Ancient scent formula revealed
One of the scent formulas written in Akkadian on cuneiform tablets by Tapputi, known as the world’s first female perfumer and first female chemist in Mesopotamia 3,200 years ago, was unearthed. A team of 15 experts, including academics, carried out studies to uncover the 3200-year-old formula.
In this study, which was carried out with the cooperation of the Scent Academy and the Scent Culture Association, information that shed light on that period has been obtained.
“There is some information written by Tapputi in the Akkadian cuneiform tablets. In these tablets we were able to find answers to questions such as how he produced the scent and how he made the distillation process. Each cuneiform on the tablet gave us a different excitement and we made a travel in time when we were able to smell this scent,” said fragrance expert Bihter Türkan Ergül.
Ergül, who has worked with a total of 15 experts, including Associated Professor Cenker Atila, an expert on ancient perfumes, ceramics and glass works and Professor Mehmet Önal, the head of the excavations during which an ancient fragrance shop was unearthed in Harran, said that they have been working for three years to bring this fragrance to light.
Ergül stated that she felt as though she was traveling in time while smelling the smell from 3,200 years ago.
“As the Fragrance Culture Association, we are keeping alive the scent traditions that have existed on these lands. We live on a land that has an 8,000-year-old scent culture. The main reason why Mesopotamia is rich in scent culture is its fertile soils. We are carrying out many activities to keep this culture alive. When we look at civilizations such as Assyria, Mesopotamia, Hittite, Seljuk and Ottoman, we see that Türkiye is a fragrance civilization. We have been working on this project for about three years, researching the scent culture in Mesopotamia. In this process, we reached Tapputi, she is known as the world’s first perfumer.”
Mentioning that there are hundreds of tablets on fragrance that have been unearthed so far, Ergül said that some of them have been translated and they are continuing to work on the other ones.
Atila stated that Tapputi used all kinds of flowers, tree resin, spices, and plants such as horseradish in the making of perfume.
“There are two tablets in the world with the name Tapputi. One of them is in the Louvre Museum in Paris and the other in the Girl Museum in Germany. On the tablet in Louvre, it is stated that Tapputi was a perfumer who worked for kings. We have more information on the tablet in Germany. Unfortunately, half of the tablet is mostly broken,” Atila said.