Perfumes. And to be more specific, Attar perfumes. Before I made the hajj journey (big pilgrimage) to Makkah in year 2000 with my wife, I did not really care about attar perfumes. To be fair, I also did not pay attention to any other perfumes. Our hajj pilgrimage changed forever my views about attars.
I had known about attars way back when I was a small boy living with my grandfather and grandmother in Jerteh, Terengganu. The attars that I knew at that time came in small fragile clear cylindrical glass ampoules (tiny bottles), given to me by Tok Puteh, my great grandmother on my father side, after she returned from her Makkah pilgrimage.
But the scent of the attars were not to my liking. Until year 2000. One day in Makkah city, in between carrying out optional umrahs (small pilgrimage) I happened to venture into one of the many perfume shops lining the roofed corridor from our hotel to the Al-Haram Grand Mosque. I asked the shopkeeper, what was special about the perfumes he carried. And he told me. Natural scents, alcohol-free and some scents can linger for days. I was intoduced to names like Alf Zehra (One Thousand Flowers), Ahyat, Hajarul Aswad, The Mark of Abraham, and Dawn Angel.
When I returned to Makkah 5 years later in 2005, and 2 years after in 2007, I made a point to restock my attar collection.
And my attar journey continued in 2013 where in a shop at a souq (market) in Muscat, Oman I discovered an attar with a very exquisite scent which I did not know the name of. I called it Muscat, Oman 1. The bottle I had bought is now nearly empty. And the good thing is that I might be going to Muscat again in the very near future. And at the top of my to do list is a visit to the souq to get more exotic Omani attars.