The SCENTS of EGYPT WORKSHOP SERIES explores the Olfactive History of Ancient Egyptian Culture with Egyptologist Dora Goldsmith. This is a comprehensive certificate program, taking place over seven weeks via LIVE* Zoom sessions. Begin the series with whatever class you desire.
Each class in this workshop series offers three hours of live instruction with handouts and a dedicated student community (not on Facebook) where students can ask questions and share with other students as they move through each class. If you are an aromatherapy practitioner you will receive: 3 NAHA CE credits per class.
Besides the live instruction and handouts, Dora has meticulously assembled kits containing plant materials from the authentic locations we will be studying. The kits are NOT required but are a rare treat to indulge your knowledge.
Find a description of each class in this series below, followed by a link to the page describing the kits with images.
*The workshops take place LIVE on Sundays at 6pm Berlin, Germany time, use the time zone converter here to calculate the time in your city.
Scents of Mummification & the Afterlife: July 25 & October 17, 2021
Throughout this class, you will learn about the scents that defined the mummification chambers and tombs, and the fragrances that the ancient Egyptians themselves wished to be surrounded by in their life after death.
- 1st hour: Lecture about the fragrant substances employed during mummification.
- 2nd hour: Detailed insights into the materials and the olfactory motivation for their use.
- 3rd hour: We will be walked through the process of recreating the ancient Egyptians employed for embalming their dead. Don’t worry, the end result will be an exceedingly pleasant smell!
Read about the Scents of Mummification & Afterlife kit here.
Hknw, Meaning JOY (Ancient Egyptian Perfume): August 1 & October 24, 2021
In this class we will recreate a perfume called Hknw, meaning “joy” in Egyptian. This fragrance is one of the seven sacred oils used in the temples of Egypt to anoint the gods and in the process of mummification to preserve the dead.
The recipe is preserved on the walls of the Ptolemaic temple of Edfu. However, its existence can be traced back to as early as the 4th Dynasty. The recipe is long, complicated and intriguing. The attention to detail, the processing of the materials and the patience to make it (one year!) are fascinating.
- 1st hour: Lecture on the history of the seven sacred oils. We will investigate how the usage, religious significance and number of the oils changed throughout Egyptian history from the Old Kingdom until the Ptolemaic period. Special attention will be paid to documents discussing the Hknw perfume.
- 2nd hour: Reading and understanding the recipe, followed by an insight into the materials.
- 3rd hour: Now that we understand all the steps of the recipe, we will explore ways of recreating the ancient Hknw perfume
Read about the Hknw kit here.
Kyphi (Ancient Egyptian Perfume): September 12, 2021
In the Kyphi class you will learn about ancient Egyptian perfumery and recreate one of its most well-known fragrances.
- 1st hour: Lecture about Kyphi, reading and understanding the recipe. Students will receive a copy of the original hieroglyphic text which includes a translation and explanations. Dora will guide us through the text and present an overview of the history of the recipe.
- 2nd hour: Learn detailed insights into the materials and their significance for the Egyptians as well as the reasons behind their use.
- 3rd hour: We will follow the ancient recipe step-by-step to create the scent called Kyphi, the origins of which date back to the building of the pyramids.
Read about the Kyphi kit here.
Unguent Cones: September 19, 2021
In this workshop you will learn about and recreate what unguent cones could have looked like in ancient Egypt.
- 1st hour:: Dora will give a lecture on the topic of unguent cones including all the written, archaeological and pictorial evidence. We will learn theory vs. evidence: What is just a theory and what do we really have evidence for? What was the exact function of unguent cones? What does the written record concerning the sense of smell tell us about these cones? How does the hieroglyphic script and classifier research assist us in understanding the function of these enigmatic artifacts?
- 2nd & 3rd hour:: Dora will provide detailed insight into the materials and teach us how to recreate unguent cones.
Read about the Unguent kit here.
Temple Smells: September 26, 2021
Throughout this class we will explore the olfactory world of the gods of Egypt and discover the social, cultural and religious value of each scent that was present ancient Egyptian temples.
- 1st hour: Lecture about the fragrant offerings in the temple and their social, cultural and religious significance. Dora will give a lecture about the fragrant offerings in the temples and reconstruct its overall smellscape. The sufficient written evidence allows for a precise reconstruction of the smell of the temple, which reoccurred on a daily basis in a small, confined space.
- 2nd hour: Dora will provide a detailed insight into each scent of the Temple smellscape.
- 3rd hour: We will be guided on how to recreate the overpowering smell of temples in a bottle, which was one of the most significant scents of ancient Egyptian culture.
Read about the Temple Smells kit here.
Garden Scents: Oct. 3, 2021
Throughout this class, you will learn about all the plants and the intoxicating scents that surrounded the ancient Egyptians after the inundation of the Nile. We will discover the olfactory landscape of ancient Egypt’s lost orchards and vegetable gardens.
- 1st hour: Lecture about fragrant flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables in ancient Egypt and their social, cultural and religious significance, as well as the flower bouquets presented to gods and kings, flower garlands worn on festive occasions, aphrodisiacs used during banqueting, and the so-called “garden scent” that was so important to the Egyptians that they regarded it as an object on its own.
- 2nd hour: Insights into each scented ingredient, their significance for the Egyptians and the reasons behind their use.
- 3rd hour: We will be guided through how to recreate the refreshing essence of an ancient Egyptian garden in a bottle!
Read about the Garden Scents kit here.
Scents of Lovemaking: October 10, 2021
Throughout this class, we will explore the olfactory world of lovemaking and sexuality in ancient Egypt.
1st hour: Dora will give a lecture on the topic of scents of lovemaking in ancient Egypt. You will:
- Learn about gods of the Egyptian pantheon related to sexuality through the sense of smell, such as Amun, Min and Hathor.
- Have a look at olfactory symbols of love in ancient Egyptian love poetry.
- Discuss how one had to smell in order to be considered attractive in ancient Egypt and what substances the Egyptians used as an aphrodisiac.
- 2nd hour: Explore and gain insight into the specific scented materials.
- 3rd hour: How to recreate the smellscape of love making in ancient Egypt based on the love poems.
Read about the Scents of Lovemaking kit here.
Certification: Workshop Requirements
To receive a Certificate of Completion for those attending the complete series, you will need to participate in each class and complete the Quiz provided.
Since each workshop will be live and NOT recorded, it is important to make a commitment to attending.
KITS: A limited number of kits are available, but NOT required. For those who would like to purchase them in advance please reach out to Dora directly: email@example.com
IMPORTANT: Each of these three hour classes are LIVE and not recorded, there are no refunds if you are not able to attend one or all of the classes.
This workshop and individual classes are copyrighted, no portion may be duplicated without written permission ©DoraGoldsmith
ABOUT OUR INSTRUCTOR: DORA GOLDSMITH
Dora Goldsmith is an Egyptologist whose research focuses on the sense of smell in ancient Egypt. Based on the written sources, Dora investigates the ancient Egyptians' perception of the world through the sense of smell and recreates their smellscape. Her published works include the concept of stench in ancient Egypt (2019), the scents of mummification (2019) and the smellscape of ancient Egyptian cities (2020). Dora gives lectures and workshops around the world accompanied by her scent reconstructions, where the long-lost world of the ancient Egyptians comes back to life through your nose. Two of her scent reconstructions, the Mendesian and the scent of mummification, have been exhibited in museums around the world.
Read more about Dora here at Academia.
Do you have questions? Please refer to the FAQ's page here for this workshop series before contacting us.