Friday, March 18, 2011

Scents of the Middle East #1

(photo courtesy from here)

I live in an apartment.

Sometimes, I'll sit in the living room watching TV, and then my neighbor would pass by my house and his PERFUME WILL FILL IN THE ROOM. O.O

And then another neighbor will leave his house and again my house will be intoxicated by his perfume.

The strange thing is that, I might not know for sure how my neighbors look like (I'M SORRY but it's hard to recognize people when they're wearing the same thing ;__; Not to mention they cover their head too so it's hard to see their faces), but I recognize their perfumes anywhere.

(caution: this post is leaning towards creepiness…you’ve been warned)

It happened! I saw this person and said, “Hey he smells like this neighbor.”

And then my father will say, “He is that neighbor.”

See what I mean by ‘recognizing the smell’? (creepy alert)

But it does seem as if Arab people in general like to drench themselves, their families, and even their homes, in perfume.

Whenever I go to their houses, there’ll be this certain fragrance wafting around the air, relaxing my senses. It wasn’t cloying, nor was it headache-inducing – it was far from that, it was simply, refreshing and uplifting. And plain awesome if I may add.

Though I don’t think I need to fragrance my house anyway, since my neighbors with their ultra strong perfume have already done such a great job at it already.

But the odd thing is, even if they’ve been working outside for hours, they'll still smell fresh and clean. No matter the time, broad daylight or the darkest hour of the night, the perfume still stays strong. Even when they were buying fish, they’d still smell as if they’ve just returned from a wedding reception.

Or maybe they did. But every single night? And every single one of them? Orz

My father would go to the mosque and came back smelling as if he’d gone to the perfume store instead. And then the entire house will smell like a perfume factory, and we’ll be like, “What is that smell?!”

Okay maybe I was exaggerating a bit. Maybe not the entire house, just the places that my father has graced his presence with.

But there was this time, when a student of my father gave him a shmagh/shma3’/ghetra/3’etra, this thing by the way,

(picture stolen from here)


I wouldn’t be surprised if the 3’etra was drenched in perfume oil for 100 days. It just smelt too strong. TOO strong. TOO STRONG!

I’m not kidding, the fragrance even found its way towards my room, seeping into my furniture and we were all like, “Okay the head’s kind of aching right now.”

Insane. We kept the 3’etra inside our closet and the rest of our clothes smelt like it. It was really phenomenal.

Because I’d spray some Parisian perfume on myself and it didn’t last as long as that at all.

Weird, weird, weird. And I’ve only talked about the men’s side of perfume, how about the women?

Generally women – though there are a few who don’t follow the rules, and they usually wear Parisian perfume if my nose’s not mistaken, and Parisian perfumes are kind of cloying if applied too much – don’t wear perfume as loud as the men. They might occasionally smell just as lovely as their other half, but in public, where you’ll be meeting tons of strangers and have to mix with men, they’ll make sure their fragrance wouldn’t stand out as much. Just a tiny bit to freshen up, and that’s it.

Of course you’d know that if you wear a strong perfume, it’ll attract unnecessary attention, and unnecessary attention is not something we’d terribly need in our lives.

That, and women aren’t allowed to wear such strong perfume outdoors anyway.

Indoors, now that’s a different story. I’d meet my Arab friends and they’d give me a greeting hug and pecks on the cheeks and all I’d think of is, “Aaaaah. Oooooh. Ah please keep on embracing me.”


I was almost tempted to ask about their fragrance but I just can’t bring myself to do that. Maybe I don’t think it’s appropriate? Maybe I’m too shy? Malu bertanya sesat jalan? Too shy to ask? Then prepare to be lost! Muahahaha yeah that’s the meaning of that sentence. Minus the laughing part of course.

Perhaps the reason that the question never seems to be able to see the light of the day is because I’ve asked a gazillion questions to them before, like where did you buy your abaya oh and what eyeliner are you using and how to bake these cookies and how do you wrap your shaila and where’s your favorite coffee shop and OH NO YOUR HUSBAND’S GIVING YOU THE EYE HE WANTS TO GO NOW ok then BYE BYE. ;___;

People and their early marriage. /rant

Anyhow, in the end, I did find the answer. I'll talk about it in another post. :D

(read the continuation here)


Nashuha said...

teringat dulu , ada seorang kawan perempuan yang suka gila pakai perfume sampai orang lain pun boleh bau , kira bau kuatlah . then , satu hari kami lalu depan kedai , kebetulan ada dua orang lelaki yang berdiri di koridro depan kedai itu , bila kami melintasi mereka , salah seorang dari lelaki itu berkata kepada kawan aku ini , wanginyaaa , nak ikut boleh ?

masyaAllah sebab itu perempuan tak boleh pakai perfume bau kuat2 . Tapi kawan aku boleh pula marah dan mengadu pada aku yang di sebelahnya , lelaki ni gatalnya . Pffftt dia tak sedar ke tu salah dia ? Dia yang menarik perhatian lelaki dengan perfume itu , kan berdosa .

Aku harap , kita dapat jadikan iktibar kisah ini . Setiap larangan Allah itu ada sebabnya .

Huda said...

Betul tu, kan Rasulullah dah bersabda, laki2 je sunat berwangi-wangian, pompuan jgn nak gatal2 pakai minyak wangi satu botol, nanti orang laki lak jadi gatal2, pastu salahkan laki lak yg gatal haha

tapi pompuan kan mmg sikapnya suka nak melawa :D nak buat mcm mana, simpan je perasaan tu sampai kawin, lepas kawin nanti boleh la nak buat mcm2 haha ntah2 lepas kawin duduk dlm rumah bau mcm bawang. x.x

mari kita berusaha menjadi muslimah yg solehah ye nashuha insha Allah :D