The SCENTS of EGYPT WORKSHOP SERIES is a comprehensive certificate program, taking place over seven weeks via LIVE* Zoom sessions with Egyptologist Dora Goldsmith. Dora's specific area of research focuses on the sense of smell in ancient Egypt. Based on written sources, Dora investigates the ancient Egyptians' perception of the world through the sense of smell and recreates their smell scapes. Her published works include the concept of stench in ancient Egypt (2019), the scents of mummification (2019) and the smell scapes of ancient Egyptian cities (2020).
Each individual workshop will offer three hours of live instruction with handouts for each lesson and a dedicated student community (not on Facebook) where students can ask questions as well as share with other students as they move through each workshop in this very special series.
Besides the live instruction and handouts, Dora has meticulously assembled kits for each workshop 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. Be aware that they are available in very limited supply.
Early bird registration is now OPEN, closes on December 31st midnight US/MT
Below you will find a description of each workshop in this very special series, followed by a link to the the page describing the kits with images.
*The workshops will take place LIVE on Sundays at 12pm New York time, which is 5pm in Europe, 6pm in Germany, 9am in Los Angeles, 10am in Santa Fe, use the time zone converter here to calculate the time in your city.
February 7, 2021: Kyphi (Ancient Egyptian Perfume)
Throughout the Kyphi workshop, you will learn about ancient Egyptian perfumery and recreate one of its most well-known fragrances.
In the first hour, you will familiarize yourself with an ancient Egyptian perfume recipe. You will receive a copy of the original hieroglyphic text with a translation and explanations. Dora will guide you through the text and present an overview of the history of the recipe.
In the second hour, she will give you detailed insight into the materials and learn about each ingredients significance for the Egyptians as well as the reasons behind their use.
In the third and last hour, you will follow the ancient Egyptian recipe step-by-step to create a scent called Kyphi, the origins of which date back to the building of the pyramids.
- First hour: Lecture about Kyphi, reading and understanding the recipe.
- Second hour: Insight into the materials with scent installations, olfactory guess game with the participants who have acquired the kit.
- Final and third hour: Making Kyphi based on the ancient Egyptian recipe.
Read about the Kyphi kit here.
February 14, 2021: Unguent Cones
Throughout this workshop, you will recreate what unguent cones could have looked like in ancient Egypt.
In the first hour, Dora will give a lecture on the topic of unguent cones including all the written, archaeological and pictorial evidence. You will learn the 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?
In the second and third hour, Dora will give you detailed insight into the ingredients and teach you how to recreate unguent cones.
- First hour: Lecture about ancient Egyptian unguent cones
- Second and third hour: Insight into the materials and recreating unguent cones
Read about the Unguent kit here.
February 21, 2021: Temple Smells in Ancient Egypt
Throughout this workshop, you 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.
In the first hour, 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.
In the second hour, Dora will provide a detailed insight into each scent of the Temple smellscape.
In the third and last hour, you 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.
- First hour: Lecture about the fragrant offerings in the temple and their social, cultural and religious significance
- Second hour: Insight into the scents within the Temple smellscape.
- Final and third hour: How to recreate the scent of ancient Egyptian temples
Read about the Temple Smells kit here.
February 28, 2021: Garden Scents in Ancient Egypt
Throughout this workshop, you will learn about all the plants and their intoxicating scents that surrounded the ancient Egyptians after the inundation of the Nile. You will rediscover the olfactory landscape of ancient Egypt’s lost orchards and vegetable gardens.
Dora will teach you about 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.
In the second hour, Dora will give you detailed insight into each ingredient and you will learn about their significance for the Egyptians and the reasons behind their use.
In the third and last hour Dora will take us through how to recreate the refreshing essence of an ancient Egyptian garden in a bottle!
- First hour: Lecture about fragrant flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables in ancient Egypt and their social, cultural and religious significance
- Second hour: Insight into the scented ingredients.
- Final and third hour: How to recreate the scent of an ancient Egyptian garden
Read about the Garden Scents kit here.
March 7, 2021: Scents of Lovemaking in Ancient Egypt
Throughout this workshop, you will explore the olfactory world of lovemaking and sexuality in ancient Egypt.
In the second hour, Dora will give you a detailed insight into the ingredients which were significant to the ancient Egyptians.
First 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.
- Second hour: Explore and gain insight into the specific scented materials.
- Third and final 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.
March 14, 2021: Scents of Mummification & Ancient Egyptian Afterlife
Throughout this workshop, 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.
In the first hour, Dora will teach you about the olfactory motivation for mummification and the substances employed during the process.
In the second hour, she will give you a detailed insight into the materials and learn about their significance for the Egyptians and the reasons behind their use.
In the third and last hour, Dora will walk us 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!
- First hour: Lecture about the fragrant substances used during the process of mummification.
- Second hour: Insight into the materials.
- Final and third hour: Recreating the smell of mummification
Read about the Scents of Mummification & Afterlife kit here.
March 21, 2021: Hknw, Meaning Joy (Ancient Egyptian Perfume)
Throughout this workshop, you will recreate a perfume called Hknw, meaning “joy” in Egyptian, which was 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.
In the first hour, Dora will give a 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.
The second hour will be dedicated to reading and understanding the recipe, followed by an insight into the materials. After we have understood all the steps of the recipe, we will explore ways of recreating this ancient perfume.
- First hour: Lecture about the seven sacred oils with a focus on Hknw
- Second hour: Reading and understanding the recipe followed by an insight into the materials
- Final and third hour: How to recreate the Hknw perfume
Read about the Hknw kit here.
Since each workshop will be live and NOT recorded, it is important to make a commitment to attending.
KITS: A very limited number of kits are available, but not required, for those who would like to purchase them in advance. The kits are created by hand, from plant matter originating in the different parts of Egypt discussed in each workshop, so that we have a thread of authenticity.
The kits are created by the hands of our brilliant instructor Dora Goldsmith, please reach out to her directly for purchase by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about each one here. The kits are not required but highly recommended to further you knowledge.
IMPORTANT: Each of these workshops are LIVE and not recorded, there are no refunds, if you are not able to attend one or all of the workshops.
These workshops are copyrighted, no portion of it 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.