• Technology
  • Egyptian Perfume and Oils

  • Comparison Between Egyptian and Modern Perfumes

    CriteriaEgyptian Perfumes & Oils Modern Perfumes & Oils
    ImagesEgyptian perfume Modern Perfume
    Ingredients Natural
    - Natural ingredients both homegrown and imported - Punt was the source of aromatic woods and incense
    - Most of the ingredients were of plant origin, but the use of animal fats was also known
    - Oils included moringa, balanos, castor oil, linseed and sesame.
    Synthetic
    - Perfume is made from about 78% to 95% ethyl alcohol and a remainder of essential oils.
    - Synthetic odorants include coal-tar and petroleum distillates
    - Chemicals provide fragrances which are not found in nature
    Manufacture
    1. Scents were extracted by steeping lotus flowers or splinters of fragrant wood in oil to obtain essential oil,
    2. Addition of other oils or fat
    3. The materials were placed in a piece of cloth which was wrung and the fragrance retrieved.
    4. Manufacture took place in small workshops
    1. Complicated chemical industry
    2. Large scale mass production
    3. The precise formulas of commercial perfumes are kept secret
    Religious Role - Gods were associated with fragrant smells
    - The blue lotus was the emblem of the god Nefertem; 'The Lord of Perfume'.
    - Secular role
    Olfactive families - Floral: Fragrances that are dominated by the scent of lotus flowers
    - Woody: Fragrances that are dominated by woody cedar scents imported from Lebanon.
    - Floral Bouquet: Containing the combination of several flowers in a scent.
    - Oceanic: A new category in perfumes
    - Citrus: Refreshment eau de colognes with low tenacity of citrus scents.
    - Gourmand: Contain edible scents like vanilla and other synthetic components designed to resemble food flavors.
    Applications Religious uses
    - Oils were used for mummification - bodies were anointed with perfume to bestow life upon them
    - Ointments for the unction of gods statues
    - Elite society used perfumes on occasions and parties - wall paintings depict people sniffing lotus flowers.
    Perfume for the Masses
    - Widely used by working classes to give the human body and living spaces a pleasant smell.