Sacred Oils for the King Tutankhamun Exhibit


Marilyn Miglin was commissioned by the Chicago Field Museum for their exhibit “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs,” to create the oils capturing the scents considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians. The collection includes Spikenard, Olibanum, Palm, Myrrh, Juniper, Fo-Ti-Tieng, and Lotus.


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  • Valerie: OMG how awesome is that?? I need that set. May 30, 2006 at 9:56am Reply

  • Ina: Guess where I’ll be going in the next couple of weeks? ;D May 30, 2006 at 12:18pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: It sounds interesting. I do want to go to the exhibit, although I doubt I will have a chance. May 30, 2006 at 1:02pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ina, lucky you! Please let me know all about it. May 30, 2006 at 1:02pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Anya, maybe, there are some palm species that have a scent? I am not sure what part of the palm this oil refers to. It puzzled me as well. May 30, 2006 at 1:05pm Reply

  • Anya: Palm? No perfume scent there. Fo-ti-teng aka gota kolu? Green leaf scent, like grass, and more known as a cerebral stimulant than sexual. Strange to include those two. May 30, 2006 at 12:59pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: I know that ancient Egyptians used the oil of castor bush, Palma Christi (Ricinus communis) extensively, but mostly as the base oil. Of course, castor bush is not the palm I am thinking about. May 30, 2006 at 5:06pm Reply

  • Anya: AFAIK, and I am rather familiar with the palms of the Middle East, none have a scent. I’m wondering if they stretched the reference to the shores of Africa where coconut palms are found. Perhaps she created a coconut scent? Still, gota kolu has no real “scent” – smells like cut grass, rather boring. May 30, 2006 at 2:44pm Reply

  • helg: What an aexciting concept!! Wish I could sniff those 😉

    Regarding palm, I am sure it has to do with a recreation of the oasis atmosphere, rather than actual palm essence (which you knowledgable people and my humble experience tell me has no scent).
    As to the Fo-Ti-Tieng /gota kolu being a cerebral stimulant, that suits the Pharaohs as well, I guess, with their visions of afterlife.

    Whatever this is, it’s an interesting experiment in scent. May 31, 2006 at 3:25pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Helg, I am sure that you are right. It is a very exciting concept, and I am looking forward to sampling these oils. May 31, 2006 at 9:15pm Reply

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