If corrupt smells are a sign of a corrupt nature, what happens when a holy person dies? It is in this Western mind-body dualism that the concept of the Odour of Sanctity is born.
The Perfumed Mummy
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.
The Fragrance of the Soul: Olfaction and Death in Ancient Egyptian Religion
As a society, we have an anosmic view of history. We don’t think about how things smelt or what olfaction meant to people in the past because olfaction is not a primary consideration in the present. When we do think of the scents of the past, it is with modern snobbishness and assurance that all…