Sunday, August 15, 2010

Boulder Perfumer honors the "Boy King" with a unique scent

Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs is a new exhibition that made its North American debut in Atlanta in 2009, to record breaking crowds. The boy king’s exhibit joined us here, opening at the Denver Art Museum on June 29th.

The exhibition features more than 50 objects from King Tut’s tomb, including the golden sandals that adorned the pharaoh’’s feet and a beautifully adorned canopic jar that held his internal organs. Plus, see the largest image of King Tut ever unearthed, a 10-foot statue found at the remains of a funerary temple. In addition to the treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamun, 80 ancient artifacts are featured, which highlight many of the most significant rulers of ancient Egypt such as Khafre, whose face adorns the Sphinx in Egypt and Hatshepsut, the queen who became king.

To commemorate this auspicious occasion, Perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of Boulder has created perfumes for all of them. She re-created the fragrances of ancient Egypt in conjunction with the " Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs" exhibit at the Denver Art Museum for its gift shop.

Fragrances and oils were used by the ancients as medicine to help with sleep disorders, as well as for rituals, anointing statuary to bring them to life, during the 18th Dynasty, around 1330 B.C., when Tut lived.

According to her website,

“While working at Boston's famed ESSENSE Perfumery (on Posh Newbury Street), she developed her talent for creating perfumes based on Fine Art principles (texture, color, line, light, shape, expression), bringing the Art of Aromatherapy into her fragrances, and sensing what her clients truly want ("a perfume that makes you feel even more like yourself...").

Since the early nineties, Dawn has been busy transforming the ESSENSE perfumery into her online emporium, "," as well as developing her innovative lines of ready to wear artisan perfumes under her own label and consulting* for niche marketers, such as Flora Napa Valley, Calypso, Jules & Jane and Zents Spa collection.”

The exhibits website,, has a wealth of information on the entire history of the King Tut discovery.

“Tutankhamun was one of the last kings of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty. Though he appears to have been a minor king and made only modest contributions to the Egyptian empire, he lives large in modern archaeology. Very little is known about his life because he was the son of Akhenaten, a pharaoh who was declared a heretic (he introduced a new religion, the worship of Aten, banned other gods and shut down temples), and records mentioning him and his successors were destroyed by officials.
In 1907, archaeology excavators discovered a small tomb that contained funerary artifacts bearing Tutankhamun’s name. Theodore M. Davis assumed—incorrectly, as it turned out—that this was the long-lost tomb of Tutankhamun, leading him to pronounce, “I fear that the Valley of Kings is now exhausted.” This “tomb” was in fact a small pit where items from King Tut’s funeral were stored.
Archaeologist Howard Carter and his excavation financier Lord Carnarvon were granted the concession for the Valley of the Kings in 1917, and began work where Davis had found objects associated with the king. Though much work was done between 1917 and 1922, there was little to show for it. Carter convinced Lord Carnarvon to finance one final season, and in late October of 1922, he resumed work in the Valley of the Kings.”

You can visit these historic artifacts at the Denver Art Museum until January 9th, 2011

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