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 your senses.
Smear some on your wrist... inhale... close your eyes. Youíll
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 Iím in a dream. If itís a dream itís
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- itís 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
itís dark with smoke, other times itís lively with the zing
of cinnamon, it momentarily throbs with the sensuousness of
heady florals and at other phases a gentle powderiness
emerges. I donít really know what to expect at any
particular moment and thatís what I like best- Al-Arabiyaís
complexity, contrasts and surprises. I may never visit SA
but as long as I have a bottle of Al-Arabiya on hand I wonít
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)