Study Guide

Nefertem

  • Profile

    Once upon a time—according to Egyptian mythology—there was nothing at all. A giant flower floated up to the surface of the water that the universe was filled with, and when it opened, a beautiful baby popped out. Suddenly, the sun began to rise, and creation began. Nefertem, which means "beautiful and complete," was what the ancient Egyptians called this perfect baby boy. When he grew up, he became Ra. But until then, Nefertem was the gorgeous god of everything beautiful and sweet, including sunshine, flowers, incense, perfume, and healing medicines. (McDreamy, anyone?)

    Basic Information

    Name

    Nefertem

    Nickname

    Nefer-tum, Nefer-temu, Water lily of the Sun, He Who is Beautiful, Nefertem-Ra the Child, Defender of the Two Lands, Lotus at the Nose of Ra, Gorgeous George, Better Looking Than You

    Sex

    Male

    Current city

    Memphis (Mennefer)

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    Healing people. Oh, and smelling good and looking nice while doing it.

    Education

    I got my M.D. from my parents. And I went to beauty school (of course).

    Beliefs

    Political views

    Ra is king

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    Ptah (father) Sekhmet (mother) But when I feel like it, I change parents. I can have Bast (mother) and Nun (father), or Nut (mother) and Nun (father), or Wadjet (single mother)… It depends on who's the best-looking set of parents that sunrise.

    Siblings

    Imhotep (half-brother, sort of), Maahes (brother), Iadet (sister)

    Children

    None

    Friends

    Khonsu, Ra, Thoth, Bast, Hathor, Horus the Younger, Sokar, the Four Sons of Horus, Anubis

    Enemies

    Germs, disease, anything that stinks

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Single

    Interested in

    Pretty people

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    Grey's Anatomy
    How could I not like a show with such beautiful doctors?
    Hawaii Five-0
    Pretty people helping others in a beautiful, flowery place. Sure, I'll watch!
    Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

    Quotations

    "Sickness and healing are in every heart; death and deliverance in every hand." 
    – Orson Scott Card

    "Like anyone else, there are days I feel beautiful and days I don't, and when I don't, I do something about it."
    – Cheryl Tiegs

    "When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong."
    – R. Buckminster Fuller

    "I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves."
    – Salma Hayek

    "Happiness is a perfume which you cannot pour on someone without getting some on yourself."
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Books

    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    True beauty is more than a pretty face or a pretty painting.
    Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
    Unfortunately, behind the pretty people's pretty is a bunch of drama.
    I've always admired D.H. Lawrence, even for the racy books like Lady Chatterley's Lover
    Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
    Paris. Doesn't everybody want to live in Paris?
    She Walks in Beauty by George Gordon, Lord Byron 
    Your Romantic poets are exquisite. Byron is among the best.
    The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood 
    Smelling good can mean feeling good. I ought to know. I invented aromatherapy.
    Lotus by Kazuaki Tanahashi and Allan Baille 
    Everything you always wanted to know about a beautiful flower…that isn't actually my flower. Mine's an Egyptian water lily.
    Bringing Nature Home: Floral Arrangements Inspired by Nature by Ngoc Minh Ngo
    Flowers are gorgeous indoors or outdoors. I can't get enough of them.

    Music

    Imagine by John Lennon 
    You may say I'm a dreamer. I am.
    Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson
    I'm looking at the man in the mirror. He's looking goooood.
    I love everything Prince (by name or artistic symbol) ever did. What a beautiful, talented man!
    At Last by Etta James
    Beyoncé might've done a nice job with it, but this is Etta's song, baby. Rawr!
    Aida by Giuseppe Verdi
    It's an opera. It's Egyptian. It's gorgeous. Just listen and look.
    Diamonds by Rihanna
    Shiny and pretty. Just how I like it.

    Movies

    The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
    Is that Elrond/V/Agent Smith in drag?
    Titanic
    Beautiful people, beautiful setting, and the ending makes me cry every single time.
    The Princess Diaries films
    I wonder if Dad would build me my very own mall?
    The Odd Life of Timothy Green
    Moonrise Kingdom
    Love is sweet. Even when it runs away from home.
    Singin' in the Rain
    Amour

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Healthy, happy, beautiful humans
    Sunny beaches
    Yves Saint-Laurent
    Bubble baths
    Makeup, hair supplies, and sassy nail polish

    Interests

    Aromatherapy
    Fashion design
    Bioengineering
    Emergency medicine
    Haute cuisine

    Groups

    Ancient Egyptian Gods
    Egyptian Mythology
    Chanel
    We're Doctors and We're Sexy!!

    • Spotter's Guide

      You won't miss Nefertem. He'll be the best-looking guy you see all day. Or all of the rest of your life, for that matter. It's also highly likely you'll smell him before you see him. Like the god Amun, Nefertem lives in a cloud of permanent, sweet-smelling perfume. Hope you're not allergic!

      Sex: Male
      Age: Adult
      Build: Perfect (No, really. It can't get any better.)
      Complexion: In human form, perfect and red-brown, like all paintings of ancient Egyptian men. In lion form, Nefertem is a golden lion, or a man with a lion's head.
      Hair Color: Black if he's wearing a wig; golden if he's in lion form.
      Facial Hair: Every once in a while, a neatly trimmed beard or goatee.
      Scars/marks/tattoos: None
      Jewelry and accessories: Nefertem's always wearing beautiful golden jewelry, and often has flowers in his hands or on his clothes, or even a giant lotus (actually a water lily, but called the "Egyptian lotus") stuck in a ribbon wrapped around his head. Sometimes there are two ostrich feathers or a round sun disk on top of the lotus. Fancy!
      Clothing: Immaculately pressed white royal linen
      Armor: None
      Type of Weapon: Nefertem scares away anything evil with his pure perfection.

      Typical Companions:

      Khonsu, Imhotep, and Maahes
      Sokar and Anubis

      Known Hangouts:
      Florists
      The perfume counter in Neiman Marcus
      Paris
      Southern California (especially LA and Beverly Hills)
      The red carpet
      Emergency rooms

    • Sightings

      The Child in the Lotus

      According to Egyptian myths, in the beginning, the infant Nefertem popped out of a lotus (really an Egyptian water lily, but it looks like a lotus) that was resting on the surface of the Nun: sort of like a pool or lake, but as big as the universe. As soon as Nefertem appeared, creation began. Nice timing!

      Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019

      Here Comes the Sun

      Sometimes Nefertem was called "Nefertem-Ra," and he was considered to be Ra as a little boy. Yep—a baby sun. Other times, he was just Ra's friend and brought Ra flowers and pretty things to heal and cheer him on his daily journey across the sky.

      Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019

      Restrainer of the Two Lands

      Nefertem wasn't always a softie or a baby. Sometimes he had a lion's head or was portrayed as a complete lion, and he went out to chew up Egypt's enemies. When he was shown as Egypt's defender, the ancient people called him Kehner-tawy, or "restrainer of the Two Lands."

      Jan 1, 1970

      Nefertem's Chapel

      Inside the temple of Osiris at Abydos, Nefertem has his own beautiful chapel, covered in hieroglyphic texts. The texts are hymns to the god and his parents, Ptah and Sekhmet of Memphis.

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      Gaining a Little Brother

      During the Old Kingdom (Dynasty 3, ca. 2670BCE), a man named Imhotep worked for pharaoh Djoser. Long after his death, he was remembered as a famous and powerful magician, doctor, and architect—the most famous guy who ever lived in Memphis. Sometime during the New Kingdom, temples started to teach that Imhotep wasn't just a man. He was now a demigod, the adopted son of Ptah and Sekhmet, and Nefertem's half-brother.

      Jan 1, 1970 - Jan 1, 1970

      Another Cat for a Mom

      Nefertem was the son of Bast in her northern city of Per-Bast (Bubastis). There, instead of Ptah and Sekhmet for parents, he had Tem for a father and Bast for a mother; and instead of Imhotep for a brother, Maahes the lion god from Nubia was his sibling. Whether these were changes in Nefertem's family back story or just the way Egypt's then-foreigner rulers interpreted things isn't clear. A little mystery never hurt anyone.

      Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019

      Be My Good Luck Charm

      Ancient Egyptians carried tiny statues of Nefertem as good luck charms and often had them mounted into necklaces and other jewelry. Nefertem surely approved of their good taste in accessories.