Egyptian Perfumes – Nile River Cruise
Next, a visit of a different kind, with a stop at the Sultan Palace Perfumes where we had a small demonstration of perfume bottle making. We were then invited into a room where everyone was seated and tea was served. One of the sales staff then gave a presentation about the production of perfumes in Egypt. He explained that their perfume concentrates are longer lasting as they do not include alcohol as is the case with the commercial brands. He then passed around various famous fragrances for us to smell and as he was doing this his eyes and those of his co-salesmen darted around the group to see which of us looked like potential sales targets. And so it was that my body language betrayed me, and after the talk, the presenter himself made a bee-line for me and offered Tony and I to try our favourite scents. The perfumes did smell very much like the real thing and many of us bought bottles of Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Dior, Samsara, etc. You can buy them in 50 ml, 100 ml, etc. and of course the bottles that you get are plain bottles with a number denoting the particular scent. Secret of the Desert, we were told, was blended by Nefertari out of 18 different flowers and is intended to seduce. So, this was extremely popular with the ladies.
Of course perfume has always played an import part in the history of the ancient Egyptian kings and queens. It is believed that incense was introduced to Egypt around 3,000 B.C. Queen Hatshepsut was very keen on incense and she led expeditions in search of this and other valuable commodities. Her expeditions and discoveries were recorded in hieroglyphics on temple walls. Perfumes were also found in the tombs of Egyptian pharoahs. Until the beginning of Egypt’s Golden Age, perfumes were only used in rituals for gods or pharoahs.
The Sultan Palace Perfumes shop is very organized and if you don’t happen to have enough cash with you, that’s not a problem. They can deliver the perfumes to the boat and collect payment then.
If you wanted to buy more than perfumes, they also have a selection of lovely intricate perfume bottles for sale. They are indeed very pretty and make good gifts for friends or work colleagues.