‘Perfume House’ the first thing which comes in your mind after hearing this name is the place with full of cents and fragrances or a store of perfumes, but if you want to know the reality of Perfume House of Dubai you will be amazed by knowing that Perfume House is a museum in Bur Dubai.
This museum is a part of Shindagha Museum renovation project. It is a former home also for Sheikha of Dubai who is in love with perfumes and different sorts of fragrances. This Museum is in an old building that is renovated and filled with all sorts of things linked to fragrances and perfumes.
The interactive exhibits are take place in this Perfume House as well as several shops where people can buy gifts of perfumes for their loved ones. But you may find them little expensive as they produced these perfumes through natural ingredients and different processes.
Importance of Perfume in Emiratis life:
Perfume is an important aspect in Emirati life style. Where ever you go in Dubai or any other emirate of UAE, you will find fascinating and breath holding fragrances near Arabic shops, stores either it is perfume shop, dress shop or any other type of store. You can say that Arabs known for their good choice of fragrances and their habit of always wearing perfumes.
The head of research and studies unit at Architectural heritage dept. of Dubai Municipality Shatha Al Mulla said that ‘Perfume is indeed a precious part of Khaleeji and Arabic culture. Each Arabic home has their own unique collection of perfumes and incenses. Shatha Al Mulla is also working on the main plan of Shindagha Museum.
The Perfume House is located inside the official home of late Sheikha bint Saeed Al – Maktoum. She was also an enthusiastic collector of perfumes. In this Museum, many of the artifacts are part of Sheikha’s personal choice of collection.
History related Perfumes:
When in older times any Queen wanted to impress any king they use to send precious aromatic gifts like myrrh and frankincense that are famous and also known as Arabian oil in its early times.
The old aroma or fragrance caravan route brought precious wealth to Arab as it passed from Yemen through Tayma which was known as one of the ancient settlements in Tabuk province called Saudi Arabia, to the other world from 3rd millennium BCE to CE first century.
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The great amount of fragrances, perfumes, aromas and spices trade while end of BCE through Queen and other tribe leaders, helped Arabian Peninsula to market as a hub of trade between East and West.
Shatha Al Mualla said about Late Sheikha that her knowledge about perfume and art of producing it and its history to preserved in the museum for all the future generation to learn from.
Shindagha Perfume House:
The Perfume House at Shindagha is waterfront which is overlooking the bobbing waters of Dubai Creek and exploring the narratives of traditional fragrances. It is a large traditional coral and a house built with stone around the central yard with old artifacts. There are many modern interactive aspects to tell the story to the visitors about the UAE’s passion about Perfumes and fragrances.
This museum is featuring more than 60 archaeological artifacts as well as historical also. This Perfume house at Shindagha also represents the visitors to experience the old history fragrances trade through an aromatic journey inside this museum to learn about traditional making process of perfumes, incense and scented oils.
They can explore in this journey the ingredients used to make perfumes such as roses, saffron, Dhin Al Oud etc. trade from Taif and Damascus.
There are many personal collections of Sheikha in this museum such as the unique piece of OUD weighed of 28-kilograms, perfume applicators, raw scent making ingredients and the most expensive piece they put on showcase, which Seikha donated to this museum before her death in 2017.
Sheikha Sheikha made perfumes in her personal room and then bury them later in her private courtyard for fermentation. She preserved them under her bed for months. Sheikha experimented many of the perfumes with different natural ingredients. There is one composition for perfume which was written by Late Sheikha personally.
Each of the halls in Perfume House has a different theme:
First hall the people who came here to visit learn about the natural ingredients in Emirati and Khaleeji perfumes. Visitors can learn that how they add the required material and the amount they use for everything which is an art of balance and creativity and yes patience too because every perfume has different materials to add, the amount and the procedure time is also different.
Second Hall is all about the culture of perfume, from poetry to various styles of applying it. Visitors can learn all the tricks and styles of applying the perfume or any fragrance to themselves and if they want everything around them is freshly scented by different fragrances they can learn here how to use.
Third hall is about how perfumes are used on different textiles in daily routine life like cotton mattresses with a little amount of musk or saffron. The Mashmoom is placed inside the pillow for sweet and calming gentle scent. Except these above mentioned fragrances there are so many others fragrances and the process how to use them in different stuff or textiles which will be more informative for all the visitors.
Fourth hall is dedicated to the ancient trade routes, with the details of discoveries in architecture that spotlight perfume’s importance historically and traditionally both. Here you can find the historical details regarding processes of trading the perfumes and routes they use, everything you can know from this hall.
Last hall shows video displays that are explaining how different perfumes are made. The procedure of making various types of fragrances, specially how Sheikha Sheikha used to make some special perfumes.
According to Al Mulla they have a particular memory of various fragrances which is why perfume stays personal ritual for all of us.
The opening hours for the Perfume house are mentioned below;
Daily from 10 am to 6 pm and on Friday from 2:30 pm to 9pm. Tuesday is closed.
Adults at 15AED, Children at 10AED and free for the children under 5 years. Groups and families entrance fee is 10AED per person if they are above 5 persons.
visit official website: perfume-house-dubai