The Luxurious Scent of a Bride
It’s intense, it’s exotic and irresistibly sensual. Meet oudh oil, one of the rarest and most expensive olfactive ingredients, also called the ‘liquid gold’. APARRNA GUPTA traces the journey of the note which is most soughtafter today in the world of fine
Rich and earthy, sweet and woody; oudh has a very distinct smell. In the West, everyone from Tom Ford to Versace is besotted by this precious aromatic ingredient; in the middle-east it is a part of life. Oudh is burned over smouldering bits of coal in a metal cup called mabkharah. It is known to be an excellent scent for strengthening the body and the mind. The day begins by smoking the abayas and kanduras with a waft of oudh burned on charcoal. During the wedding season, it is burned copiously during parties as a mark of opulent hospitality. A beautifully carved piece of oudh is part of the bride’s trousseau and a tiny vial of oudh oil is a popular wedding giveaway to the inner circle of guests. Traditionally, brides use oudh fragrances on their wedding as it has an individuality that is missing in international brands. But since oudh perfume is a lot more expensive than the international designer brands, it is often saved only for special occasions. Conventionally, oudh in its oil form ( dehan) is a considerable investment and is sold in bottles as tiny as 12 ml. Of course, for the rich and famous, oudh is a part of life.