Events: Evening Lecture – Status, Luxury & Celebrity, Ancient Egyptian Perfume Oils

sian Blog

Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College London

Thursday 23rd May 2014, 6-9pm

(Petrie Museum official press and marketing release)

‘Take a trip back to Ancient Egypt and relive the Pharaoh’s time with fragrance expert Odette Toilette and archaeologist and aromatherapist Sian O’Flynn. Find out which incense was so favoured for importation by Queen Hatshepsut and match the perfumes to Egyptian personalities with nose on activity!’

A fantastic night was had by all 50 participants, who first heard from me about the prolific use of perfume and essential oils used by the ancient Egyptians. They truly indulged in the use of oils at all stages of life, from birth to death; all aspects of life, from domestic use in the home to burning on the altars of temples and through all social classes, from the humblest worker to the Pharaoh. Once the historical and archaeological aspects had been covered, Odette focussed on the influence of ancient Egypt (in particular Tutmania in the 1920’s) on the perfume industry. Then samples were handed round: I had hand-made incense to an original recipe from 2,000 BC, based on an inscription on the temple walls at Edfu, and all got to scent and sniff perfume on smell strips, and balm blends created by me from authentic recipes and oils used at the time. The wine and amazing atmosphere kindly provided by the Petrie Museum just added to the wonder! A truly brilliant time and incredible to research and discover