صدى البلد البلد سبورت قناة صدى البلد صدى البلد جامعات صدى البلد عقارات
Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Is Cleopatra Perfume Really Recreated or Not?


Sat 17 Aug 2019 | 04:59 PM
Ali Abu Dashish

Many historians and archaeologists have recently announced that they managed to recreate the 2000-old perfume of famous ancient Egyptian pharaoh Cleopatra.

A decade-long dig near Cairo unearthed the recipe and its recreation is a thick and sticky concoction made from myrrh, cardamom, olive oil and cinnamon.

Much thicker than today's perfumes - it has a consistency similar to olive oil - the scent is far stronger than modern equivalents and is said to linger for much longer on the body.

'What a thrill it is to smell a perfume that no one has smelt for 2,000 years and one which Cleopatra might have worn,' Professor Littman, one of the academics involved with the project, said of the undertaking.

Experts on ancient Egyptian perfume were brought in to recreate the perfume based on formulas in ancient Greek texts.

The perfume is now on display at the National Geographic Museum exhibit in Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, some archaeologists raised many questions about the possibility of recreating Cleopatra perfumes, and the truth behind the discovery of announced by the archaeological mission, in addition to the reasons of some scientists’ recent interest to rediscover the lives of ancient Egyptians.

On his part, Egyptian archaeologist Dr. Hussein -Bassir ruled out access to the perfume worn by Cleopatra.

He said that such announcements contradict the scientific truth, stressing that there is no archaeological evidence shows any link of Cleopatra to to this perfume.

"How did these scientists know that Queen Cleopatra used this perfume?” Bassir questioned.

There is no single fact that connects this fragrance discovered in this part of the Delta with this charming queen. "

He added that the excavations site at Tell-El Timai, located near the Egyptian capital of Cairo that dates back to 300 BCE, is far away from Cleopatra’s court in Alexandria.

He pointed out that the coastal city of Alexandria had many perfume makers and factories that were dealing with the royal court.

He confirmed that liking this particular perfume to Cleopatra is a strange matter and contrary to logic."

Recreating Cleopatra’s Perfume

After such a long time, the amphorae no longer retained the smell of the liquid residue inside them. However, researchers did a chemical analysis of the residue which revealed a few key ingredients in the liquid mix.

Taking the ingredients found in the ancient residue, and folding in information found in ancient Greek texts on the subject, the researchers were able to recreate the formulas for perfumes of the era. Given the age and discovery location of the residue, researchers infer — but aren’t sure — that this could be Cleopatra’s perfume.

The ancient perfume formulas that the researchers cooked up used a base of myrrha — resin originating from a tree native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula — along with several other ingredients that you might very well have in your kitchen cupboard today, like olive oil, cinnamon, and cardamom.

Translated by Hassanain Tayea