So, this is another classic example of me being who I am…a “weirdo”. Less than 24 hours after I’d promised myself that I would not spend anymore money until payday, which is this upcoming Friday, I ran across an article on Reddit.com about the “Boy King” Tutankhamun. The article focused on the oils that were excavated with his tomb and spoke specifically of one “unguent”. It went on to say that the scent was analyzed and deduced to be the mixture of spikenard, frankincense, and goose fat. At the end of the article it spoke of how the scent could be reproduced, so I was hooked. Who doesn’t want to smell like an Egyptian King?
I set out on my journey completely unaware of exactly how rare the ingredients, specifically spiknard, really were. I live in West End Atlanta, which is basically a hub for all things “Afrikan” and relating to ancient Egypt, better known around these parts as Kemet. I hit EVERY kiosk, side store, and passerby that sold essential oils and nary a retailer carried it; some of them didn’t even know what I was referring to. Which I thought was especially odd since the article and further research showed that the essential oil of spikenard was used in many rituals as a sacred oil, was believed to posses “mystical and romantic powers” and was even referenced in the bible. That seems like something, as a purveyor of essential oils that I would keep at least small amounts of in stock. Undeterred I continued on haunches given to me by said purveyors of essential oils. A woman that runs a kiosk in the West End mall directed me to a whole foods co-op in Little 5 Points called “Sevananda”. A female employee at Sevananda informed me that they no longer carried the oil and directed me to a street front shop called “Crystal Blue”. This is where my journey came to an end. A nice lady showed me the petite bottle of pure spikenard and then the price tag. Ouch! It was waaaay more than I’d ever admit to purchasing but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to find it anywhere else in pure form, or cheaper so I pulled the trigger in the name of science and history.
After telling the lady why I was in search of the very expensive and rare oil her interest was piqued and requested that I bring it back to let her smell it. I was too anxious, I mixed it right there in the store. The result? A scent definitely worth the trouble. I’m pretty sure that if any name brand perfume distributor got a whiff of this stuff they would rush it to the shelves. It is unlike anything I have ever smelled and so I am happy. I’m happy in knowing that no one else in at least a 300 mile radius will come close to smelling like me. I’m sure my girlfriend will also be happy knowing this fact, and if she ever smells otherwise then it is a hard sell on my part to beat that rap. The lady at the store was pleasantly surprised also. My only hope now is that they don’t start making the concoction and selling it themselves.
In comparison to the middle and high grounds of the retail scent market I got more than what I had imagined for chump change. Mass marketed perfumes, like “Guerlain L’Heure Bleue Parfum” which is sold at Macy’s, can go for $328/ fl oz. My final total was approximately a twelfth of that.
Overall this was an enjoyable experience and a small price to pay to get in touch with my heritage and recreate an exclusive scent.
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