Friday, March 18, 2011

Scents of the Middle East #2

(Previous rambling can be found here)

I love to lurk/stalk people’s blogs/forums/other places.

In fact, I’ve been lurking this particular forum for the past six years, every single day without fail, and I’ve only regularly commented there a few months ago.

I wonder how it’ll be six years later. Will I continue my six year streak of continuous lurking, or will I forget about it altogether? Hmm.

I lurked the forum again just now. I JUST LOVE THE FORUM.

(I shall not tell you what that forum is because then you’ll know which member is me)

(I’m not creative enough in the art of nickname creations six years ago GAH x.x)


I like to lurk Hawaa World for that purpose. From there, I've learned that,

1. They like to burn incense for their houses.
2. They have their own special blends.
3. They have their own special methods of applying perfume.
4. They like perfumes. They probably couldn’t live without perfumes. And they have all kinds of perfume. Perfumes in super duper pretty lovely gorgeous beautiful bottles.

Yes they are THAT pretty. :D

I’d often find myself, gawking at the perfume bottles in this store…

But then I’d hop to Centerpoint and look at these empty bottles instead.

Cute things weaken my knees.

You can definitely buy a whole lot of perfumes and incenses from stores such as Arabian Oud, but surprisingly, most of the people in Hawaa World prefer to use the cheap yet reliable incense from their local market instead. You can get all of those in all kind of brands for under SR20 in markets, whereas in nice stores like above, the average price for their incenses is SR200 (or so I’ve been told. Or maybe they showed me the most expensive ones, I wouldn’t know).

Anyhow, I was at Medina’s market, pestered by merchants, like always, when they sprayed tons of cheap perfumes on me that I thought I was going to pass out right there right then. So I tried to divert their attentions by pointing at a bowl of coals, and that was then they introduced me to bokhoor/bo5or/بخور aka incense.

They then began to smear a whole lot of mukhallat/mu5ala6/مخلط aka mixtures on my hands. Mu5ala6 are those that you should keep an eye on if you wanted to buy nice perfumes in gorgeous bottles as souvenirs.

Here's how they look like in the pamphlet.

They are prettier in real life, though.

Unfortunately, those people must’ve sprayed me with tons of perfume already, and those smeared fragrant oils made my hands sticky, and not to mention my nose was kind of stuffy, so when I tried to smell the mu5ala6, those mu5ala6 in gorgeous bottles…

I can’t smell a thing.

*pissed pissed*

I only smelt something icky and that was me.

*annoyed annoyed*

In the end, I didn’t buy any of those mixtures, but truthfully, I’m lemming for it. Seriously lemming for it.

The average prices for those mixtures are SR50. Keep that in mind, and if you’re highly skilled in the art of haggling I’m sure you can get it at a much lower price.

But now let’s talk about bo5oor.

I use bo5oor efra7. It's REALLY nice.

I encourage you to watch this first! In this video, he demonstrated how to wear the fragrance. I'll supply the minutes below, and you just have to fast-forward the clip according to the time. :D

Here’s Ustath Tareq, explaining about the magical world of perfume and incense. Apparently (and PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong) if you want to make sure your fragrance smells the best and lasts all day, you can;

Mix it with dehen oud. Dehen oud (oud oil?) is an extract from the oud’s branch. There are all kinds of dehen ouds, if it’s from an Indian store then its extract is from the Indian’s oud. If it’s from a Malaysian store then it is extracted from Malaysia’s oud. You can mix it with mu5ala6 or your Parisian perfumes. It’ll smell special, and nothing will smell like it.

…we have oud in Malaysia? I thought those are imported from the middle east lololol :P

And in Malaysia, people associate incense with witches, no? :P

1:40 How they’d wear the dehen oud (and mu5alla6 too I suppose). Aside from putting it on your pulse and behind your ears, you can also put a small amount of water on your palms, mix it with the dehen oud and apply it on your hair. Or for guys, on your 3’etra/shma3’.

Would it stain? It wouldn’t, he said, because we’ve mixed it with water. It’s fine for shma3’ but for clothes, that’s a different story.

2:38 Now he’s spraying the perfume. He might’ve used half of the bottle for all I know. o.O

5:16 Now he’s burning the incense and letting it seep into his clothes. His advice; you should put on your perfume first, after showering and wearing your clothes, then burn the bo5oor. Some people wear their perfume before wearing their clothes, or the clothes themselves aren’t clean, and those are some of the reasons why the fragrance doesn't smell as lovely. Clean clothes are important to make sure that the perfume smells good, and it shouldn’t be applied on the clothes that you’ve worn this morning either. And remember, apply perfume first, then burn the incense.

But according to a novel I read, the character burned the incense, put it under her clothes, while perfuming at the same time.

And another person in the forum said that to make sure that the clothes will smell great all day, you need to;

1. Smoke out the clothes
2. Spray some perfume on it
3. Hang it in the closet
4. Let the burner rests under it
5. Put a fresh batch of oud/bo5oor on the burner
6. Close the closet, and poof! Foolproof clothes that will certain to tickle people’s nostrils all day.

All kinds of method, to each of their own, I suppose. I didn't follow their methods, though.

This is my burner! I use the electric one so you only need to plug it in and you wouldn’t need candles or matches or stuff like that.

Put some of the incense in, and wait for it to burn.

Tada! Whoa. And no, it doesn’t smell as pretty yet. It smells like regular smoke. Can you see me coughing?

Come on, scents! Get into my shaila! lol No I don't think you're supposed to do it like this.

What I did is, I hung my clothes in the room, let the incense burned for a couple of minutes, took of the plug, closed the door…

And after a while, the smoky smell will magically transform into something so earthly sweet.

And your clothes will smell exactly like it. It wouldn’t be as strong if you follow my method though. In fact, you can barely smell it unless you put your nose close to it, but that’s good enough for me. After all, I just did that for a hint of scent, for a bit of freshness, and this is exactly what I wanted.

The incense – if you’re using it solely to fragrance the house – will only last for one day. Then again, I use the cheap one from the market, and from what I heard, if you buy the more expensive one, the Arabian Oud for example, it’ll last for days.

You pay peanuts, you get monkeys. That's probably true.

But it’s okay. The effect on the clothes lasts for weeks so I’m greatly satisfied by it.

*sniff my shaila* Aaaah…

*sniff sniff* Aaaah…

Thank you for reading, now let me hug myself. :D

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