Tag Archives: Secrets of Egypt

Visiting ancient Egypt III

And with this, I’ll conclude this mini series. The last scent I’ll talk about is Megaleion.

Top notes: Cardamom co2 Absolute, Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, Fragrant Wine (accord), Lemongrass
Middle notes: Australian Sandalwood, Balm of Gilead (accord), Spikenard, Turkish Rose Otto
Base notes: Copaiba Balsam, Costus, Myrrh Gum, Olibanum (Frankincense), Peru Balsam, Pine Resin, Sweet Flag

This one was the one that moved me the least. Not to say I don’t like it, I do, but it feels more restrained in its olfactory approach. It smells like something Egyptian priests might have worn, and it feels more masculine than the rest. It could be I’m associating it with priests due to the frankincense in the opening. And when mixed with cardamom, I just get the priest in Egypt association springing up in my mind. 🙂

Anyway, the opening is incensey-green, mixed with cinnamon and cardamom but cinnamon in significantly smaller presence than in Keni. It’s warm, resinic and the fragrant wine accord is again in my mind connected with the cardamon and the warm wine you drink in winter. And that’s about the most sweetness you can expect from it, if you associate fragrant wine with sweetness. This is much drier than the other two, like smoky wood, burnt in a temple perhaps.

I’m aware Dawn wrote that this is “Perhaps the world’s first “designer fragrance”… – but I can’t help think of temples and priests when smelling it. But not Christian variant of incense burned in a church (which is a smell to make me nauseous instantly), more the spicy, dry version that I come to associate with dry climates, sun and temples – Egypt is a good picture. 🙂

Visiting ancient Egypt II

It seems I really don’t know much about ancient history since if someone asked me what spices Egyptians used, I’d have no idea.  I would probably guess at some, but I don’t think cinnamon would be on that list.
And then, here comes Dawn Spencer Hurwitz and her Secrets of Egypt and through my nose, I learn some of the things my school books never managed to teach me.

Today  I’ll talk about Keni – the cinnamon fest. 🙂

Top notes: Bitter Almond, Cardamom co2 Absolute, Cassia, Cinnamon Bark
Middle notes: Australian Sandalwood, Benzoin, Fragrant Wine (accord)
Base notes: Atlas Cedarwood, Myrrh Gum, Pine Resin

Ok, as you can see from the notes, it’s not all a cinnamon fest but the opening is, and it lasts for a while so I can call it that.  It’s the most real cinnamon I ever smelled. As with all spices (which I recognize by their particular nose pinching effect, you know, similar to black pepper), this cinnamon is at the same time nose pinching, juicy and bark-like. If you ever tried a cinnamon chewing gum, it smells like that. Wonderful (as I adore cinnamon gums).

As cinnamon starts to subside, there is a light gummy quality to it and then cardamom appears. If you take a look at the notes of the different Secrets of Egypt scents, you will notice many notes being the same in many of them. And then, in the end, they all smell spicy but different.

After cardamon, I start getting some whiffs of sandalwood and after that, it gets tricky. Sandalwood for me gets more dry and resiny and in the end morphs into sweet cedar and then just cedar? I’m not really sure except it’s dry and comforting (but then again, all spicy scents are comforting to me,  and I wonder, does that mean something?).

Pic by: http://www.ground-cinnamon.com/
Notes by: http://www.dshperfumes.com/

Visiting ancient Egypt I

I’ve been interested in the Secrets of Egypt collection of scents from Dawn Spencer Hurwitz since it came out and then I finally ordered 3 samples of scents that were made for the exhibition in Denver Art Museum.

I don’t know how many of you know, I am a huge fan of Dawn’s work and unfortunately for me, I seriously like pretty much anything I smell that she created. 🙂

So, it came as a surprise realization yesterday (I’ve been having those lately) that the reason I kept postponing writing about several perfumes I tried recently is because I don’t feel I can give them a review they deserve. I mean, whatever comes into my mind as something I want to say about them doesn’t feel as good as they smell to me.
But I decided that’s a stupid reason for not writing about them, so here it goes.

The one I will talk about today is Antiu – I won’t go into details about the name, you can read more about it on Dawn’s site.

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

For me, this starts as a spicy burst (that reminded me strongly of cinnamon which is featured prominently in the other 2 samples) that smelled at the same time green like peas and almondy. And that’s before I read the notes (I just love it when I can smell something on my own). 🙂
It has  a slightly citrusy tang and in the beginning smells to me like cinnamony grass. You know, spicily green. And absolutely wonderful (those are two smells I adore in anything). I still can’t believe there is no cinnamon in this but then again, we put here in our warm wine cinammon and clove so it’s no wonder that the fragrant wine accord will remind me of it. One variant of such wine is glög (that’s what the Swedish do) and it’s a bit more spicy and has a thicker consistency (I’m not sure from what) but cardamom is put into it.

I’ve heard people say that they don’t like cardamom but I can’t help but associate it with warmth and fragrant wine so when it makes a bolder appearance in Antiu, I really enjoy it.

Even though I mentioned winter customs, for me, this smells like a perfect scent for spring. It has some kind of sunny, breezy, grassy freshness and then gets a sweet aspect around the cardamom but in a light, resiny way.  Well, if you take a look at the base notes, you can come to that conclusion as well. 🙂

Soon, I will talk about the other samples and one that is absolute cinnamon heaven for which a friend told me she doesn’t consider that as something one might wear as perfume. Oh well, more for me.

If you take a look at Dawn’s site, I’m warning you straight away, don’t check the Mummy bottles because they are just way too wonderful not to be wanted for oneself. Which is a terrible torture as one costs 275 $.

Btw, it seems I decided to write about these perfumes at the same time as Krista over at Scent of the Day, so you can head over there and see what she wrote about Antiu.

Pic by: http://www.stanford.edu/

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