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The strong and spicy fragrances of Arabic perfumes come from a combination of incense and oils but without the alcohol base that is normally used in Western perfumes.
The word perfume derives from the Latin “per fume” meaning ‘through smoke’. Perfume in ancient times was used in the form of incense or burning oil made from natural products like rose, jasmine, lilies, sandal wood, musk and citrus fruits. The oil from the flowers were extracted by distillation, evaporation and filtration, a traditional process still used today in the Arab world.
These strong oily perfumes are usually burned and the smell from the smoke that emanates linger around the house, on the clothes and on the skin for many hours.
This shot was taken in a ‘local traditional souk‘ (more of a modernized indoor souk) in Dubai, UAE.