Of course we don’t know for sure what the actual formulation was, if it was one, or changed throughout Egypt’s history. What we do know is that it was held in great esteem in a number of temples and in particular at Karnak, and it was the most expensive and sacred of their incenses.
A number of attempts to reproduce from temple walls have been attempted and mine is no exception. I use a variation of one that has some archeological input which includes a lengthy fermentation process and who’s ingredients include:
- Juniper berries
The making process I have to say is absolutely delightful with the smells and the taste – yes taste. All the ingredients I use are food grade and when mixing the sticky mess I have at times extracted a little to taste which helped get the proportions just right. Although I wouldn’t recommend tasting the end results as they will have been exposed for drying and have been laying around for a while!
The high sugar content from the honey and dates, combined with the wine produce an excellent preservative and gum that suspends the ground incense components. I store them carefully separated in an (almost) air tight box and they slowly dry out and remain unaffected by mold – certainly those I use for ritual have been kept like this for up to a year so far before I need to make more!
Then, when placed on a lit charcoal disk, the rich earthy and fruity smoke is unusual yet evocative.
You are welcome to purchase some by popping over to the shopping cart and see if I still have any in stock. If you are unfortunate enough to find I have used them all, then please let me know and I could always bring forward making my next batch!
Here are a few photos I took during the last production run: