Thursday, April 2, 2009

Old & Smelly

Just saw this over on the National Geographic site. Apparently they've found a container of the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut's personal perfume.

According to the NG,

X-ray photographs of the 4.7-inch-tall (12-centimeter-tall) bottle, from the permanent collection of Bonn University's Egyptian Museum, reveals remnants of the ancient oil. Scientists plan to identify the substance and, possibly within a year, re-create the perfume.

The bottle, which was found in the queen's possessions after her death in 1457 B.C., is engraved with a hieroglyph (bottom) of her name.

The thin neck "allows a very economical dosing of the valuable content," according to Michael Höveler-Müller, curator of Bonn University's Egyptian Museum. A small clay stopper would have kept the oil from spilling.

"In every case our research will touch new grounds and will maybe enable us to put our noses back into a time more than 3,500 years [ago]," Höveler-Müller said in an email.

It'd be interesting if they recreate this perfume and it smells totally disgusting. Hopefully it doesn't smell so good that they recreate it on an industrial scale. I'd hate to be walking through the Mall and have someone standing outside a cosmetics store spraying the stuff at me to get me to buy it. But then again, they do that anyway, so what's the difference really?

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