Four years ago during our first trip to the UAE we feel in love with a scent, the 'Habibi' scent that I first caught a whiff of at Ibn Battuta Mall
. A young Emirati man walked by with a scent that was distinctively Middle Eastern that captivated me. However, since we were strangers it would hardly seem appropriate for me to walk up to the man and ask him what scent he was wearing, right?
Later as we visited an I Love Dubai store
at Jumeirah Beach and as we were browsing through the items on display, we found a section where local perfume was sold. God was smiling upon us, and after a few sniffs we chanced upon a perfume called Al Qasr Almalki. Bingo! We found our 'Habibi' scent. Masha ‘Allah, as the Emiratis would say.
|our initial 'Habibi' perfumes all those years ago|
We bought several bottles each costing about AED65, and later added a few more bottle for good measures. Through the years Ginny and Sern would bring back a few bottles each time they came back to Malaysia for Christmas so that I was never out of stock of the 'Habibi' scent.
This time around, not content with the manufactured version we traipsed the entire length and breadth of the Perfume Souk area here in the Deira looking for a local perfumer that could custom blend some fragrances for us.
Most perfumers here were of the high-end variety so after half an hour we were about to give up our search for a reasonably priced perfumery. Again, God was smiling upon us as we chanced upon a small, neat and tidy perfumery called Laura Mars Perfumes. The perfumer, Asim was a friendly and affable chap, and knew what we wanted as soon as we described the scent we were looking for.
|hard at work|
|he's got an extraordinary nose|
|we were lost after sniffing 3 different scents|
|tools of the trade|
|from the reasonably priced|
|to the downright ludicrous |
|a fine array of fragrances|
He invited us to browse through his collection of fragrances. After a few whiffs of the various scents our noses were not able to differentiate each scent anymore. Asim then advised us to sniff a pot of coffee beans in between smelling the multiple scents. He said that the smell of coffee beans creates some sort of palate cleanser for our noses, allowing us to continue to smell fragrance after fragrance. Sort of resetting our sense of smell it would seem, and it worked like a charm.
Later we discovered through Google Maps that this used to be called Remas General Trading LLC, that dealt with perfumes and cosmetics.
|a few doors down from Shaker Cafeteria|
|you won't miss it|
|his mobile number is the one ticked at the bottom|
|do give him a call before coming|
|focused and concentrated|
|the man, and the scent|
Asim the perfumer hails from Kashmir and regaled us with stories of his childhood growing up amid a sea of flowers which eventually became his source of inspiration as a perfumer. He also added that he will be going back to Kashmir in about a months’ time to get married, an arranged marriage that his family had orchestrated. He had no complaints about the arranged marriage and looked forward to the nuptial ceremony.
|after our trip today|
We bade him a fond farewell and promised to see him again one day soon.
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