What is Bakhoor?
You have most probably heard of the term bakhoor, or Arabic bakhoor. This is the Arabic language word for incense, which of course is burned for its scent. But why is Arabic so different and what makes it unique? There is a special ingredient, which makes Arabic bakhoor unique – and that is oud. Again, oud from the Arabic language, means agarwood or aloeswood. A perfumer would scent the wood chips of the oud with scents, such as musk or another scent, like amber. Once this scent is burned, it emits a beautiful mukhallat or blend of fragrance from not only what the perfumer had added to the oud, but of course from the oud itself!
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Because of the intensity of the scent that this bakhoor emits, it is very long lasting and provides a lingering scent within any room or place where the bakhoor is burned. In the Middle East, it is very common for bakhoor to be burned on special occasions such as on weddings and during other hospitality events. Bakhoor is also burned on Fridays to mark the special day within Islamic tradition. In Arabia also, it is burned when one receives guests, where the bakhoor burner is handed to the guest so that they can literally drench themselves in the scent of the smoke! How wonderful!
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Although technically, bakhoor can be made from different types of wood infused with scent, the most traditional and the most luxurious bakhoor, is that of oud wood chips which can sometimes be soaked in oud perfume oil. For example, many countries produce oud wood, from a specific species of tree and these countries include places like Cambodia, India and Malaysia amongst others. Each type of oud has a different scent profile and facet, which means you can mix together the various types of ouds from different countries, to create a mukhallat. Various oud wood based fragrances are created this way, and using bakhoor made from genuine oud wood chips and then infused with an oud from a different place, makes a divine scent!
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Oud helps to obtain a link to spirituality, which is why it has been so prominent in use, within various religious rituals. For instance, the old testament refers to the incense tree and there are references to Jesus having used aloeswood. In other traditions, such as the Chinese traditions, it is said that agarwood fragrance oil and agarwood chips have been used frequently in history, where the noble Chinese would burn wood chips in their homes, and it has also been associated with the concept of Feng Shui.
How to use Bakhoor in your daily Ramadan beauty routine:
You would never think to use incense as part of your beauty regime! But, just like how we use perfume and other fragrances as part of our beauty regime, we can also utilise the scent of smoke as part of our beauty regime! Soak up in scent, and feel and be like royalty, by using a bakhoor burner and a piece of lit charcoal, and place onto the charcoal, your favourite bukhoor. Once the smoke starts to emit into the air, very carefully and gently hold the burner under your clothes, so that the smoke reaches your skin. Whilst holding the bakhoor burner in your hand, you can also use your other hand to usher the scented smoke into your hair.
Soon, we will be launching a BRAND new perfume, that captures the essence of a traditional Arabian bakhoor! And guess what it’s called? Yes, it’s called Bakhoor! Make sure you watch this space, for further updates on when it will be launched during Ramadan!
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