By the time the Bourbons came into power in France, perfume had not only risen to an art, it was regarded as medical necessity. Despite the opulence of the palaces of France, they lacked indoor plumbing. According to historians who somehow report to know such things, it was not uncommon to find human excrement in the elegant carpeted stairways of the great palaces. Piles could be found in hallways and corridors. With bathing a rarity and a rather liberal interpretation of the word rest room, the world of the French court stank.
One way for the cultured nostrils of the day to survive such an environment was to constantly dab a bit of scent under the nose. It's similar to the approach some coroners use when they apply mentholated ointment to their noses before an autopsy. Besides that, perfume was thought to be antiseptic. When the plague hit Europe, it was thought that perfume would protect those privileged enough to be able to sniff it.
This idea of rich people sniffing perfume to mask the gamey and diseased world around them soon gave rise to the perfumed glove. For many years, French aristocrats wore gloves drenched in perfume so that they could just elevate a royal finger to the nose to shield themselves from the olfactory assaults around them.