Re­ward­ing ca­reer

Friday - - Society Living Leisure -

Bran­dan Pereira sniffed the per­fumed end of a thin strip of pa­per. “Mmmm... this smells like or­anges.” Af­ter in­hal­ing deeply from a jar of cof­fee beans to coun­ter­act the or­ange scent, he moved on to take a whiff from an­other strip of pa­per. “This is my favourite – laven­der,” the 20-yearold fi­nance stu­dent at Mid­dle­sex Univer­sity Dubai said.

Be­hind him Ah­mad Nabeel Al Ansa, also 20, from Abu Dhabi gen­tly waved a strip of scented pa­per un­der his nose. “Roses,’’ he de­clared. “Ah, I am trans­ported to a gar­den full of flow­ers.”

Milling around in the large con­fer­ence room of TheWestin Mina Seyahi Beach Re­sort and Ma­rina, Bran­dan, Ah­mad and 18 other po­ten­tial ‘noses’ were sniff­ing and soak­ing in a heady mix of scents. Their dream – to smell their way to the ti­tle of the world’s first Young Per­fumer.

The con­test, run by UAE-based Aj­mal Per­fumes, was in its se­cond leg. On this warm Satur­day morn­ing these short­listed par­tic­i­pants – 10 male and 10 fe­male cho­sen from 2,527 con­tes­tants – as­sem­bled for a train­ing ses­sion. They would have a the­ory class on per­fume pro­duc­tion where in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als would teach them the in­tri­ca­cies of per­fume-mak­ing and ‘coach their noses’ to ini­ti­ate a dis­cov­ery of aro­mas be­fore they pre­pared for the fi­nal event, which will take place today, when the 20 fi­nal­ists will be given 60 min­utes to create their own per­fume based on a fra­grance theme.

A panel of judges in­clud­ing Laila Suhail, CEO, Dubai Events and Pro­mo­tions Es­tab­lish­ment, film di­rec­tor Ali F Mostafa, Fri­day ed­i­tor Karen Pasquali Jones and Ab­dulla Aj­mal, gen­eral man­ager of Aj­mal Per­fumes, will de­cide on the win­ner, who will take home a cash prize of Dh45,000 and bag an in­tern­ship with Swiss per­fume man­u­fac­turer and con­test part­ner Fir­menich. The se­cond-prize win­ner will re­ceive Dh35,000, the third Dh30,000 and the fourth and fifth win­ners Dh7,500 each. But no­body goes home empty handed, with the re­main­ing 15 get­ting Dh2,500 each. “This is a per­fect op­por­tu­nity for the ideal can­di­date to craft the next youth per­fume by Aj­mal,” says Ab­dulla. “Through the con­test we also want the youth to feel em­pow­ered and steer them to­wards a re­ward­ing ca­reer in

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