Splendours of Egypt – What to buy in Egypt

Egypt is a great place to shop if you’d like to impress your friends or family with exotic gifts.  The quality of the goods is variable, so it’s important not to buy the first thing that you come across.  As mentioned in a previous blog, the same goods can be found all over the place and it’s a case of doing preliminary research before making your round of purchases.  Even though I’m quite immune to souvenirs and nick nacks that ultimately collect dust at home, I was pretty attracted by things like the intricate perfume bottles, jewelry boxes inlaid with mother of pearl and brightly woven scarves. 

We were on the lookout for a copy of the 18th century bust of Queen Nefertiti, but didn’t see any of good enough quality.  If you’re part of an organized tour, you will no doubt be taken to a perfume factory.  We visited the Sultan Palace Perfumes where we were first entertained with perfume bottle making and then we got to try the many perfumes that they produce there.  You could get scents of any of the famous brands there and they claim that their perfumes are more concentrated than the branded goods as it’s 100% fragrance without alchohol.  I tried a few, like Chanel No. 5, Dior and Samsara and they smelled like the real thing, although I later found that they did not last as long as the commercial stuff.

Papyrus paintings is another thing that’s popular there.  We saw some really exquisite work at the factory, however I’m glad that we didn’t end up buying any as they just don’t fit in with our home decor.  And last but not least alabaster.  The use of alabaster dates back to the period of the pharoahs and was used for all kinds of purposes, including household items, ritual objects and funerals.  Today, we see them made into beautiful vases and lamps.


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