The myrrh-based fragrance is a thick, sticky mixture of cardamom, olive oil and cinnamon. According to the researchers, it was practically the “Chanel number 5” of Ancient Egypt.
The mysteries that hover over Ancient Egypt are constantly present in the popular imagination. As one of the oldest civilizations in the world, it also holds the most secrets.
One of the main icons is Queen Cleopatra.
Recently, studies were done to try to find out what the Queen’s true face was. But if we still aren’t entirely sure of Pharaoh’s face, archaeologists may have found out what perfume she used.
Excavations carried out in Tell-El Timai -city in Lower Egypt – may have revealed the perfume recipe, which would be a thick and sticky mixture made from myrrh with cardamom, olive oil and cinnamon.
“This was Chanel number 5 in ancient Egypt,” said Robert Littman, an archaeologist at the University of Hawaii who, along with his colleague Jay Silverstein, is responsible for the research.
The region was known in ancient times as the city of Thmuis, home to two of the most well-known aromas from the ancient world and Mesopotamia.
In 2012, archaeologists discovered, what appeared to be, the home of a perfume merchant, which contained an area for making some kind of liquid, such as amphorae and glass bottles.
Although the bottles have no smell, a chemical analysis with iodine allowed the identification of some ingredients.
The discovery was brought to two experts in Egyptian perfumes, Dora Goldsmith and Sean Coughlin, who assisted in the production of the essence, based on formulas found in ancient Greek texts.
Even though Queen Cleopatra did not use the perfume, it is known that the fragrance was popular with the elite of Antiquity, and its recreation has an incalculable value, at least for archeology.
“It is a great emotion to smell a perfume that no one has smelled in 2,000 years and that Queen Cleopatra may have used,” celebrated Littman in a university press release.
Source: aventuras na historia