Kyphi Oil by Alchemy Works {Perfume Short (Review)}

Kyphi and vetiver.jpg

"Burning kyphi and vetiver rootlets" by Ayala Moriel

Kyphi Oil by Alchemy Works is sold as a magical oil, based on the 2200 year old recipe of Kyphi found on the walls of the temple of Horus at Edfu. Kyphi is one of the most ancient perfume recipes known to exist and there are many variations of it but they always consist of an incense compound macerated together with honey, wine, and raisins. This incense perfume was endowed with both spiritual and medicinal properties and burned in the evening time by the Ancient Egyptians who customarily burned different kinds of incenses to mark the different times of the day. Edfu Kyphi more particularly symbolizes the transition from day to night.

The reason why we suddenly felt the need to seek out some kyphi more recently is because when we received our sample of Hors Là Monde Shiloh earlier this summer and started feeling the charm of a perfume that has an ancient mystical and haunting quality about it, we wondered if it might not have been inspired by something very ancient like kyphi? When we put the question to Symine Salimpour, she would or could not say anything, so we decided to hunt down a flacon of kyphi.......

And the answer to our Sherlock-Holmian question is, yes. Shiloh smells very similar to kyphi although it is structured in a completely different way, but at the core there is a spiritually-infused incense heart with sweet and dark accents which is related to kyphi. We will review Shiloh more in detail at another time.


The description of the process to make the kyphi oil by Alchemy Works was interesting and sounded authentic, that is if it is true. After eons had passed and silence persisted, the little bottle of precious oil showed at our doorstep while we had started asking ourselves whether they had been making a new batch under the full moon. The whole process is lengthy and just the macerating part reportedly takes at least a month.

Kyphi by Alchemy Works has the property of smelling (almost) nothing out of the bottle and to take on a life of its own only once it hits the skin and is warmed up by it. The carrier for the scent is olive oil. The perfume smells very natural, dark and spicy, delicious and centering, containing:  mastic, amber, sweet flag, aspalathos, camel grass (lemon grass), mint, cinnamon, oasis wine, frankincense, honey, and myrrh. It smells also like ancient Egyptian pastries, which I used to reproduce after antique recipes when I was a child.

The scent stays close to the body and is not very long lasting being all-natural. It makes you think that it could be used like those little perfume phials that people used to carry to revive their senses whenever needed, or like another type of Tiger Balm. The bottle is square and very cute. It could be eaten too, on a cube of sugar, say.

You can purchase it for $8 here.

(Sources: Wikipedia, Alchemy Works, The Three Goddesses

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