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ALL ONE WORLD EGYPTOLOGISTS TOUR
EGYPTIAN PERFUME PALACE
— THURSDAY 10 JANUARY 2008 — CAIRO, EGYPT — MODERN DAY —

photography by Ruth Shilling

We then visited the “Egyptian Perfume Palace” back in Cairo. In typical Egyptian sales pitch fashion, our group had a presenter who gave us a canned presentation (twice) while we sipped a “hospitality drink” (I had the mint tea) and were handed our order sheets.

Janice and I chose the Lotus (gee... I wonder why... hehe) and found some beautiful bottles for ourselves and loved ones.

The bottle was wrapped and packaged so well that it survived the trip in my suitcase without any leaks.

In Egypt, everyone expects a tip of some sort. When I was paying for the perfume and bottles, the counter women kept punching the calculator over and over (showing the same amount of change) and making eyes at me. I just waited until they gave me my 13LE.

It was not until later that I realized that they wanted me to give them the change as a tip...

After a while, all the tipping just seemed like unstoppable bleeding, since it is continuously, ungratefully, voraciously expected.

Our skin became much, much thicker on this trip.


photography by Ruth Shilling

Egyptian Perfume Palace owns land in Faiyoum (farmland about 90 kilometers from Cairo) where they harvest the flowers twice a year. They then squeeze essence out by hand using wooden machines.

 

The essence drips drop by drop into alabaster jars, (if they use plastic the chemicals can pollute the mix). Then they store the elixirs in a dark place to allow them to become more concentrated. They then export about 60% to France where companies add chemicals give it a fancy name, a fancy bottle and of course a fancy price.

 

     
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