Friday, February 15, 2013
We already know that fragrance in general was highly prized in ancient Egyptian culture. A hieroglyphic formula for Kyphi was found in Tutankhamen’s tomb when it was re-discovered and opened in 1922. Along with the formula were small vessels containing Kyphi – its scent still potent after thousands of years.
The Story of Early Ancient Egypt that the very first Egyptians were hunter-gatherers -those who moved around collecting plants, fruits and vegetables, as well as hunting animal meat for their food. This most likely would have made them adept at food preservation, not to mention observant of the manner in which wild plants grew and thrived in what would have been a remarkably more fertile, green and ‘alive’ Sahara Desert than what exists today.
Some of the ingredients to be found in Kyphi are sweet flag – an aniseed-scented grass which is used for medicinal purposes and to make fragrances - cassia, cinnamon, peppermint, juniper, mimosa and raisins, which were all measured in exact proportions and then macerated in wine, honey and myrrh for a number of days before use.
This is some of the knowledge I have gathered from reading about ancient Egypt, and I am very excited to learn more about Kyphi from Vermillion's book, which is dedicated solely to this complex and sacred ancient Egyptian fragrance.