Oud Abu Dabi

Turning now her breast toward her crying babe, She did not move her bottom, pressed beneath me.
Imru’l Qais (d. c. 535)

Gentle and delicate, roses weave in and out like floating silk scarves of mysterious dancers. It dries down to the most beautiful woody powdery dry down, resembling high quality sandalwood incense in a Buddhist temple. Overall, it's a lovely soft woody-floral, with dewy rose playing an important role (not unlike how it is casted for the Al Mesk Abyad). I only wish the rose did not smell so artificial in this one, it really takes away from my enjoyment at first. But after the dry down it is a soft and smooth agarwood and musk for the most part - almost as if the formula is a hybrid between Al Mesk Abyad and Oud Omani.


Anbar, or amber in Arabic, refers to both ambergris and the fossilized resin used as a gemstone whose beads are often used in Masbaha (prayer beaded chains). I got the perfume oil by this name at Majed’s shop, and it is also dark in colour.

Anbar perfume oil is not as animalic as Al Mesk Aswad, but is still fecal, dark, sweet, and has hints of civet. It smells so animalic it may have some ambergris to it. Like Al Mesk Aswad, I smell hints of camphor at first, which smells cool and metallic, with hints of myrrh and benzoin. Most of all, Anbar reminds me of antiques made of dusty copper and brass and of chains of amber Masbaha displayed in abundance in a crowded souk, where fumes of incense weave their way through the abundance of old Persian carpets, coin-decorated belly dancer’s outfits, piles of dusty incense tears, copper lanterns and hookas laid out on the cool, footsteps-polished dusty stone floor.

Photo: Words of Wisdom, by Barbara (overthemoon on Flickr)

Al Mesk Abyad (White Musk)

Smilling woman..., originally uploaded by Vit Hassan.

The sky became curved because of prostration before Muhammad.
The ocean is only a water bubble from Muhammad's generosity.
The moon is a reflection of Muhammad's beauty.
Musk is a little whiff from Muhammad's mole and tresses.

- Persian & Sufi poet Mawlana Nur ad-Din Abd ar-Rahman Jami (1414-1492).

Al Mesk Abyad is delicate and mostly rosy. The musk here is sweet and subtle and suggests ambrette seed absolute of the highest quality (sans the rancid nut tonalities that are usually found in this essence). The rose note smells very much like Bulgarian rose otto, though I doubt it is purely natural. It’s the most sheer, light and ethereal of all the five Arabian perfumes I brought back from Israel and Palestine. It’s cleanliness brings to mind the legends of the Prophet Mohammed's scent of musk and rose, a symbol for his pureness and divinity.

The consistency of this oil is thick and viscous, like light honey, and it's clear and transparent. I've got this from Muhammed Qabbani's shop in the Muslim Quarter of Ancient Jerusalem. The price was 60 NIS for 10ml (equivalent to about $15 USD).
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