Perfumes have always intriqued me - the fragrance, as well as the packaging (bottles). When I was small, I would often admire the perfume decked on my mum's dressing table - courtesy of my Pak Chu who worked in MAS. Among them was a tassled Yves St. Laurent and the classic Miss Dior. Mum would use them only during special occasions. In secondary school, some school mates would curi-curi use their perfume (since we were not allowed to wear them). It was during this time that mum gave me my first perfume - Avon "Pearls and Lace". Uni days: perfume was the craze among my coursemates. Favourites were BodyShop's "Dewberry", Dior's "Poison" and Max Factor (apa ke namanya...). I had also "upgraded" to BodyShop's "Fuzzy Peach" then. Hasrat untuk beli perfume mahal terpaksa dipendamkan because I was still studying, still on FAMA (father and mother) money. Therefore, a few years later, I spent a portion of my first salary on 2 boxes of miniature perfumes (talk about lepas geram!) Interestingly, from then on, I became a collector of miniature perfumes (more on this later).
Perfumes are not without controversies. First, it was that alcohol issue. However a fatwa from an Al-Azhar clergy (if I'm not mistaken) relieved concerned Muslim consumers. Perfumes can be used because alcohol in perfumes tidak memabukkan (intoxicating?). The second controversy was spurred by a series of e-mails from friends. It was rumoured that certain perfumes might contain pig pheromones and all that alarming stuff. One friend in the UK even claimed that she discovered this while watching a documentary on perfume-making. How true it is, I don't know but enough to make me was-was.
Wary (and weary) of all these controversies, I started to embark on a quest for a suci (halal / kosher?) perfume. Opportunity presented itself when I went shopping with my partner-in-crime, K. Zila, recently. We chanced upon Arabian Oud in Sunway Pyramid and decided to check out this seemingly posh perfume outlet.
I admit, at first, takut nak masuk because the decor of the outlet gave the impression that its wares might be expensive. But with K. Zila, anything is possible (tu yang I suka pegi shopping 'ngan you, K. Zila. He! He!). The sales assistant immediately put us at ease and in no time, we were dabbing a few scents on our wrists. The perfumes were divided into perfume oils and perfume sprays. According to the sale assistant, the perfume spray contained alcohol while the oil did not. The perfume oil was a blend of fine oud essence, essential oils (normally used in aromatheraphy) and exotic flowers. Some of the perfumes were sold according to grams (quite unusual), others, mililitres (ml). We were pleasantly surprised to find that the cheapest perfume oil was RM 25 (30 g). Not bad! But of course, there were really expensive ones too...
That's not all, you can choose the bottle to be filled with the perfume blend of your choice (at least for some of the scents). The bottles came in different sizes and shapes. Although they were quite pricey, they were unique and beautifully hand-crafted. Most of the other scents came in fancy bottles and packaging. They make good gifts.
There were several scents, but most were 'woody' ones. So, those who like musky scents would be pleased with the selection. As for us, after much trying and sniffing, we found two fresh scents which we liked.
Those who are looking for suci perfumes ought to check out this particular perfume outlet or should I say, boutique. Arabian Oud is in the new wing of Sunway Pyramid. They are also in Suria KLCC and Berjaya Time Square.