JEDDAH: Have you ever wanted your presence to be acknowledged in a room full of people? A passionate Saudi perfumer says that a well-chosen scent can do that for you.
From traditional scents like cardamom, bakhoor and frankincense to calming and soothing options like lavender and lime, perfume notes can reveal aspects of one’s personality, says Fahad Abri, 44-year-old Saudi perfumer and owner of 28.g Perfumes.
His passion for perfumes began when he was 11 years old, when he was drawn to a scent emanating from a perfumery in Makkah. The experience sparked his curiosity about how perfumes were made.
“I was with my father, returning from the Grand Mosque in Makkah. There was an area known to have many shops, and I was very drawn to a perfumery there; I was curious about how scents and perfume oils were made and such,” he told Arab News.
“I told my father I want to work there. My father was always supportive of us choosing our own career paths. He spoke to the shopkeeper to ask if I could work there and the man said he needed a cleaner. I said I don’t mind, just let me stay here in the perfume and frankincense area,” he added.
Abri said that introverted people often look for strong scents such as oud to give them a strong presence.
He said they tend to always choose flashy colors and strong scents — a strong perfume that makes up for what is missing in their personality. “Perfumes aren’t just accessories, they complete one’s personality. This calm, peaceful personality wants to be recognized and wants their presence to be felt in the social occasion or space they’re at,” he said.
“What they feel is missing in their personality, they make up for it by their strong scent to turn heads and acknowledge their presence, and if they leave a place, it will get people asking ‘who does that scent belong to?’ A scent that leaves an imprint,” he added.
This polarity continues with other personality types, he said, adding that extroverted, energetic people tend to look for calming scents. “If you’re a strong hot-headed person, you would need calming scents since you’re already hot-blooded and ready for action. You would need something calming like lavender, lemon or musk,” he said.
“Now with active and sporty people, they are attracted to fresh scents, such as fruits, flowers — anything that smells refreshing. That’s how sporty people are,” he added. Abri’s personal favorite fragrances are scents that contain Omani frankincense, oud oil, roses, saffron, amber and tonka beans.
Recalling a story where a client wanted to create a distinguished presence among international perfumers, Abri created a scent with an Arabic character.
“One of the clients asked me to make a special perfume with an Arabic character and if possible, from the Gulf, because he would go to a gathering in which one of the great perfumers of the West was there, and he wanted it to differ from them in smell, and from here the perfume of Salalah was born,” he said.