Recreating the Scent That Drove the Men of Ancient Jerusalem Wild

Guy Erlich left his life as a left-wing activist to grown the plants of the Bible, including one used in ancient Israelite perfumes, on his West Bank farm.

It's hard to describe Guy Erlich’s fascination with medicinal herbs and perfumes from the Bible without using words like "desire" — or even "madness." Erlich, 43, gave up a steady job, sold his home in Jerusalem and used up his inheritance and savings to grow plants mentioned in the Bible, some of which had never been domesticated. On his Balm of Gilead farm on...