The Perfume Pyramid: 8 Scents Dedicated To Ancient Egypt

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The Perfume Pyramid: 8 Scents Dedicated To Ancient Egypt
The Perfume Pyramid: 8 Scents Dedicated To Ancient Egypt
Video: The Perfume Pyramid: 8 Scents Dedicated To Ancient Egypt
Video: A Material Look at Ancient Egyptian Smells 2023, February
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Text: Ksenia Golovanova, author of the telegram channel Nose Republic

Ancient Egypt is considered the homeland perfumery as such: there is a lot of historical evidence of the religious and aesthetic relations of the Egyptians with aromatic compositions. Here's another thing: just before the new year, American archaeologists unearthed the oldest perfume factory in history. On this occasion, our perfume critic Ksenia Golovanova chose the best fragrances inspired by the ancient civilization.

Eau Égyptienne

Cinq Mondes

€49

for 100 ml

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Cinq Mondes is a French brand of spa cosmetics, styled after traditional beauty recipes from different countries, a kind of “Granny Agafia” with a European passport and a good budget. Eau Égyptienne was made in 2005 by Olivia Giacobetti (Philosykos for Diptyque, Hiris for Hermès, En Passant for Frédéric Malle), and since then it has remained a bestseller - despite the rapid shrinking of the Egyptian line. What "Egyptian water" smells like: rose, mint, myrrh, incense, mastic, juniper and other things that were supposedly part of the kifi incense - they, among other things, were used in the temples of Isis and Osiris to immerse people in clairvoyant dreams. A wonderful meditative thing is scented ash on pale flowers.

Un Jardin Sur le Nil

Hermès

7300 rbl

for 50 ml

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The Garden of Nile is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Egypt in a perfumery context. Jean-Claude Ellen's debut scent as a regular nose for Hermès, Un Jardin Sur le Nil was not easy for the perfumer: Egypt, where he was taken for inspiration with a management team, turned out to be dusty rather than inspiring garden (this story is brilliantly described in the book by perfume journalist Chandler Burra "The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York"). As a result, Ellena made the frame of the composition a green, vegetable and slightly sulfurous smell of unripe Egyptian mango, to which they added spicy herbs and pungent citrus - for the notorious "garden" effect. There are few fragrances that cause such contradictory reviews: for some Un Jardin is fresh, for others it is sweaty, for others it is a “living bed”, and for the fourth it is “chemistry”. But the truth is that this is almost the only green composition - a genre of herb-leafy, plant-based perfumes that is offensively unpopular with buyers - which is selling well today.

Nun

Laboratorio Olfattivo

RUB 11 800

for 100 ml

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In ancient Egyptian mythology, Nun is a primitive ocean of chaos, from which all that exists, something like a primordial soup, emerged. After the act of creation, which is interesting, Nun himself remained: when the Egyptians dug wells and found groundwater, they believed that those were also part of a liquid substance from the beginning of time, like the floods of the Nile. This god personified the fluidity of life, its ability to penetrate any cracks, fill all gaps, and perfumer Luca Maffei's Nun was made accordingly - a mobile white-flowered (jasmine, a little gardenia) milk, filled with light. Where there is light, there is the birth of life; the first, however, is a ripe pear. But exceptionally pretty.

Ankh sun amon

Anima mundi

€140

for 100 ml

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Anima Mundi, or World Soul, is another brand of Italians Onyrico. She is interested in her smells of ancient, long gone civilizations: in the line, for example, there are fragrant sketches on the culture of the Maya, Nabataeans and Pompeians. The afterlife lily Ankh Sun Amon, named after the ancient Egyptian queen Ankhesenamun, daughter of Nefertiti and wife of Tutankhamun, is the favorite fragrance of the creator of the brand, Emilia Kinigo; last year he became a finalist for the prestigious Art and Olfaction Awards.

We know little about Ankhesenamon herself: it is not known what became of her after her husband died at the age of nineteen, her remains were never found, and the romantic story told by "The Mummies" (where the Egyptian woman is played by the magnetic actress from Venezuela Patricia Velazquez), nothing more than fiction. However, the fact that during the reign of Tutankhamun there were a lot of images of Ankhesenamun, including alongside her husband, speaks of her high status and influence.There is, indeed, something regal in Ankh Sun Amon - a ghostly but irresistible wall of incense, saffron and amber, a royal poker face.

Anubis

Papillon Artisan Perfumes

£128

for 50 ml

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Once we have already entered the gloomy territory of Anubis, but we cannot fail to mention here the spirits dedicated to the most mysterious deity of ancient Egyptian mythology, moreover, magnificent. It is a floral, slightly oily skin fumigated with incense - a composition in the spirit of Black Tourmaline, Olivier Durbano, and Cuir Ottomane, Parfum d'Empire. Only at times gloomier and "more bestial": the god with the jackal's head will weigh your heart and decide how brave you are to wear such a thing.

24 Papyrus de Ciane

Pierre guillaume paris

RUB 15 800

for 100 ml

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In the late 2000s, several good green fragrances were released: Untitled by Maison Martin Margiela, A Scent by Issey Miyake of the eponymous brand, Cristalle Eau Verte, Chanel - combined, in addition to the general mood, by great advertising opportunities. Papyrus de Ciane of the niche brand (at that time it was called Parfumerie Generale) was somewhat lost against their background - it is not easy to be green, like the Kermit the frog sang, when you “do not shine like ripples in the water or stars in the sky”.

And “Papyrus” not only does not shine - it is a truly dark, deep, emerald scent, collected by Pierre Guillaume on the basis of the classic perfumery base Mousse de Saxe. The "Saxon Moss" has a green leathery, mossy powdery smell, rather dry - but Guillaume fills it with moisture: the juice of coastal grasses, damp river air, and the salty spirit of mud. Even without knowing that the toponym given in the name is the Chane River near Syracuse, one of the largest accumulations of papyrus in the world, one can understand by only one smell: we are shown water. Even the Sicilian - sprouts of marsh sedge back in the III century BC. e. was presented to the local king by the Egyptian ruler Ptolemy II.

Ptah

Parfums ciro

€158

for 100 ml

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From time to time, interest in the culture of Ancient Egypt intensifies. This happened, for example, after the Egyptian campaign of Napoleon Bonaparte, then - at the end of the 19th century, when a perfectly preserved temple of Queen Hatshepsut was found in the vicinity of Luxor. And again - in 1922: archaeologist Howard Carter made one of the most important archaeological discoveries when he discovered the sealed tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor. This surge of Egyptomania (journalists nicknamed it "Tutmania", from the English Tut, Tut) became the most significant, because it perfectly fit - with all its strict ancient Egyptian geometry - in the style of Art Deco, the main trend of the 1920s.

On the tangent, tutmania also touched the world of fragrant: Cleopatra, Nefertiti and Scarabs appeared in the lines of perfume houses. And one of them, Ciro Parfums, went even further and ambitiously named his perfume Ptah - in honor of Ptah, the green-skinned creator god, who, according to some cults, created about everything. A few years ago, the Ciro brand was revived, and Ptah was relaunched - now it is skin anointed with priestly balms with a green sage-geranium sheen.

Tiger by her side

Sana jardin

£180

for 50 ml

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Sana Jardin is a newcomer, but the collection, built by perfumer Carlos Benaim around Moroccan orange blossom, is serious in every sense: the brand is engaged in social entrepreneurship in northern Africa, supporting local neroli pickers. All the fragrances in the line revolve around Maghreb culture: Nubian Musk is a sketch on the theme of Egyptian musk, and Berber Blonde, or "Berber Blonde", is a story about blonde-haired and blue-eyed people who are still found among the indigenous population of Morocco.

Tiger by Her Side is dedicated to ancient Egyptian priestesses who, according to the Sana Jardin website, "smelled so sweet that tigers followed them." An inaccuracy crept into the description: there were no striped cats in Egypt, but spotted cats - leopards - yes, but, unfortunately, they most often followed the priests in the form of skins thrown over their shoulders. Either way, Tiger by Her Side does smell hypnotically good: fruity rose, slightly smoky woods, and unsweetened vanilla.

PHOTOS: perfume history, Roullier White, Olfactoria's Travels, Pierre Guillaume Parfums, Fragrantica, Sana Jardin, Hermes, Birchbox

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