Perfume has been made in Saudi Arabia for centuries. In ancient times, Arabian scents were valued for their richness and depth; enhanced by ingredients like jasmine blossom, frankincense, and oud oil. Nowadays, they’re as popular as ever, and their desirability has spread across the globe.
Here’s more information about the key Arabian ingredients, and why they’re so valued by modern perfume designers.
Frankincense – the world’s most expensive resin?
Frankincense features heavily in traditional Saudi Arabian fragrances and has done for thousands of years. Back then, this potent, heady ingredient was not only prized as a perfume but was also used by traders for bartering. It’s harvested from the Boswellia tree, which grows widely across the Middle East.
The spicy, woody smell of Frankincense adds real luxury to any perfume, which is why it’s still so popular today.
Jasmine – delicate and fresh
Look at the ingredients of any of the world’s leading perfumes or aftershaves, and you’ll find jasmine in several of them. It’s highly regarded for its delicate, fragrant scent, which counterbalances some of the more potent flavors. (Check out to see just how many eau de parfums use this iconic ingredient.)
Jasmine is often used alongside other floral scents like rose or paired with patchouli or sandalwood. These serve to bring out its natural freshness and vibrancy.
Oud oil – ultra-exclusive
Oud sellers have for decades. However, a few years ago, international perfume houses started to appreciate oud’s unique appeal, and it has grown to become one of the world’s most sought-after scents.
It comes from the trees of the genus Aquilaria – like aloeswood, gaharu or eaglewood. When the tree is under attack from fungus or bacteria, it secretes a protective oil which heals the wounded areas on the roots or branch. This hardens over time and is then extracted and used for perfume.
Amber – exotic and deep
Contrary to popular opinion, the amber that is used in perfumes is not the fossilized orange material. It’s also different to ambergris; a hard material that is washed up on beaches (and is also prized in perfume-making). The type of amber used in perfume is actually a compound ingredient and is made up of lots of different things.
Amber produces a sweet, smooth scent, which makes it an ideal base for a perfume. It complements many other scents while adding depth and allure.
Modern beauty with ancient fragrances
Perfume is widely advertised as a way to make yourself more beautiful. You’ll find advertisements for it everywhere; in magazines, on billboards, and on TV. Many ‘ also feature advice on how to use perfume to best effect.
But it’s important to remember that these modern eau de parfums and aftershaves have their roots in history. In particular, the Middle East has given the world many of its most vital perfume ingredients; exotic, rich scents that have been popular for hundreds of years.
While modern perfume houses are always looking for the next exciting ingredient to make their fragrances stand out, it’s unlikely they’ll ever stop using scents like oud, jasmine, and amber. Why? Because these natural wonders can’t be beaten – and they’ve stood the test of time.