Researchers Recreated a 2,000-Year-Old Perfume Believed to Be Own By Cleopatra

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Researchers Recreated a 2,000-Year-Old Perfume Believed to Be Own By Cleopatra

 

Around 6,500 years ago, the Tell Timai excavation project at the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thmuis was headed by Rober Littman and Jay Silverstein of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. They found Mendesian and Metopian, two of the most well-known perfumes in the ancient world. Large compounds with kilns dating from the third century B.C. were discovered on the site. Imported clay and glass were used to produce bottles during the pre-Roman period and the Roman occupation period.

 

Photo Credit: UH News on Youtube (via All That's Interesting)

 

But one of the most important findings was amphorae which showed residue of the 2,000-plus-year-old ingredients once used to make perfume at the site. Researchers suggest that this may have been the legendary Cleopatra’s perfume. “This was the Chanel No. 5 of ancient Egypt. It was the most prized perfume of the ancient world,” Littman said. 

 

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

 

According to the Daily Mail, a British daily middle-market newspaper published in London in a tabloid format, the perfume suggested to be owned by Cleopatra is a thick and sticky concoction made from cinnamon, olive oil, cardamom, and myrrh. Its consistency is the same as olive oil which is thicker than today’s perfumes. Its scent is also far stronger than its modern equivalents. “What a thrill it is to smell a perfume that no one has smelled for 2,000 years and one which Cleopatra might have worn,” Littman said. 

 

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

 

The researchers were able to recreate the perfume by taking the ingredients found in the ancient residue.  All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, reported that the result of the formula was a lot thicker and stickier than the more watery perfumes of today. Still, this would last longer than most modern perfumes would.

However, the researchers are still not sure whether or not this was actually Cleopatra’s perfume. One of the reasons is that she would not use a scent that the public would be wearing. It is also believed that Cleopatra had her own perfume-making facility.

 

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