Recreating Ancient Egyptian Essence

with Dora Goldsmith

28 sep 2019

Most royal ancient Egyptians tombs have been found with dozens, if not hundreds of fragrant unguents, salves, and perfumes for the journey into immortality. Learn all about the smells of mummification and their significance, with Dora Goldsmith at this workshop.

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Ingredients of mummification perfume -

What you will do

Throughout this workshop, you will learn about the smells that defined the mummification chambers and tombs, and the scents that the ancient Egyptians themselves wished to be surrounded by in their life after death. In the first part of the workshop you will learn about the olfactory motivation for mummification and the substances employed during the process. In the second part, you will be given a detailed insight into the materials. You will be able to smell each ingredient and you will learn about their significance for the Egyptians. In the last part of the workshop, you will recreate the essence of mummification in a bottle by using the very same ingredients the ancient Egyptians used for embalming the dead. Don’t worry, you will end up with an exceedingly pleasant smell.


Dora will also be speaking at Odorama on the 27th of September. If you are interested in hearing her take on smellscaping Ancient Egypt, you can find tickets to the event here.

Dora Goldsmith

Dora Goldsmith is PhD student of Egyptology at the Freie Universität Berlin. The topic of her PhD project is the sense of smell in ancient Egypt, the exact title of her research being “The Archaeology of Smell in Ancient Egypt. A Cultural Anthropological Study Based on Written Sources”. Dora’s PhD project incorporates linguistic and cultural anthropological research. She records and translates all ancient Egyptian texts that include words related to olfaction, which help her define the role of smells in the ancient Egyptian society. In order to better apprehend the ancient Egyptian documents she works with, Dora also employs the method of experimental archaeology or ‘learning by doing’. She reconstructs the smells the ancient sources describe.


Workshop: Recreating Ancient Egyptian Essence
28th of September, 11:00 - 14:00
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam

Tickets: Full price: €90,- | Students / Artists / Stadspas: €63,-* (including €1,- administration costs)

*We give a discount to students, artists and Stadspas holders. If this applies to you we will ask to see your kvk nr/portfolio or student card for this option. For questions, please send an email to

Attendance limited to 15 people. We maintain a minimum of 7 participants.

Please note that this workshop will be held in English.