When the scent of a woman belongs to Cleopatra… wrote Lady Eve Marlowe many years ago for a charming English periodical long since out of print. I discovered her writings among several mustard-yellow newspaper clippings stashed in an album. Interesting and provocative insights on perfume and seduction that she learned during her years as a cabaret dancer in Weimar Berlin then later as a member of the British peerage.
When Lady Eve married Lord Marlowe, she lived in a grand residence in London Mayfair, but the esteemed couple spent a lot of time at their secret hideaway in Coventry.
There, for the local journal, she penned several articles about her adventures in various exotic cities, including Cairo. Not mere travel articles but explorations of what makes a woman seductive as well as how to enhance her appearance.
As I wrote in my diary in Cleopatra’s Perfume : “Ah, dear reader, I can’t tell you what joy I experienced the first time I surrendered to the spell of Cleopatra’s perfume. Certainly there were moments of incredibility, but aren’t these moments due to the limitations we place upon ourselves to accept what we deem to be the impossible? Wasn’t it merely my civilized mind trying to override what my body hungered for?”
Opening the box I saw a solid, wax-like substance the color of pale gold nestled inside. Perfume as the Egyptians made it. A provocative, spicy scent that gives pleasures to your senses. In these dispatches, I shall discuss the essence of perfume, its mystery and historical context, along with its seductive powers…
First, I shall introduce you to the perfume of Egypt, often a mixture of cinnamon and myrrh and sweet-smelling herbs blended for a variety of uses: pastilles for cleansing your breath, flavoring sweetmeats and sorbets, perfumed bathing water, incense burned in the streets so all may indulge in the luxury of perfumed air.
And roses. Petals strewn at your feet, its alluring scent wafting in the air. Wearing only perfume, imagine the sweet aroma that ascends…nothing equals it.
Coming up next: more about the Perfumes of Egypt from Lady Eve Marlowe…