Thursday, September 23, 2010

DSH Perfumes: Secrets of Egypt, Part 2 of 3: Cardamom and Kyphi and Antiu

Smell like an Egyptian

Perfumer and aromatherapist Dawn Spencer Hurwitz collaborated with the Denver Art Museum on a set of special perfumes to accompany their 2010-2011 King Tut exhibit, The Secrets of Egypt. The perfumes are only available from the DAM and the DHS web site.

This is the second part of my 3 part review on the Secrets of Egypt collection. See part 1 here.

Cardamom and Khyphi
" probably the most famous of all early Egyptian perfumes handed down to us from antiquity"

The famous Egyptian perfume Kyphi was primarily used as an incense in temples and also as a remedy for ailments like nightmares and snake bites. The Greek physician Dioscorides wrote down one of the earliest surviving recipes for Kyphi. Piny and Plutarch also mentioned it and its various ingredients, which included: wine, honey, raisins, cinnamon and cassia bark, cedar, juniper berry, and resins such as frankincense, myrrh, benzoin, and labdanum.

Cardamom, although not native to Egypt was imported from India in ancient times. It works beautifully with the cinnamon. CaK is mostly cardamom and cinnamon to my nose, with a dry woody base. It's delicious. If you like those spices, I would definitely give it a sniff.

Top notes: Cardamom co2 Absolute, Cardamom Seed
Middle notes: Khyphi
Base notes: Khyphi

Antiu (aka Metopian)
Antiu is the name we chose for our modern adaptation of “Metopion”, a famous Egyptian perfume that had been known some 300 years before Pliny the Elder and Dioscorides mentioned it. ... it was widely considered to be “the most exquisite fragrance imaginable, hence the ideal scent”.
Antiu starts with a strong lemongrass note but dries down to something faintly grassy, sweet and balsamic. It's very herbal and the most "natural" smelling of the group.

Top notes: Bitter Almond, Cardamom co2 Absolute, Fragrant Wine (accord), Galbanum, Lemongrass
Middle notes: Australian Sandalwood, Gallica Rose Otto, Honey Beeswax
Base notes: Copaiba Balsam, Mastic, Myrrh Gum, Peru Balsam, Pine Resin, Sweet Flag

House: DSH Perfumes, Parfums des Beaux Arts CollectionNose: Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

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