“Americans and Arabs live in different sensory worlds much of the time and do not use the same senses even to establish most of the distances maintained during conversations.” – EDWARD HALL
Ibrahim’s perfume stall in a Jordanian camp hosting Syrian refugees represents more than a business. It is also a small step towards building a community rooted in hope. We would like to learn more about Ibrahim’s endeavour. Please let him know!
AJ+ Arabic has produced a brief segment about oud: “The price per kilogram for one of the finest kinds of oud incense is $9 million! als does it smell?”
Scents of Exile is an olfactory art project curated by Ashraf Osman in partnership with Syndicate and Givaudan. It takes as its point of departure an evocative text about memory, identity and nostalgia associated with scents of cities and places no longer accessible, from In the Presence of Absence by renowned Arab poet Mahmoud Darwish.
An excellent piece by Dana El Masri on “cities of jasmine, roses of beloveds: scent, identity, and culture in the Middle East”:
This not so recent article from the Guardian demonstrates some of the ongoing confusion without addressing it directly: “From France to Dubai, scent is viewed as high art – but not in America. What is it about US’s relationship to smell that puts it so far behind in this field?”. Moreover, there are numerous subtle and open contradictions about art, perfume, & culture and a commitment to scent culture (the name we coined for our group):
It’s seems the Arab Spring has finally reached Lebanon, and its trigger and slogan have been decidedly olfactory: #YouStink