The web facility Google Trends shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. The horizontal axis of the main graph represents time (starting from 2004), and the vertical is how often selected terms are searched for relative to the total number of searches, globally.
Our comparison of a few olfactory terms reveals some peculiar pattern:
The blue curve on the chart below represents the searches for “perfume”. It shows systematically its annual maximum in December. Smaller spikes can also be identified for May.
Accordingly, a fragrant present or at least the search for a fragrant present turns out to be the gift of choice for Mother’s Day and even more so for Christmas. This is perfectly in line with what you can read in magazines and news platforms on the internet right now.
What is also interesting is the comparison between “candle” and “perfume”. Both show a similar pattern with respect to the spikes in December. But there is an underlying positive trend for perfume.
There is no google data available for earlier periods. Yet, the popular narrative of the three Wise Men visiting Jesus after his birth and bearing the gifts of gold, fragrant frankinscense and myrh shows the fragrant beginnings of the Christian feast.