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"Perfume Hunting in Marrakech" - Maria McElroy, Aroma M & House of Cherry Bomb

December 31, 2019

Every trip to Morocco is highlighted by discovering the extraordinary perfumes of the Middle East that have become a bit of an obsession with me. My first stop at the Saudi perfume store set the bar high. The walls were lined with crystal -colored perfume falcons, holding rare and vintage oils.

I was able to experience several vintage Ouds, some with a value of $1,000.00 for a mere few ounces. One of my favorites, was a blend of Agar, Oud and Amber; it took my olfactory breath away.

I sampled red and white Saffron, numerous sultry Musks and an Orange Blossom that was sublime. I ended up with a gorgeous White Musk, Orange Blossom Oil and a smoky sweet Jasmine that is dazzling.

My intrepid brother who has been a resident of Marrakech for a few years is a perfect partner to share this ethereal world with. I was fascinated with the kneaded incense balls made from powdered resins and flowers, emanating mesmerizing scents through ornate boxes. I couldn't resist presenting him with a box of honey sweet Rose incense.

This trip, I found a perfume shop that specializes in Moroccan Perfume Oils, my dream come true. The small shop had one wall of decorative oriental perfume bottles, while the other was lined with gold canisters of perfume oils. I was on a quest to find Muska: Moroccan Musk. I experienced it for the first time on my last trip to Marrakech and have been thinking about it ever since. This Muska was as heady and beautiful as I had remembered it.

Another one of my favorite Moroccan fragrances is Azahra, or Orange Blossom. When I tried this Azahra, the scent was a bright floral with a veil of smoke- a stunner. I had tried so many perfumes, that my head began to spin and I had no more skin space to try anything more. I chose an adorable mini- enameled perfume bottle to put my Muska in, and roll on bottles of a few very special Ouds to take home with me.

Departing the shop as the sun was setting, I could hear the call to prayer drifting through the ancient Medina, leaving a trail of Oriental scents in my path.


Photo: The author at the magnificent Jardin Majorelle.