Ancient Perfumery

Discovery News has an article on a 4000 year old perfumery, next to an olive press.

Remains include “clay perfume bottle fragments that contain 14 perfumes of varied fragrances and ten odor essences.”

“So far, Belgiorno and her colleagues have identified fragrances of cinnamon, laurel, myrtle, anise, citrus bergamot and pine.”

In his “Natural History, Volume XIII,” Roman historian Pliny (23-79 A.D.) wrote, “As to perfume of cyprus, that from the island of Cyprus was at first preferred, and then that of Egypt; when all on a sudden the unguents of Mendes and metopium rose into esteem. In later times Phoenicia eclipsed Egypt in the manufacture of these last two, but left to that country the repute of producing the best unguent of cyprus.”

Given the proximity of the olive press to the Cyprus perfumery, it is likely that olive oil was included in the perfume-making process.