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  1. #1

    Default Attars and arabic perfumes

    AK3D and Afraafra, this post is for you !
    I've got about 15 of them from blind orders or which I bought via a colleague in Dubaï. I either love them or hate them.

    Indian attars always make me think of L'Heure Bleue but I haven't found the material wich they have in common yet.

    Jasmine is so full of indole that I'm disturbing everybody around when I'm wearing it (but this oil is dead beautiful on the following day !).

    Arabic perfumes are warmth, deep, sweet and extreemely sensual, it's the kind of thing I just can't resist.

    And musk always smells rose ...

    I don't know anything about all these scents which are so different from my own culture but I'd like to know more. I know we've got real connoisseurs here, please teach me.
    Last edited by Night; 7th August 2008 at 07:36 PM.
    L'amour fait songer, vivre et croire. Il a, pour réchauffer le coeur, un rayon de plus que la gloire; et ce rayon, c'est le bonheur. (Victor HUGO)

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    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Great post!!! I come across the term attar and then see things like Ave Lux and Madini and, well, it piques my interest. Are these things as potent or more potent than say Montale for longevity, and how about projection? I have read you really just you a dot here and a dot there and that's it, and so many of these are decant in like 5 or 10 mls that should last a long time, but they run like $25.00 or so. I guess it works out to being more wearings per dollar spent?

    Do they evolve and change, like some colognes do, or are they linear?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by finsfan View Post

    Do they evolve and change, like some colognes do, or are they linear?

    The attars normally come in 8-10 ml roll ons and are alcohol free.
    They are mostly marketed to both men and women and the distinction is rarely made.
    The main ingredients are special Ooudh (Dehnal ooudh, or Dahn Al Oud, from laos), Sandalwood, Rose Taifi, Musk and Saffron amber (anbar in Arabic), Henna, and other (indian)spices.
    It is usually recommended to apply to the back of each knee and the inside of each wrist, touch the back of each earlobe with the inside of each wrist before the fragrance dries down, allowing about five minutes for the dry down.
    They are basically linear and last a very long time and I think you must test (if possible) before buying as it is a love/hate type of experience.

    try this link they are a professional group:

    http://www.ajmalperfume.com/ethinicc...=ETHNIC%20CHIC

  4. #4

    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Afraafra, you see that you know more than I do !
    The medical ambery oil I have comes from Ajmal I think ...

    Do you think we should open all our attars and come here everyday to post about them ? Others would be interested or not ?

    What about indian attars now ?
    L'amour fait songer, vivre et croire. Il a, pour réchauffer le coeur, un rayon de plus que la gloire; et ce rayon, c'est le bonheur. (Victor HUGO)

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    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Afraafra, you see that you know more than I do !
    The medical ambery oil I have comes from Ajmal I think ...

    Do you think we should open all our attars and come here everyday to post about them ? Others would be interested or not ?

    What about indian attars now ?
    I, for one would be interested in reading about your attar journey. :-)
    I say post away!

    I have been interested in pure oud oil as well as Arabic perfumery and attars of late as well. Actually, so much so that I have been neglecting almost all of my scents from the "west".
    All information is welcome.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Attars are very widely used in india..especially in muslim community. walkin thru lanes around masjids, one would come across lots of local attar based shops. most of them with a multitude of essential oils stored in thick glass containers in small quantities. they mix these oils based on your request and will guide one if you are goin wrong somewhere. these attars generally cost anywhere from $10-400 and upwards depending on certain qualities used.

    im being quite lazy..i shuld actually go out there and get introduced to these. will keep you folks posted if i have anything interesting going on.
    Last edited by jenson; 7th August 2008 at 07:47 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Thank you, Night, for getting me to post.
    Can you give me a list of the perfume oils you got, so I can (if I have any experience with them) post my opinions on them?

    Attars define a wide variety of perfumes actually, so its hard to say what the perfume you're smelling could be. Ruhs are usually linear essential oils. Apart from this, many perfumers/manufacturers tend to come up with their own exotic names for perfume oil blends, so there might be similarities at times, but you wouldn't know till you smelled the actual product.

    @Jenson, yeah.. I ignored indian perfumery till I came to basenotes! It is worth checking them out, you might run into surprising stuff often!

    @evogel, I am posting some information in another thread (it was primarily going to be a re-introduction, as I don't want to hijack this one!).

  8. #8

    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by AK3D View Post
    Thank you, Night, for getting me to post.

    AK3D, I'm so glad to see you here ! Thank you so much !
    You can hijack here as much as you want, you're always welcome, trust me.
    Last edited by Night; 7th August 2008 at 09:09 PM.
    L'amour fait songer, vivre et croire. Il a, pour réchauffer le coeur, un rayon de plus que la gloire; et ce rayon, c'est le bonheur. (Victor HUGO)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by jenson View Post
    im being quite lazy..i shuld actually go out there and get introduced to these. will keep you folks posted if i have anything interesting going on.
    Stop being lazy, you are our new Colombo now ! Au rapport !
    L'amour fait songer, vivre et croire. Il a, pour réchauffer le coeur, un rayon de plus que la gloire; et ce rayon, c'est le bonheur. (Victor HUGO)

  10. #10

    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Afraafra, you see that you know more than I do !
    The medical ambery oil I have comes from Ajmal I think ...

    Do you think we should open all our attars and come here everyday to post about them ? Others would be interested or not ?

    What about indian attars now ?
    I have tried several Ajmal "ethnic" perfume oils and edt line, but have been guilty of ignoring Attars in general for classic western scents.
    Some of the Ajmal line make Opium YSL seem like an aquatic.
    It would be great to hear a Westerners point of view on Attars in general. Go ahead with your posts.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    The only Ajmal scent I've owned was Chemystery. Brilliant musky-spicy scent.

    Edit : It might be worthwhile to add that at Muhammed Ali Road, one of the biggest, grandest and most prime Muslim locality in Mumbai, I've smelled attars that smell _exactly_ like Black Aoud and Aoud Lime. I'd probably had found matching attars for most of the other Oud scents in Montale's line if I had spent some more time raiding those shops.

    Also, I'm yet to see widespread use of these attars outside of the Muslim community, even in India.
    Last edited by Amit; 8th August 2008 at 07:16 AM.


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    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by afraafra View Post
    Some of the Ajmal line make Opium YSL seem like an aquatic.
    Well, not a total aquatic, but close

    There was this attar called Madini something, I can't remember the name fully that I was able to smell on a cotton ball at one of the shops at Muhd. Ali Road. It retailed for 12000 INR for 15ml That's about $290 USD for 15ml.

    Also, there are a LOT of Sheikhs, Arabs and other Muslim people who raid these shops during festivals like Id etc to buy attars from there. Many shop owners there earn their livelihood on this trade from GENERATIONS. Like Grandfather-Father-Son-His son.... it's been their family business for generations and probably will continue to be so till who knows how much more


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    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by javagreen View Post
    The only Ajmal scent I've owned was Chemystery. Brilliant musky-spicy scent.

    Edit : It might be worthwhile to add that at Muhammed Ali Road, one of the biggest, grandest and most prime Muslim locality in Mumbai, I've smelled attars that smell _exactly_ like Black Aoud and Aoud Lime. I'd probably had found matching attars for most of the other Oud scents in Montale's line if I had spent some more time raiding those shops.

    Also, I'm yet to see widespread use of these attars outside of the Muslim community, even in India.
    BA and AL are not Attars, they are poles apart from each other the way a Mukhallat is to Oudh. i havent sniffed anything close to BA. i would not be suprised if they do have but, at the same time, im sure for the quality like Montale, they would charge a bomb here as well, maybe more, coz Oudh doesnt come cheap.
    Last edited by jenson; 8th August 2008 at 08:27 AM.

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    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by jenson View Post
    BA and AL are not Attars, they are poles apart from each other the way a Mukhallat is to Oudh. i havent sniffed anything close it BA. i would not be suprised if they do have but at the same time, im sure for the quality like Montale, they would charge a bomb here as well, maybe more, coz Oudh doesnt come cheap.
    You're probably right, but that wasn't my point. I said I've smelled attars that smelled exactly like BA and AL, whether those attars contain Oud (which i'm sure they do, hence the high price) or not is not the subject of my Interest.


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    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by javagreen View Post

    Also, I'm yet to see widespread use of these attars outside of the Muslim community, even in India.
    Javagreen,
    Thats not entirely true. Attars like Kewra, Mogra and Nag Champa are more popular amongst Hindu women. Most of the cardamom and safron heavy attars are more common in and around mandirs.
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    Vintage Dia, Vetiver Dry, Angel parfum, Opium parfum for Sale:
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    AK3D and Afraafra, this post is for you !
    I've got about 15 of them from blind orders or which I bought via a colleague in Dubaï. I either love them or hate them

    Night
    You say you have some samples, why don't you describe some , giving your impressions and comparison to well known Western oriental perfumes.

  17. #17

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    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by mudassir View Post
    Javagreen,
    Thats not entirely true. Attars like Kewra, Mogra and Nag Champa are more popular amongst Hindu women. Most of the cardamom and safron heavy attars are more common in and around mandirs.
    I'm from a Hindu family myself...I know. My own uncles have their own brand of Essential Oils, Attars, Fragrant Soaps, Body Oils, Incense Sticks etc etc etc which they manufacture in South India and sell allover the region with exports to Europe and the Middle East.

    However, the usage you describe does not contribute towards what I identify as a widespread use. There is only a certain section of the community which will buy and use the attars and other fragrant cosmetics/items. No-one in my own family with the exception of my dad, my uncles and myself use any sort of attar or perfume.


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    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Jenson,
    You would be surprised at the affordability of high quality attars. I doubt the cost of oils in a 100ml bottle of a Montale is even $10. Don't go by the prices they retail for in the USA.

    Quote Originally Posted by jenson View Post
    BA and AL are not Attars, they are poles apart from each other the way a Mukhallat is to Oudh. i havent sniffed anything close to BA. i would not be suprised if they do have but, at the same time, im sure for the quality like Montale, they would charge a bomb here as well, maybe more, coz Oudh doesnt come cheap.
    Offsite Sales - Updated June7th

    Vintage Dia, Vetiver Dry, Angel parfum, Opium parfum for Sale:
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  19. #19

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    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by mudassir View Post
    I doubt the cost of oils in a 100ml bottle of a Montale is even $10
    That is one of the reason why the prices of Montale surprise me.


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    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    His Oud line sells for $50-60 a 100ml bottle in the middle east- without much bargaining. There are tonnes of houses who have different prices in different regions, but almost all of them base their prices on affordability/buying power of the local market. The fact that his Oudhs don't sell well for 1/4th the price in places where people drop 10 times the amount we spend here in the blink of an eye speaks more about the originality/quality for the money than anything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by javagreen View Post
    That is one of the reason why the prices of Montale surprise me.
    Offsite Sales - Updated June7th

    Vintage Dia, Vetiver Dry, Angel parfum, Opium parfum for Sale:
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by mudassir View Post
    Jenson,
    You would be surprised at the affordability of high quality attars. I doubt the cost of oils in a 100ml bottle of a Montale is even $10. Don't go by the prices they retail for in the USA.
    well, i have to agree with you blindly on your "speculation", since im really no expert in this field....but, isnt this true for all other scents/brands....? of what i have read, Montale has some trusted sources and that most of his oudhs are aged to attain a certain perfection that he likes. i dont care if it cost montale only $10 to make it. coz i cant find anylike BA in my local attar shop. and i doubt if i would get it at $10..no way.

    so, i would leave the money factor out and just enjoy the scent until i find that my local resource can provide me the same juice or better at a quarter of the rate.
    Last edited by jenson; 8th August 2008 at 03:43 PM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    To answer your query, an attar could be anything from a blend to a linear perfume. Even ruhs (pure essential oils) are also termed 'attars' .
    a) Longevity : They last and last. If on the clothes, you are looking at days. Of course it depends on the quality of the perfume as well as the type. In general, any perfume oil will outlast a comparable alcohol diluted fragrance.
    b) Application : These generally come with a roll on or a stick. A couple applications are more than enough. 10ml is a huge quantity, really (unless you're applying em day and night!).
    c) The price : depends on the quality of the oil and the quality. You will be surprised to learn that many ruhs cost very little here in India. The price goes up when you touch Ouds, Sandalwood, Rose etc.
    d) Evolution : Blended attars like jannat ul firdaus, bab e rehmat etc etc will evolve, however single note fragrances like Khus (Vetiver), Rose, Sandalwood, Oud, Mitti, Mogra etc will not, unless they have been blended as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by finsfan View Post
    Great post!!! I come across the term attar and then see things like Ave Lux and Madini and, well, it piques my interest. Are these things as potent or more potent than say Montale for longevity, and how about projection? I have read you really just you a dot here and a dot there and that's it, and so many of these are decant in like 5 or 10 mls that should last a long time, but they run like $25.00 or so. I guess it works out to being more wearings per dollar spent?

    Do they evolve and change, like some colognes do, or are they linear?

  23. #23
    Taz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Great discussion here! I see some of you are very familiar with Attars

    I just wanted to add that I love how Ajmal and some other houses have grades for their common Attars. Ajmal for instance has some oils start at Grade E, some even Grade F. Going upwards, jumping to Grade B, A and then finally 'Special'...Oils like Khus, Musk and Sandalwood are available only up to grade A...The 'Special' is the highest quality reserved only for Motia, Hina, Zafran and Amber. The price is around $50 for 12 ml..

    They have one grade higher than the special which they call 'Khalis' (pure) but they only have it for Amber and it smells quite superior to the 'Special' grade Amber. Priced at around $65 / 12 ml.
    I wish all their Attars were available as 'Khalis'

  24. #24

    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Taz, they have grading systems here as well. However, the prices are MUCH lower than what is usually charged online! Khus is not more than 5$ anywhere here for 3ml.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    I'm starting the first review. Where shall I post ? Here or in AK3D thread ?
    Last edited by Night; 9th August 2008 at 08:39 PM.
    L'amour fait songer, vivre et croire. Il a, pour réchauffer le coeur, un rayon de plus que la gloire; et ce rayon, c'est le bonheur. (Victor HUGO)

  26. #26

    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    MENA - Al Haramain

    An amber accord, medicinal and tinted with rose, an opulent and sensual rose. Straight away, you can feel its masculinity, It’s extremely powerful, similar to the Ajmal amber. It quickly becomes subtle and soft with the arrival of jasmine, light, aerial, like a ivory veil floating on top of a roof in Zanzibar. The scent is slightly fresh and green, the balance is perfect, nearly magical. Balsams then comes to soften it. It’s a joyful and colourful fragrance, a bit like all these cushions left coolly on the roof.

    I am not able to hang on to any other known Western scent … I can imagine it on a man or a woman, it’s very linear and without any surprise.

    Vanilla appears much more later, the same synthetic material than the one used in many Western scents. It’s sweet, nearly gourmand even, but still soft, flowery and green. It’s a beautiful accord, much more subtle and well balanced than many current European perfumes which are often overwhelming.

    I like it even if not my style.
    L'amour fait songer, vivre et croire. Il a, pour réchauffer le coeur, un rayon de plus que la gloire; et ce rayon, c'est le bonheur. (Victor HUGO)

  27. #27

    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    MENA - Al Haramain

    An amber accord, medicinal and tinted with rose, an opulent and sensual rose. Straight away, you can feel its masculinity, It’s extremely powerful, similar to the Ajmal amber. It quickly becomes subtle and soft with the arrival of jasmine, light, aerial, like a ivory veil floating on top of a roof in Zanzibar. The scent is slightly fresh and green, the balance is perfect, nearly magical. Balsams then comes to soften it. It’s a joyful and colourful fragrance, a bit like all these cushions left coolly on the roof.

    I am not able to hang on to any other known Western scent … I can imagine it on a man or a woman, it’s very linear and without any surprise.

    Vanilla appears much more later, the same synthetic material than the one used in many Western scents. It’s sweet, nearly gourmand even, but still soft, flowery and green. It’s a beautiful accord, much more subtle and well balanced than many current European perfumes which are often overwhelming.

    I like it even if not my style.

    Mena is one of Al Haramain's newest perfumes and they descibe it as "Beautifully sweet, sharp woody notes turn gently into fruity heart notes. Everyone who wore this, liked it'

    Most of these are considered unisex but tastes are different all over the world, French seem to like strong orientals while American women seem to prefer florals., In the Far East very light aquatics are preferred.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Yes, there is a hint of sandalwood in it but it's really subtle.
    I don't see what they name the "fruity heart notes". Maybe because of the sweet green note, but it has nothing in common with our Western fruity perfumes.
    L'amour fait songer, vivre et croire. Il a, pour réchauffer le coeur, un rayon de plus que la gloire; et ce rayon, c'est le bonheur. (Victor HUGO)

  29. #29

    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Nice mini-review, Night. I haven't heard of this one before, but thanks for bringing it to our attention. I shall also attempt a couple of mini-reviews of the Attars I have.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Attars and arabic perfumes

    Attars have been popular way before muslim community in India and Islam. The distillation of sandalwood, agarwood. Fragrances of deer musk etc. have been known for thousands of years.
    The vegetarian Attars are used also in Hindu temples. A popular temple Attar I own is made of pure vetiver maybe distilled in some sandalwood.
    I like the Hina Attar which is a very calming smooth masculine.

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