Beauty has always been a direction marker. In his essay "Privacy in the Films of Lana Turner," the writer Wayne Koestenbaum describes it as a vector—and one that may not have a clear trajectory. In The Secret History, Donna Tartt writes the same and goes further: To her, death is the mother of beauty, and we endlessly seek its capture because we want to live forever. Appropriately, much of the history of beauty—and in particular, of perfume—has been a one-way ticket, paid for in alcohol and essential oil, straight into the afterlife.
We could start in most countries when it comes to death by perfume—it's actually a tale older than Christ. People were poisoning each other for political gain and biological warfare many thousands of years before Jesus walked.