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.
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.
History and Alchemy is devoted to the myth and history of scent production. We’ll explore how rare and beautiful scents became commodities, grave goods, and items of legend. The first post in this section will appear tomorrow which is based on the events depicted above. Any guesses as to what is brewing?