The choice of a fragrance that suits one’s preference could be a herculean task, especially considering that there are thousands of types of perfumes on offer in the market.
However, for Arabs, one perfume has been part of their folklore and legacy since time immemorial. And it is not a hard guess for anyone – for the first thing your sense of smell picks up in an Arab house is the heady aroma of Oud wafting in the air.
Oud, which simply means wood in Arabic, is considered as a supreme fragrance in the Gulf and Arab region. It is burned as a mark of respect and hospitality and is a traditional gesture of welcoming and honoring guests. In fact, Oud is considered an important feature at most social occasions, such as weddings or the Holy Month of Ramadan.
During Ramadan, Arab families burn or apply Oud fragrance each evening after breaking the fast as a custom. Not only heritage, it has a reputation of sophistication, and its fragrance is highly valued, which is why certain variations of the product can be sold for astonishingly high prices. Oud oil, which costs up to US$30,000 (over Dh110,000) per kilogram, has been used in Middle East perfumes for centuries.
Rasasi Perfumes, which has carved a niche with its enviable range of perfumes, offers an exquisite range of Oud and other fragrances exclusively for Ramadan. “Oud is not only traditional but extremely natural and unique. Derived from the Agarwood tree, Oud is formed when the agar tree becomes infected by a fungus. It is believed that it takes as long as 300 years for the fungus to spread through the bark of the tree,” said Mr. Salim Kalsekar, Managing Director, UAE & GCC Region at Rasasi.
The Oud oil is worn on the skin and is mainly used by men and women during Ramadan, special occasions, Eid and prayers. It is best applied on the body's pulse points, such as the inside of the wrist and behind the ears, so the body’s heat can help the scent emanate.
Talking of its popularity during Ramadan, it is estimated that during Ramadan and Eid, Saudis spend over 600 million Saudi Riyals on Oud products and the fragrance is evident as one walks through shopping malls or banks, and it is used in homes and mosques.
“Considering the steep price of a small quantity of good quality Oud fragrance, it is no wonder that wearing such fragrances are restricted to special events. The sales of Oud fragrances rise sharply during Ramadan and before Eid. Oudh is very strong and gives a powerful scent that lasts for 24 hours. Even after you wash it stays on your skin and in your hair and clothes,” added Mr. Kalsekar.
This Ramadan, Rasasi offers the traditional Oud in an exclusive packaging to mark the Holy Month, along with a wide spread of other fragrance tailored to spirit of this blessed occasion. “As a company, we believe in offering products in line with our customers’ needs and preferences, and our special Oudh fragrance is a testament that the tradition of using this age-old prestigious fragrance lives on,” summed up Mr. Kalsekar.