Perfumes from Ancient Egypt

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Choosing specimens to photograph: ingredients of fragrances thought to be used by the Ancient Egyptians.

From left to right: Galbanum, cinnamon, myrrh. Front: cardamom

Photographs of these may be chosen as part of our new Ancient Worlds Gallery, opening in October 2012.

Galbanum and myrrh are both types of gum resin, which comes from small trees growing in North Africa.  Both are strongly aromatic and often used in insense.  Cinnamon is from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree.

The  jars are from our Materia Medica collection.  There are previous blog posts about the Materia Medica Museum at the University of Manchester, and this one has more about myrrh.

2 thoughts on “Perfumes from Ancient Egypt

    Laurentiius said:
    July 9, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Curious as to the species of Cinnamomum tree, the ancient Egyptians acquired cinnamon bark.

    Photographing Fragrances « Biology Curator said:
    July 11, 2012 at 10:18 am

    […] Ancient Egyptians used to make perfume. More about the actual specimens themselves can be found here. Botany Curator Rachel Webster, myself and my fellow volunteer Veronica took photographs of […]

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