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The UAE retail scene presents a vibrant picture during Eid season and a burgeoning perfumes sector could be responsible for a bit of the shine.

Muhammad Ali Saeed Shaikh, CEO, Shaikh Mohd. Saeed Group of Companies and owner of Made in UAE brand, Shaikh Saeed Perfumes, believes consumer demand sees a definite uptick come Eid season, and for more than one reason.

Muhammad Ali Saeed Shaikh

Dynamic demand

“Perfumes are an essential part of the culture and tradition in the UAE, and it is customary to wear fragrance on auspicious occasions such as Eid,” says Shaikh.

“During this time, consumer demand for perfumes in the UAE tends to increase significantly as people prepare to attend social and family gatherings, and other special events. Furthermore, gift-giving is also an integral part of Eid celebrations, and perfumes are a popular choice for gifting.

Sharique Khan

Agreeing with his views, Sharique Khan, General Manager, Rasasi also mentions how consumer demand becomes highly dynamic during Eid. “Customers look forward to new launches and novel gifting ideas. No Eid celebrations are complete without agarwood, Dhanal oudh oil and attars,” says Khan.

Abdul Rahim Shaikh Shahid

“We definitely see demand for Arabic perfumes or attars increasing during Eid,” agrees Abdul Rahim Shaikh Shahid, Head, R&D of Made in UAE perfume house, Lattafa. “These are traditional and highly valued gift items here in the UAE and therefore in demand during this time.”

Shirin Ali Fakhruddin, Heading Hamidi Sterling Perfumes Industries, is happy to expand even more on dynamic consumer trends come Eid season. “In the spirit of being clean, the perfume palette moves to non-alcoholic preferences. While oud is the main driver of the taste during this season, the UAE and Middle Eastern consumers are inspired by amber and musky notes as well. Those travelling to Dubai and the UAE from across the world are still looking out for an oud-y experience and favour the sillage for a purchase.”

In fact picking up a Middle Eastern scent from a local brand is a highly coveted experience among tourists visiting the UAE, say UAE perfume houses.

Global preferences

Khan from Rasasi, for instance states oriental and woody fragrances being in demand among tourists visiting their stores because of the high sillage quotient these notes generally present. “Many expats prefer scents that are inspired by the Middle Eastern culture and heritage, such as oud and amber fragrances. Soft oriental fragrances are preferred, but it also varies as consumers wish to get a feel of the spices and resin-based fragrances.”

Shahid from Lattafa makes a statement though, observing how tastes differ between the brand’s Middle Eastern and local customers and tourists visiting his stores to pick up fragrances. “When shopping in the UAE, international customers are likely to encounter a range of fragrance styles and preferences. Many Middle Eastern customers tend to prefer strong, long-lasting fragrances with heavy sillage such as oud, rose and musk, as this is the traditional style of perfume in the region. On the other hand, customers from western countries are drawn to lighter, fresher fragrances with moderate sillage such as citrus, lavender and herbs.”

That said, perfumes with both light and heavy sillage see demand, and UAE perfumeries make it a point to launch new perfumes during Eid to cater to customer requirements

New launches

The house of Rasasi, for instance has launched two limited edition gift boxes, one with choice of attar and agarwood, and another with the Somow Al Rasasi Wajaha spray and Somow Al Rasasi Dakhoon Wajaha. Both gift boxes are now available in stores. “We have also launched a new range that is exclusive for Eid called the Grande collection, reveals Khan. The collection comes in two variants, Luban Absolute and Ward Noir.

Shaikh Saeed Perfumes has also spared no effort to spread some retail mist with new Eid launches. “With gifting being such a large part of the Eid celebrations, we decided to launch our limited-edition Patchouli Collection,” says Shaikh. The collection, which boasts an assortment of three new fragrances, namely Patchouli, Patchouli Rose, and Patchouli Oud are now available at all Al Hunaidi Perfume Stores and can also be purchased online at

Lattafa’s line of traditional oriental perfumes have usually been sellouts during Eid, says Shahid, and the brand expects to see similar demand this Eid as well. “Our traditional oriental fragrances consist of Lattafa Maahir, Badee Al Oud, Yara, Asad and Ajwad, all favourites among UAE consumers,” says Shahid.

In the spirit of the month and the scent it holds, Hamidi from the house of Sterling has also launched an eclectic range of French water perfumes — the Shams Collection, says Fakhruddin. “We have also launched a series of Muattars (Arabic scents) from our best-selling Natural series, and to provide the luxury experience, we formulated a lavish range of assorted perfumes — the Majestic Collection, catering to a diverse market across the world this Eid,” she says.

Unique profile

Shaikh from Shaikh Saeed Perfumes believes Middle Eastern fragrances have what it takes to appeal to a global scent profile while retaining their unique cultural identity and will continue to trend, especially during festive and gifting seasons such as Eid.

“Middle Eastern fragrances stand out from their Western counterparts due to several key elements. One of the most significant differences is the use of oud, a unique and distinct aroma that is woody, balsamic, and slightly sweet, and is often considered the cornerstone of Middle Eastern perfumery,” says Shaikh. “Our Oudi Collection for instance features Oud at its heart, and is a perfect example of this opulent fragrance note with four distinct fragrances.”

Another important factor to consider, says Shaikh is the complexity and layering of Middle Eastern fragrances compared to Western fragrances.

“They may feature a wide range of ingredients, including rare and exotic natural materials. The Shaikh Saeed Heritage Collection of Perfume Oils, which is loved by the royal families of the UAE, has five distinct fragrances that leverage the complexity of Middle Eastern perfumery to provide a sillage that is truly one of a kind.”

It is also important to note that Middle Eastern perfumes are not clearly defined as being for a specific gender, unlike Western perfumes. Shaik Saeed Perfumes’ Patchouli Collection, for instance represents the fluidity of the Middle Eastern art of perfumery with three fragrances that can be adorned by both men and women alike.