Inspired by the sights and smells experienced in old
Arabian souks, Al Arabiya features a
multi-layered ensemble of scent notes that is sure to enchant
Smear some on your wrist... inhale... close your eyes. You’ll find yourself at an old attar shop in which the aromas of frankincense and bakhoor infuse every surface - even the walls emit their sacred scents. Countless gold-trimmed glass flacons ornament beckoning shelves, their sweet, floral and spicy notes vying for attention. An incense burner sitting on the vendor's table emits a plume of scented smoke. Oud, frankincense, bakhoor. Their beauty is hypnotic.
As you leave the shop, you spot people lounging outside the Gahwa cafe next door, furiously puffing away on hookah pipes. Raw tobacco, molasses, sweet figs. Inside the cafe, the counters are decorated with pastries garnished with rosewater, honey and pistachios. Waiters scurry out in single file, pouring coffee into depleted cups. You inhale deeply, enjoying the smell of Arabica coffee spiced with cardamom.
Jasmine garlands hang along the arched walls of the Souq, scenting the air with their scintillating, siren notes. You pick up another strong floral-herbal fragrance and discover the source: a throng of fervent girls are crowded around a henna stall, each impatiently waiting to get her hands painted - a wedding celebration must account for their gaiety. Every so often, you pass by more attar shops burning bakhoor pellets at their doors to lure customers.
More coffee shops line the alleys. Spice vendors are busy haggling and stuffing bags with cloves, cardamom, and Sabah Baharat spice blends. Their bustle adds a spicy edge to the aromas already perfuming the air.
Saffron, coffee, henna, jasmine. Bakhoor, frankincense, oud.
I breathe in and wonder if I’m in a dream. If it’s a dream it’s one I know I want to return to again and again. I smile. Al-Arabiya will always bring me back there. I swipe my wrist. I close my eyes.
fascinated by how clearly this perfume actually tells the
story Taha wrote in his description of the blend- it’s so
easy and fun to smell the vignettes as they unfold.
Moment-by-moment the different scents drift by- the balsamic
mysteriousness of frankincense, the rose-ensconced opulence
of bakhoor, the smoke of burning agarwood, the dry
earthiness of golden henna- the list goes on. The complexity
of notes allows me to get lost in each moment, wandering
down the scent-encrusted alleyways Taha so vividly
describes. Just when I think I know the perfume a new note
appears that adds to the vividness of the picture. Sometimes
it’s dark with smoke, other times it’s lively with the zing
of cinnamon, it momentarily throbs with the sensuousness of
heady florals and at other phases a gentle powderiness
emerges. I don’t really know what to expect at any
particular moment and that’s what I like best- Al-Arabiya’s
complexity, contrasts and surprises. I may never visit SA
but as long as I have a bottle of Al-Arabiya on hand I won’t
feel as though I completely missed out. M.W. (USA)
I received my bottle of Al-Arabiya today in the mail and it is one of the most alluring and unforgettable scents I have ever come across. E.M. (USA)
It's very very dark, both visually as well as aromatically, slightly sweet...think figs or dates, slightly balsamic, musky, resinous, earthy and root-ey (vetiver?) ... very slightly floral, with just a touch of tobacco perhaps. I don't get the aoud much over the first couple hours, it comes through after the top-notes have dried down a bit. When it does come in, several hour after application and quite strongly in my observations (but by no means overpowering) , it smells to me like a Hindi aoud, or perhaps an Indo-Chinese, or a blend of the two... slightly "barnyardy"... but I like that. This will be an amazing oil for the cold winter months... yet as I state this, I'm reminded of how nice it was, even on the warm days I've worn it... I get a hint of, vetiver perhaps (something that feels soothing / refreshing in warm weather), and also frankincense in the dry-down, along with the aoud. Over 12 hours in and I can still smell it, excellent longevity. I've only had the Al Arabiya for perhaps a week, so I'm still picking out the notes, still discovering more to it's structure... so far, I am amazed. Huge thanks to Taha! I really couldn't be happier with this purchase. B.J. (Canada)