Experts Discover the Perfume of Queen Cleopatra of Egypt, Spicy But Sweet

Jakarta, CNN Indonesia —

Scientists managed to find the scent of the perfume used by Cleopatra, the legendary Queen of Ancient Egypt.

This discovery of past scents was made using a novel biomolecular approach to ‘resurrect’ several different treasure troves.

Previously, several historians and chemists managed to reproduce the perfume allegedly used by Cleopatra. The recreations were based on recipes recorded in Egyptian texts and inscriptions on the temple walls.



One recipe studied by researcher Sean Coughlin of the Czech Academy of Sciences indicates that ancient perfumers used a technique of heating the oil for 10 days and 10 nights before mixing it with certain woods.

“That’s a big mystery to us,” Coughlin said, citing CNN.

“If you ever cook oil for 10 days, it will definitely smell bad.”

However, in the end he managed to find a method to solve the mystery.

Coughlin had previously reported his research results in the journal Near Eastern Archeology. The report writes that Egypt was known in the ancient world for the scent it produces.

By the time of Cleopatra VII, the Ancient Egyptians had been practicing and studying the art of creating these scents for at least 3 thousand years.

Shortly after Cleopatra’s death, a book appeared containing recipes associated with her kingdom. Two thousand years later, scientists then attempted to replicate the process of these materials.

“The basis for (Egyptian) perfumes and ointments is vegetable oil or animal fat, rather than our modern alcohol,” the study paper notes.

“Aromats are created by smoke from burning mastic, bark, and herbs (‘parfum’ comes from ‘per fumum’ or ‘through smoke’), or by maceration by steeping resins, flowers, herbs, spices, and woods. “

However, the actual meaning of the hieroglyphs used to record these recipes has been lost to time. The names of the oils used in funeral rites and temple rituals on Cleopatra’s day are known, but their composition is uncertain.

Combining historical texts and modern chemistry, Coughlin and co-author Dora Goldsmith of the Frele Universitat Berlin tested a variety of potential substances in the hopes of finding the scents so alluring.

Using a variety of ingredients and cooking methods, they report that the perfume consists at least of a spicy base of frankincense and freshly ground cinnamon.

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(Gambas:Video CNN)

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