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N.S. Gill

Ancient Perfume

By March 29, 2007

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Except that I can't wear them, I love perfumes. The idea of being able to take a whiff of what a Roman matron might have rubbed into her skin to make it soft and tasty smelling intrigues me. I say tasty because the ingredients sound mostly culinary, beginning with the olive oil. We (as in lucky archaeologists in Rome) actually do know something about scents of the ancient Romans thanks to the discovery of what may have been an ancient perfume lab.
"'Today, we are used to chemical and alcoholic scents, but these are fresher ones, smelling of herbs and spices, like almond, coriander, myrtle, conifer resin, bergamot and not flowers,' said Belgiorno, who is also the curator of the exhibit at Rome's Capitoline Museums."
Ancient fragrances aired in Rome exhibit
Read more about an exhibit of ancient scents and an ancient perfume factory in Smelling Ancient History in Rome.

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