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Scents of Ancient Egypt Workshop

April 16, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 3:00 pm


The KYPHI class is the first in a comprehensive series, taking place over several weeks via LIVE* Zoom sessions with Dora Goldsmith, the world’s leading expert on the olfactory culture of ancient Egyptian society.

➵ KYPHI (kAp, kAp.t), April 16, 2023, 11 am – 3 pm

kAp.t or kAp.t in Egyptian or kyphi in Greek is a solid ancient Egyptian perfume. It is one of the first documented perfume recipes in the world, and one of the few surviving perfume recipes from ancient Egypt. Kyphi is unique in ancient Egyptian perfumery because it is the only perfume that is documented both in the temples and in everyday life, thus allowing for a comparison of its sacred and mundane use. In the temples, the kyphi perfume mixture was censed daily in the worship of the gods to clean and perfume the air. As the temple was regarded as a pure and immaculate divine cosmos, kyphi played an essential role in reflecting the perfect olfactory world of the gods. The exudation of kyphi in private homes served to purify and scent the air, clean and perfume clothing, and it was even used as a chewing gum.

The workshop begins with a discussion of all ancient Egyptian sources mentioning kyphi. We will investigate how the use and cultural significance of kyphi changed throughout Egyptian history from the Old Kingdom until the Ptolemaic Period. Then we will look at all the ingredients of the recipe in detail and discuss their botanical identifications. After familiarizing ourselves with each ingredient, we will read the recipe to analyze each step of the perfume-making process. After we have understood all the steps of the recipe, Dora will teach you ways of recreating kyphi by yourself.

Early Bird registration $75 / after April 1st $85


Illuminated Perfume
SANTA FE, NM 87505 United States
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New Mexico
Santa Fe
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