Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stuff Arabs Like #5: Smelly Stuff

Location: Anywhere, Arabia

I was in the front office trying to make copies the other day, and the copy machine happens to also be in the same room as the wardrobe where the office workers hang their abayas and hijabs. One of the staff had just arrived, and she was getting herself in order for the day.

She removed her hijab, then her abaya and hung them over a chair. She dug through her purse and removed a little travel bottle of perfume. She then proceeded to launch no less than 15 squirts of full-force perfume all over both articles of clothing. She also squirted about 5 rounds into her hair, one on each wrist, her neck and an across-the-body shot for good measure.

By the time my 15 copies were finished, I could taste her perfume. I returned to the English cluster and one of my colleagues commented on how strongly I smelled.

Arabs. love. smelly. stuff.

I guess a more accurate description would be that Arabs hate smelling bad.

As you stroll through any mall, your olfactory system is besieged by wafting burning incense, perfume stores, and essential oils. The Mister and I once went into Sephora to get me some make-up, and there was a man in there sampling perfumes. In the 5 minutes we were in the store, he sampled about 3 different scents. Once he found one he liked, he sprayed it on so many locations on his body (even his legs!), it was shocking to me that he hadn't emptied the bottle by the time he was finished.

He then set the bottle down, and exited the store.

I was at an after-school gathering with some female co-workers, and after we had finished our lunch, one of my Saudi colleagues went around the room with a mini-bottle of essential oil and offered a few drops to all of us. I asked her why she was doing this, and she explained that it's something the Saudis do to take the smell of the food off their hands.

Logan's Roadhouse has moist towelettes, Saudis have perfume.

The perfume companies are on to this trend, and boy oh boy do they ever pack the TV programming with their commercials!

We see this ad no less than 15 times in one 30 minutes program.

As much as some might not enjoy the constant attack of perfumes, I guess I shouldn't complain. The alternative is much much worse.

Vicariously yours,

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