Saturday, April 21, 2007


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)

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