You have heard, of course, that the word “perfume” means through smoke. That is pretty much the first thing anyone tells you about perfumery and they always expect that you are shocked, stunned, and in awe of that rare and esoteric piece of information. You have had that point hammered into you from the day you picked up your first book on aromatherapy and it’s in the first 3 paragraphs of every other book on scent you have ever read. Yea, yea, yea. Well, the first way anyone ever perfumed anything was by exposing it to smoking fragrant woods and resins. Today you could expect to see Arab gentlemen gathering in a majalis to talk and negotiate and the entire visit follows a time honored choreography of greeting, drinking coffee, who speaks and when and who does not, and the last act is that each of the participants have their clothing smoked with bakhoor, infused with the strong and hypnotic fragrances of the East. So, there is something in the idea of smoke infusion being the method of making fragrant.
But what is this bakhoor? How do Eastern perfumes differ from Western ones? Is there a common thread running through them? How do you use Bakhoor? Where do you get bakhoor? And is there liquid perfume which exhibits the same allure of incense? And, is there any accessory to make incensing your world easier?
Possets will explore these questions and more. So, keep your eye on this space because we are going to take a trip through the ancient souks of Dubai and the Emirates, heart of the perfuming business in Arabia!
Fabienne Christenson has visited Dubai and the perfume market in Dubai. She has collected bakhoor, burned it, had long conversations with Emirates about it, and has a few interesting asides about it. This blog will probably amuse you highly. Also, the series The Elements of Scent will continue as well. In the meantime, take a look at the main Possets site where there is plenty of Eastern (Oriental) inspired perfume as well as those of the West. Http://www.possets.com