While waiting for my Nordstrom online order (here) to get shipped to me, it dawned on me that it was that time of the year! The semi-annual Perfume & Makeup Exhibition was taking place at Mishref Fair Grounds! Seeing as how my latest
sickness obsession (since this past December) was now Fragrances, I figured there was no harm in checking out the Perfume & Makeup Exhibition. Worst case scenario, I get saddled with a few more duds (like these). Best case scenario, I discover a few gems… at a discounted price!
While there, on a whim, I stopped by the Al Mudaires booth. I’ve never heard of this “brand” before, but it seemed to be a local business… run by locals. They sold the Bukhoor and Oud (Incense Chips meant to be burned) and Teeb and Makhloot (Oil Blends in little vials, meant to be dabbed directly on to the skin) that most Arabs tend to gravitate towards, as well as all the accompanying accessories (Incense Burners, Incense Tongs, etc…). They even had “French Fragrances” (western perfumes, not the typical Arab ones) and Hair Mists and Air Freshners. Oddly enough, they also sold pre-packaged jars of Saffron (meant to be used for cooking and such).
They had several different lines of “Perfume“.
The Classic range were numbered from #1 to #15, came in clear bottles with black caps, and cost the least, retailing at KD 12 each.
No.2 Light Oudh
No.3 Rose Oudh
No.6 Tea Rose
No.7 Musk Rose
No.8 Estamboli Rose
No.11 Dark Oudh
No.13 Sweet Oudh
No.14 Ta’fi Rose
No.15 Cambodian Oudh
Slightly more expensive was the Blue range, which consisted of aquatic and fresh scents that came in blue tinted bottles with black caps and blue boxes, retailing for KD 15/500 each.
Next up was the more intriguing Black range, that came in black tinted bottles with black caps and black boxes, retailing for KD 20/000 each.
Black Eye (I mean… LOL)
They also had a silver range of floral scents, that came with clear bottles and light grey caps and light grey boxes, retailing for KD 22/000 each.
The most expensive range was the Gold range, that came in clear bottles with wooden caps and “gold” boxes.
Gold Bangles retails for KD 50/000
Gold Dessert retails for KD 90/000
Top Notes: Citrus, Vanilla
Heart Notes: Coconut, Fruit
Base Notes: Musk, Amber, Sandalwood
After having a short yet pleasant conversation with the young Kuwaiti female manning the booth, I decided to buy something from Al Mudaires to support the local brand, despite my mistrust of all local brands (mistrust of anything Arab-related in general, really).
Naturally, I gravitated towards the darker range (darker scents, darker packaging, darker everything). I gave Black Tobacco a sniff but it wasn’t up to snuff. Eventually, I settled on Black Feather because my nose could detect gourmand notes (also the name made me think of Final Fantasy VIII lol).
Once I got back home and actually opened up the black box, I did not find a black bottle (which they had on display). Instead, I’d received a clear bottle (they’d revamped the Black range and now the bottles were clear). It still had the same name though. However, after I spritzed the Perfume on, I quickly realized that it was not the same scent that I’d initially enjoyed! The Top Notes and Heart Notes were nice, but the Base Notes included an irritating note (to me, it smelled like what Arabs refer to as Palm Water, which I’ve never liked, scent-wise and taste-wise). Whatever it is they use in their “Musk”, I don’t like it. I was so sure I’d received the wrong Perfume, that I even called them up (they’d given me their card) to ask, but they assured me it was the same scent, which was why I’ve amended this post.
“Black Feather” retails for KD 20 but was reduced to KD 15 Unfortunately, I did not like the scent. The packaging looked basic (read: cheap). However, the staff were prompt, friendly and well-informed which is why I’m leaning more towards giving the brand another chance.
Based on the notes, I’d like to sniff No.9 Marshmallow (Classic Range) and No.13 Sweet Oudh (Classic Range) and No.15 Cambodian Oudh (Classic Range) and Black Diamond (Black Range) and Black Pearl (Black Range) and Bright (Silver Range) and Blazing (Silver Range) and possibly their Bakhoor Hair Mist too, if I get the chance (I’m not going to go out of my way to find them, but if I ever spot them at the next Perfume & Makeup Exhibition, I guess I’ll give them a second chance).
To learn more, visit https://almudaires.com/