“Perfume experts have helped prove that relics thought to have been those of Joan of Arc are forgeries made from an Egyptian mummy – by sniffing them. … when Sylvaine Delacourte from Guerlain and Jean-Michel Duriez from perfume maker Jean Patou sniffed the charred relics, they smelt hints of vanilla and burnt plaster, according to Nature, which published the study today. The plaster smell was expected, because the 19 year-old was burnt as a witch on a plaster stake to prolong the spectacle for the audience, but vanilla smells are not created by cremation. Philippe Charlier, a forensic scientist who led the study, said: ‘Vanillin is produced during decomposition of a body. You would find it in a mummy but not in someone who was burnt.’ ” Read the rest of this fascinating article in LifeStyleExtra UK News. Thanks to Karen for the link.