Appearance was extremely important to ancient Egyptians and so was perfume and body fragrance. How someone smelled designed social, political, and religious meanings. Egyptians have a long history of varied and exotic perfumes that determined one's class and defined certain periods of Egyptian history. Not only this, but perfumes also demonstrated the presence of various gods.
Origin Of Various Egyptian Perfumes
For ancient Egyptians, fragrance and smell were very important for all areas of life. They loved using perfumes and started producing them long before they even discovered how to make alcohol. They used to make perfumes from many different plants, flowers, and wood fragments along with the addition of required fats and oils. Ancient Egyptians often used moringa, linseed, sesame, and, castor oils in their perfumes. Some extracts of almond and olive oil were also used to increase the quality and pungency of the perfumes.
A Perfumed Egyptian Incident
In 1479, Pharoah Hatshepsut was ruling Egypt on behalf of her three-year-old stepson. But her rule lasted for 20 years and she kept her son out of power even when he was capable enough to take over the kingdom. Egyptians admired her power and used versions of Hatshepsut’s unique perfume as it came to symbolize power. She proved to be great for Egypt, making it reach amazing influence and stability, so much so that some even began worshiping her as a goddess.
The God of Perfume
In many cases, perfumes were made depicting gods and their imagined smell, but there was also a god who was considered the god of perfume: Nefertum. Nefertum had healing properties and was said to smell lovely like the ancient blue lotus flower. He was known as the aromatherapist of ancient Egypt.
The Most Costly Perfumes in Egypt
- Mendesian: This perfume was a mixture of myrrh and cassia that had added gums and resins that made it smell exceptionally wonderful.
- Susinum: This great Egyptian perfume was amazing for lily lovers. It was made with lily along with myrrh and cinnamon.
- Cyprinum: This costly perfume was made out of henna and southernwood along with a pinch of cardamom and cinnamon. This perfume made people smell awesome and was very popular.
- Rhondinium: This perfume was based on the pleasing smell of roses and was considered a love perfume in ancient Egypt.