20 tolas (over 233 grams) of finest oud get lathered on the Black Stone of the Kaaba, and areas surrounding it, according to a Saudi government website. The use of oud oil, which is an essential oil and perfume produced from agarwood, has a long tradition in the Islamic culture.
The use of perfume is widely revered as a 'sunnah' or example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). "The Oud was the best type of perfume the Prophet loved," according to a hadith or saying of the Prophet.
Although some hesitate to use alcohol-based perfumes, because of the prohibition of alcohol consumption in Islam, the majority of Islamic scholars have opined that using alcohol-based perfume is permissible, unlike drinking it as an intoxicant.
Whether you wear perfumes only for the love of the sunnah, or because they inspire spirituality – and they are certainly not mutually exclusive – Eid is a great occasion to get to know about perfumes that are worth trying out.
Here is a list of three perfumes and why you will likely fall in love with them.
Nefs by Nishane
Turkish niche brand Nishane has become known to fragrance lovers in the last couple of years as a company that focuses on quality over quantity.
The brand has had a number of releases since its founding in 2013 that were very well-received. Nefs, part of the brand's Prestige Collection series, was launched in 2019.
The nose – industry-speak for perfumer – behind this fragrance is Chris Maurice, with 174 listed perfumes on the Fragrantica database, the leading fragrance indexing website.
Top notes include honey, saffron, fig, violet and sage, according to Fragrantica. Middle notes are rose, osmanthus, jasmine, geranium and nutmeg. And the base notes include agarwood (oud), vanilla, Gurjan balsam, leather, amber, cinnamon and cedar. Nefs is promoted as a "luxurious interpretation of the oriental notes" by Nishane.
Nefs is a work of art blended so gorgeously that you take a whole olfactory journey through many notes with just one spray. After the initial spray, there is a strong fruity-sweet aroma of fresh fig and honey coupled with saffron.
As the fragrance starts to evolve, the middle notes such as nutmeg with osmanthus start adding into the composition. Roughly 35-45 minutes after initial spraying, the fragrance will bring out the powerful notes of oud, vanilla, leather and amber. Nefs is a very good performer and will last a long time.
Perhaps the most expensive release from the house of Nishane, Nefs retails for Tk45-49,000.
To test the perfume, you can visit Sundora Bangladesh in their flagship outlet in Banani. Some Bangladeshi sellers such as Perfume Bangladesh, Perfume Center and USB also bring and sell testers (perfume bottles opened for demonstration purposes) at cheaper prices. Some sell decants (perfume transferred to a small atomiser) that are much more affordable.
Decant: starts from Tk1000
Portrayal Man by Amouage
Amouage founder Sayyid Hamad bin Hamoud al Abu Said had a dream to restore the great Arabian art of perfumery to the region, leading him to establish the luxury perfume house in 1983.
Amouage uses traditional notes of the Middle East, such as agarwood, incense, musk, rose and spices. The developers of the scents are perfumers from the major fragrances and flavour companies.
A woody aromatic fragrance for men, Portrayal Man, was launched in 2019. The nose behind this fragrance is Pierre Negrin. This has a somewhat calming feature in the fragrance composition, and a simple yet impactful effect is created.
The fragrance features notes such as violet leaves and vetiver, with cade oil giving a fresh, bright yet oriental experience.
Decant: starts from Tk800
Oud Essentiel by Guerlain
Oud Essential features a very wearable oud, and it is perhaps one of the best oud fragrances in the market right now.
The oud is masterfully balanced and not harsh; rather, it is a magnificent yet simple blend of rose, saffron, and resins.
The leather and cedar notes support the oud and further balance out any remaining harshness of the oud.
Historically, rose, oud, and saffron all are very well known to the attar lovers. Oud Essential presents a modern interpretation of the classic scents. It is certainly a fragrance suitable for the last 10 nights of Ramadan or during the Eid celebration, or simply any other time you smell the mystical perfume.
Decant: starts from Tk600
Prices were accurate at the time of publication. Note that the price discrepancies have to do with authorised dealers selling for much higher prices than others.