Did you know the world’s first female perfumer was from the Middle East? Her name was Tapputi-Belatekalllim and she worked in Assur around 1200 BC.
Oftentimes, when people in the West think of perfumes, they think of Europeans and Americans. This is a shame. The Middle East has a long history of making perfumes. As you can see above, there are texts on perfume-making by Arab chemists going as far back as 1200 BC.
“Those who say that scents can’t be captured in words should read Persian poetry, where perfume is an important metaphor for everything heavenly and perfect.” – Victoria on BoisDeJasmin.com
Middle Eastern perfumes are quite exceptional. They are often strong and intense… unique and memorable… and most importantly sumptuous. Here are 9 luxurious Middle Eastern perfume brands…
LUXURY MIDDLE EASTERN PERFUMES
THE SPIRIT OF DUBAI
The Spirit of Dubai is the luxury fragrance line of Nabeel Perfumes. It was created to celebrate the city, Dubai. In 2015, it won two awards at the Luxury Packaging Awards in London. One award was in the Perfume category. It was for the ‘Dubai Royal Gift Set’ was “touted as “the epitome of luxury” for its use of piano black lacquer, Swarovski crystals and flawlessly designed range of perfumes”. In 2019, The Spirit of Dubai launched the world’s most expensive and luxurious unisex perfume. It was valued at $1.295 million USD (4.752 million AED). The bottle is adorned with IGI and GIA certified 3,571 diamonds, topaz, pearls, 18 karat gold, and pure silver.
Ghawali is an Emirati brand, founded in 2016. Their aim is to create a luxurious modern oriental niche experience. Their fragrance, Nomadic Dreams X Maitha Al Maktoum was created in hand with HRH Maitha Al Maktoum to represent the identity of the modern nomads of their region.
WIDIAN BY AJ ARABIA
Widian is a perfume house founded by Ali Aljaberi in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It was formally known as Aj Arabia. It has 4 collections — Black, Gold, Velvet, Sapphire, and Limited Edition. And each perfume is designed to spark an emotion. Widian also has a Bespoke Collection which offers you the opportunity to experience perfume-making from scratch and craft a customized and luxurious fine fragrance.
DESIGNER SHAIK ARABIA
Designer Shaik Arabia was founded in Bahrain in 2007. Their aim is opulence and style. The house uses the finest, natural ingredients to produce timeless, quality essences. Some of their falcons are dipped in 18 karat rose gold and encrusted in jewels.
Arabian Oud was founded in 1982 by Sheik Abdul-Aziz Al Jasser in Saudi Arabia. Arabian Oud uses the finest oils and ingredients to create evocative fragrances that take wearers on a journey to where East meets West. Their perfumes have won many awards. Malawi won the FIFI’s Arabian Prestige 2016 Award in the Female category. In 2017, Arabian Oud also won two awards at the Fragrance Foundation Arabia Awards, which is the “Oscars” of the fragrance world.
Amouage was created in Oman in 1983. “Each creation is carefully handmade and tastefully blended to present an enveloping patina and a long-lasting elegant trail. Florals are multi-faceted, spices and woods juxtapose harmoniously and rare ingredients create intriguing contrasts.” Amouage has over 50 perfumes. Their most well-known include Gold, Jubilation, Epic, Dia, Reflection, Honour, and Interlude.
Ojar was founded by Sheikha Hind Bahwan in Oman. It is a unisex fine fragrance brand. It is “built around 6 key ingredients, of which, 3 are directly inspired from Oman: The Rose of Jebel Akdhar, the Honey from Rustaq and the Frankincense from the Dhofar region, along with Sandalwood, Oud and Musk, harmonious companions that blend Eastern and Western notes together.”
Lootah is an Emirati brand that was founded in the 1950s. Its fragrances blend tradition with contemporary flavor. It creates perfumes as well as ouds and blended fragrant oils. It is a Luxury Lifestyle Winner in the category, Perfume.
ANFAS BY ASSIM AL QASSIM
Anfas is an Emirati branded founded by Asim Al Qassim, the first certified Emirate Perfumer. Arab News has listed it as one of the 6 common scents you can find across the Middle East.
“How Did the rose Ever open its heart And give to this world All its Beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light Against its Being.”