Posted on 05/12/2011

Photo taken on May  6, 2011

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Oud and memory

Oud and memory
The scent triggers an internal shutter, creates an image and retrieves it when we least expect it.
Walking past Mr. Kumars’ little shop, “Perfumes, Oud, and Bakhoor” located in the narrow streets of Muscat market, an alluring scent of Frankincense retrieved a childhood image of an old gothic cathedral and smoke saturated Sunday mass, I just could not resist to step in and explore the contents of the shop and not unexpectedly left with a small box of Omani Frankincense, which is considered one of the best in the world with a delicate scent and not overpowering like some cheaper versions.
The centuries ago Middle East embraced perfumes and fragrant Oud oils and slowly as the demand increased for fragrances they have created their own perfumes using oud, amber, sandalwood, musk & roses.
And “Bakhoor” woodchips soaked in fragrant oils which are burnt in the small burners to “enrich” the house “mood”, the rich perfumed smoke hanging in the rooms has an irresistible magic of its own. Local ladies walking past a smoking burners often lean over, spread their scarves and “soak” them with perfumed smoke, it is a luxury as a good bakhoor is very expensive around US$100 for not even half a handful of wood chips, but once the “taste” is acquired it is difficult to resist.