An ode to Oud

Good day to you my sweetly perfumed patrons,

Just over a month into my time here in the Middle East, I felt it imperative to immerse myself in the local culture and traditions as much as possible. It is such a different way of life to my own upbringing back in the UK, but immensely interesting.

As a predominately Muslim country, I have personally witnessed many people taking part in Wudu, which is the religious ceremony of washing one’s hands, faces, feet and arms prior to prayer. Another facet to this ritual of cleanliness is scent which is what I wanted to delve into in this months post.

When you walk into any fragrance store here you are instantly subjected to an overload to the senses. Firstly you have the utter visual beauty of the glass bottles displayed on the shelves, secondly the heady scents of incense, Amber and the rich woody texture of Oud fills your nostrils and finally tracing your fingertips over the amazing tapestry of presentation boxes can easily transport you to a traditional store in a souk in Morocco or Saudi Arabia.

Auod/ Oud or agar wood as it is also known, is one of the most expensive woods in the world with an average price per kilo as QAR 40,000. The wood can be burned on its own to perfume an individuals home, or more commonly the oil from it is used as the base for many perfumes. It’s rich, powerful aroma is instantly recognisable.

With agar wood as the base note of the scent, other delights like incense, Amber, or strawberry (the list could go on) are amalgamated to form the most incredible scents. Many are unisex with women preferring the bolder hints of the masculine eau’s and the lighter, more fruity feminine fragrances are used by men subsequently.

The delightful concoctions are not just limited to our skin either with many people opting for perfumed hair sprays and body musks to ensure they all are smelling deliciously fresh and clean in the summer heat.

These fragrances are not just a wonder for our noses either, the opulent and luxurious bottle designs would not look out of place in the palace of Versailles, however we too can have our own slice of exquisiteness on our dressing tables at home.

It is utterly impossible not to walk out of an Arabian perfume shop without having a huge smile on your face and more than likely owning your own personal scent bottle also. Our senses are heightened everyday with the world around us and sometimes a certain smell can remind us of a lost loved one or transport us back to a childhood memory at the drop of a hat.

We decide everyday what outfit, lipstick colour or shoes to wear, who says our perfume choice can’t be included in our daily routine also?

Until next time,

Take care

Keya x

Sensational shoes 

Good evening my shoe aficionados,

From a very young age I have had a huge LOVE for shoes. Even as a child if we had visitors come over who were wearing high heels, the minute they came off our guests feet in the hallway, they would be on mine clomping up the passage or garden path 😀 As I have gotten older, this love has not waned and I now own so many pairs I have lost count. The storage of said shoes has now even spilled out of my own bedroom, into every spare space in our house but I still always peruse my favourite shoe shops in the end of season sales in the hopes I can bag a bargain. 

For smart court shoes or peep toes I love my wonderful collection of Jimmy Choos and Christian Louboutins. I wear them with fitted shift dresses for work, tailored trousers or paired with one of my favourite evening ensembles for nights out. 
 (The ones above are my lovely nude Christian Louboutins) ( These are my black peep toe Jimmy Choos which I wore to my office Christmas party)

For days when I know I am going to be on my feet all day, I love brogues and coloured moccasin lace up shoes from either Dune, Diesel or Massimo Dutti. They are so comfortable if you are running around the city and look uber chic with rolled up chinos or summer dresses. 

I pair these leopard tasselled loafers with a black dress or white shirt.  

  
And these two pairs of slip on loafers I usually wear with skinny jeans and a crop top or fitted t-shirt at weekends.

 

When the weather is warm, I live in my Haviana flip flops and jewelled sandals which are so inexpensive but look so laid back cool when worn with a pair of jean shorts and a vest top. The huge variety of colours means you can find a pair which matches every outfit and the brighter shades look even better when you have that golden summer tan. 

For me, shoes are an extension of my personality. I always choose styles which are quirky, bright and individual as I do in my own wardrobe choices also. I would advise to pay a bit extra for your shoes as even though the brands I have shown above can be very pricey the cost per wear is justified when you look at the good quality leather and craftsmanship gone into each pair. They also last so much longer than your average high street shoe. 

Shoes, much like perfume or lingerie, can make any woman feel like a million dollars; whether it is the way a fabulous pair of stilettos can make you feel like you are sashaying down a catwalk or that perfect pair of sandals which showcase your fresh pedicure in all its coral glory. After a hard day in the office or when you are going through a hard time in life, if by walking into Selfridges spending an hour perusing the shoe halls makes you feel better then DO IT! Believe me there are worst vices to have 😀

Until next week, take care

Keya x