Imagine being transported back through time 3,500 years ago to Egypt during a time where women ruled, with leaders Nefertari, Nefertiti, Hatschepsut, and the notorious well-known Cleopatra VII ruling as female pharaohs. It was certainly a different era than modern developed nations live today, though some themes remain the same.
Thinking of the decadent details of these lives, one may consider the lavish clothing worn, intricate architecture, vast expanses of lands, and substantial collections of gold in kingdoms. On a more personal level, how did these queens live day to day? What foods did they eat, how did they leisure, and what fragrances did they use to anoint themselves with?
Fragrances have long been a part of human experience and ritual and even more closely revered in ancient times. In 2012 in a city in lower Egypt known as Thmuis, researchers discovered silver coins and jewelry located near a kiln where Egyptians used to furnace clay where they would make perfume bottles for royals. Researchers Dora Goldsmith and Sean Coughlin used a scientific approach “residue analysis” to see if they could retrace the leftover liquids discovered from the kilns to see what famous rulers back in Egypt smelled like long ago.
When they ran their tests, the results produced myrrh based Mendesian and Metopian perfumes. Myrrh is a natural gum extracted from a thorny tree species found in parts of Africa and Asia, which produces a decadent and resinous perfume oil. Myrrh can smell exotic and addictive, herbal and bittersweet. Mendesian has a very light and delicate aspect whereas Metopian is described as much muskier and harsher. It is said that Cleopatra took pleasure in the extent of her beauty routine. It is rumored she used to take baths in sour goat’s milk and put dried crocodile dung on her face. To create an intoxicating personal allure, Cleopatra used hundreds of different scents of perfumes to choose from daily. But according to researchers, the Mendesian was her most preferred scent she used the most often.
Smelling something in this style can remind you of the mysterious and powerful essence of these female rulers and transport you through time. Even more so, we can feel into the same qualities of richness, ritual, and mystery that exist in the perfume DNA. Whether you prefer Air Aroma’s rich Cedar Mood scent or are looking to create something custom, create your own sense of historic royalty and relish in the depth of ancient aromas.