A Powerful Cat Goddess to Oversee it All
Perfumery has deep roots in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians incorporated perfume and scent into every aspect of their lives, both religious and secular. They made no distinction between the cosmetic and aromatherapeutic uses of scent – perfumes were meant to simultaneously make you smell wonderful and enhance your health. Perfume was such an important part of life that the ancient Egyptian pantheon has both a god and a goddess of perfume!
Bast, also known as Bastet, is the powerful, cat- or lion-headed goddess often associated with perfume. Her name contains the hieroglyph of a ‘bas’ jar, the heavy, precious Egyptian perfume jar. Her son, Nefertem, is the god of perfume, aromatherapy, and alchemy. He appears either in human form with a blue lotus blooming from his head or as a lion-headed man.
One of the greatest pleasures of Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery is that it is a culmination of all the joys and passions and skills of Laurie’s life, incorporating her long history with flowers, fine fabrics, and art, design and craft of all kinds. One of the most delightful discoveries for Laurie was this link between the goddess Bast and the world of perfume. Laurie is an avid lover of animals, especially kitties - Velvet and Sweet Pea’s is named after two of her cat muses - and because of this she has always been interested in and felt connected to Bast. So to find that this well-known cat goddess – one of the oldest, most powerful goddesses of ancient Egypt – is also the goddess of perfume, and the mother of the cat-headed god of perfume, seemed to complete a circle that Laurie has been moving towards her whole life.