Smell Like An Egyptian

Two professors from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa have recreated an ancient perfume which may have been worn by Cleopatra.

Have you always wanted to smell the perfume of an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh? Well now you can! For the price of entry to the Queens of Egypt exhibition at the National Geographic Museum in Washington DC, you too can sniff what may have once wafted around the Egyptian halls right after Cleopatra passed by.

The perfume was discovered after a decade-long dig of a fragrancy factory in the ancient Egyptian city, Thmuis, led by Professor Robert Littman and adjunct professor Jay Silverstein. They then brought in Dora Goldsmith and Sean Coughlin who are experts on ancient Egyptian perfume, to recreate the scent based on formulas based on ancient Greek texts. Of which contain myrrh, cardamom, green olive oil and cinnamon.

“This was the Chanel No. 5 of ancient Egypt,” Robert Littman told Atlas Obscura, “It was the most prized perfume of the ancient world.”

So there you have it, next time you’re looking for a fragrance, go straight to the kitchen cupboards. If it was good enough for Cleopatra, it’s good enough for you.