Monday, June 13, 2016

Scent of Mummy, the Egyptian kind, that is...

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.

wiki commons

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.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. That was wonderful--completely fascinating. I was the sort of child who read this kind of history with great delight. How happy I was to live in New York and get to go see the mummies at the Met!!! Thank you!

  3. We have some mummies in our museum here and I , like Jean Baldridge Yates , was fascinated to see them in their bandages and the old wooden cases as a child ...... it was top of my list along with the stuffed anaconda snakes! LOL

  4. Anonymous19:07

    Great article! I recently read a obout mummification in a book on Egyptiptian funerary archeology. My favourite mummy (!) is the one of Seti I. Probably the best preserved of the royal mummies. He almost looks handsome. I can't believe I just wrote that...


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