a just cause?"
|Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, The Roses of Heliogabalus|
Thus runs my article on scents and perfumes in the Roman Empire published on Fragrantica.
The roses, the resins, the decadent rituals, the opulent bath oils...
You can read it on this link and comment here or there if you wish.