Page 37 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine I

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the ar oma
The golden perfume shopping rule:
There’s a certain checklist of purchases that every serious shopper
must tick before leaving the city: a timeless watch, designer handbag,
statement diamond or gold piece of bling and, of course, a few
bottles of authentic Arabic perfume. The delicate golden handcrafted
fragrance bottles are simply irresistible and will hold pride of place on
your dressing room table. Plus, a pretty little bottle of perfume makes
an impressive gift to take home for friends and family, so they too can
sample an ‘essence’ of the sand lands.
But before you get too carried away stocking up on your scents,
there is one very important rule to remember when it comes to
buying perfume in Abu Dhabi. Don’t be tricked into thinking that
the souks (markets) always stock the most authentic perfumes.
People commonly make the assumption that the market holders’
scented bottles are freshly handmade in a local’s front room but,
unfortunately, you don’t always know what you’re buying or where it
has come from. To be on the safe side, stick to the proper perfumery
stores and malls. Otherwise you could quite easily be walking away
with a concoction that isn’t too far away from sink water! Failing all
else, just follow your nose.
How it’s made:
The original Arabian scent came from burning Oudh, a woody
substance extracted from Auilaria and Gyrinops trees in the jungles
of south-east Asia. Oudh is created when a fungal parasite infects the
tree to produce an oily resin, which is then collected. Pure Oudh is
much better than the distilled, less concentrated form, Dehn Oudh,
and is definitely worth the higher price tag.
Making ‘sense’ out of choosing the right ‘scent’:
Unlike the floral French perfumes we’re used to, Arabic scents tend to
all have a wood or musk undertone. But you’re certainly not limited
on choice as there are hundreds of different variations with their
own distinctive fragrances. Plus, many shops also allow you to mix
up your own scent to compliment your individual taste. Personalised
perfumes? Now we’re talking!
There are essentially two types of perfume, Oudh and Bukhoor.
Oudh has an earthy, woody tone and can be used by both men and
women. Pure Oudh is burned so that its scent emanates into the air
and penetrates your clothes.
Bukhoor is a mixture of various different scents and usually looks
like round pieces of coal about the size of your thumb. This sort of
scent is used to burn in living spaces and is a must-have memento for
bringing a bit of Middle Eastern luxury back to your home.
Look out for Dehen Oud’s limited edition, Dehen Aload, which is
one of the most distinguished fragrances currently on the market
and is priced around £400.
For service and quality you can trust, head to the Middle East’s
premier fragrance house, Ajmal Perfumes, which has a boutique in
the Baniyas district of Abu Dhabi. As a guideline, any bottles priced
anything upwards of AED 600 (around £100) tend to provide a
good, full-on, rich fragrance.
Where to buy:
Abu Dhabi Mall
Located in the Tourist Club Area (TCA)
on the 2nd Street, sector 1-94.
Telephone: +971 2 645 4858.
Marina Mall
Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi .
Approx 35km from Abu Dhabi airport.
Telephone: +971 2 681 830
Fairmount Bab Al Bahr
Located between Al Maqta and Mussafa bridges,
25km from Abu Dhabi airport
Telephone +971 2 654 3333
Emirates Palace
Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi.
Telephone: +971 2 690 9000
Al Raha Mall
Situated next to Al Raha Beach Hotel
on the main Abu Dhabi service road.
Telephone: +9712 5562229