Over the last year I have had several requests for more information and deeper reads on subjects brought up on the blog. So after banging around my shelves a bit, here is the Death/Scent reading list. Some of them are staples of both olfactive and death literature, others are weird and wonderful deep cuts. This... Continue Reading →
Now we reach the intersection of material culture, belief systems, and death with the physical preparation of the body, which used many aromatic ingredients. The creation of the archetypical Egyptian mummy was a complex evolution that embraced the olfactive elements of the putrid and the divine.
In this post, we explore what we know and what we don't about Philistine culture, thier death practices and how perfume may have played a role in their cosmology.
This post is part of an ongoing series on fragrance in Ancient Egypt. Find out more about the sacred business of Egyptian perfume-making in Part I and how mummies ended up in magic incense in Part II. As a society, we have an anosmic view of history. We don't think about the way things smelt or... Continue Reading →
To the modern Westerner, incense is the friend of the pothead teenager and long-time companion of the hippy. Incense is perhaps the oldest form of human scent manufacturing, however. With a documented history of over 7,000 years, we were making this stuff for 3,000 years before we finally got around to domesticating the cat. Those scented... Continue Reading →
There is no perfume culture with more mystery or confusion than that of the ancient Egyptians. Their perfume production wasn't the oldest in the world nor the most sophisticated, yet the mystique of Egypt drips with fragrance. Perhaps it was because perfume and cosmetics played such a vital role in everyday life. The popular image of the... Continue Reading →