In one of my newest historical articles for Fragrantica, amassed under the collective title of 1001 Past Tales, I discuss the infamous "scent of mummy", or "mumia", coming off the Egyptian mummies which were actually used in the preparation of apothecary formulae for external use as well as -most poignantly- internal consumption.
Perish the thought that people actually consumed mumia internally, but this is what they did from at least 1000AD onwards: vital energy at its most macabre. Egyptology might not have been born, yet people knew these corpses were old. The ground matter of the corpses, black, firm and putrid smelling, defies modern logic, as do most arcane and animistic practices that come from the prehistoric world. Eating a worthy opponent or an ancestor is an ancient practice in order to graft their excellence unto the eater.
You can read the entire article on this link.