The Olfactory Factor : insight on Arabic perfumes #Gulf Times

When Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, looked at her bloodied hands and cried that all the perfumes of Arabia could not sweeten them, perhaps she too knew that the scent of rose, jasmine and amber have the mystical power to wash away almost anything.

Perfumery, or the art of making perfumes, began in ancient Egypt but was developed and further refined by the Romans, the Persians and the Arabs.

It’s an Arab tradition to use aromatic oils as a base for perfumes, called attar. The word ‘attar’, ‘ittar’ or ‘othr’ is basically an Arabic word which means ‘scent’, derived from the Persian word ‘Atr’, meaning ‘fragrance’.

A 9th century Abbasid scientist, Abu Yusuf Yaqub bin Ishaaq al-Kindi, is considered the founder of the Arabic perfume industry.

Ittars, long been considered one of the most treasured of material possessions, are popular not only in Qatar, but throughout the Middle East. These natural perfumes are affordable because they are so concentrated that a small bottle will last for several weeks, if not months.

For the same reason, they are usually offered for sale in small quantities, traditionally in decorated crystal cut type bottles or small jewelled decanters. Due to the purity and the nature of oils, there is very little chance of spoilage.

Additionally, since these perfumes are highly concentrated, a small drop makes the aroma last the whole day. It is also amazing how the aroma’s intensity changes with the changes of body temperature. Their peculiarity is that they are made only from natural ingredients and doesn’t contain any alcohol.

Perfumes are very powerful agent in our social life.

Read more here :

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13 thoughts on “The Olfactory Factor : insight on Arabic perfumes #Gulf Times

  1. I don’t like perfume. I am a bath girl myself. A faint Scent that just lingers rather then drowns it all out. Like bubble bath and calgone kinda thing.

  2. I remember having a conversation about the sent of roses, and at how different times of the day the scent could change. That is if you left it on the bush, because once cut, the scent also changed. The soil the bush was planted in could also alter the perfume.

    Another article in a magazine had a traveling perfmumer if you will, who had various scents in and would by your liking create your own personal scent.

    The body produces it’s own – some of us (when we work hard) can become quite ripe as it were, so perfumed soaps help to hide and mask our natural body smells. And nature is only part of what attracts us to the opposites or other loves of our lives. Even food scents can bring back wonderful memories.

    While I know some who are only one scent users, having a favorite all their lives. I’ve tried a few different ones. But once you put a scent on, you your own body chemestry changes it. So it will smell different to say your husband, boyfriend or anyone else.

    Thank you for your visits and the opportunity to visit you and read this intersting piece.

      • Similar to growing tomatoes. There is one called a (New) Jersey Beefstake that is very acidic, because of the soil. Most hot house commerically grown tomatoes are rather tastless because of the nature of the soil used.

        I think wines are also different because of the types of soil the different grapes are grown in. So I would guess any flowering plant, any plant would be changed by the soil and type water used to feed it. 🙂

        And too there is the difference for those who eat beef, of corn fed cows or the specialized Kobe beef where the cows are actually given (I think but I am not sure if I remember this correctly) a yeast beverage like beer to drink.

        I am sure you can find something on the net. I tried looking in a place where I thought that conversation took place, but I couldn’t find it.

  3. Great article. I have a little crystal bottle of Amouage Gold (Omani silver frankincense) that is like no other cologne I’ve ever experienced. I wish I could afford to wear it every day, but maybe it’s better that it’s so special 🙂

  4. SUCH GLORIES!!! I have a number of poetic works on perfume…but ya gotta go deep into the Archives of both BY THE MIGHTY MUMFORD and OUR POETRY CORNER…to find them! My wife wears mostly attar of rose—her favorite.

  5. They don’t have the perfume I use “Je Revien” . There is a good book called “Perfume”. The book is a great, read it twice. The movie is ok.

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