The Most Ancient Perfume In The World

Let’s begin with some geography: Philae is an island of Aswan. Aswan is a city located in the south of Egypt.

On the portico of a temple of Philae is engraved a recipe for a perfume used in fumigation, which appeared from 5000 years ago. Mainly used in the polytheistic religion, it was also used for its therapeutic qualities. Its name is Kyphi.

I have found during my last trip to Grasse, the world’s perfume capital, a reconstitution of Kyphi. This is a photo:

We found in it 16 ingredients but some of them remain obscure since specialists are not agree on the identity of some plants.

The production of kyphi requires blending and boiling the ingredients in sequences. According to some sources the kyphi was rolled into balls and placed onto an hot coal, as we do nowdays with frankincense for example.

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