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History of Dubai’s liquid gold— Oud attar, and where to get it. 

Oud, which is also known as Agarwood, is a multi-tasking commodity. It is a highly fragrant wood that has found its home in the attar shops in Dubai. However, did you know that Oud did not start off as a UAE specialty?  In fact, the Chinese were the first to record its use back in the third century. 

This post will take you through the journey of Oud Attar from Asia to Dubai and how it is one of the most prized possessions in today’s time. Read with Dubai Local and find the best places to get some pure Oud. 

Roots of Arabian oud attar

Dubai is home to Oud today, but the journey started from China all the way back in the 3rd century. There are some discrepancies about who actually started using Oud as a monetary commodity, between China and Vietnam. Vietnam can be the first, but China has recorded it, which gives it more authenticity as the first parent of Oud. 

By the 16th century, Vietnam was trading oud to Japan and China. The trade was good, but these countries were still asleep on its potential to change the world of fragrance. Oud was mainly used as an incense stick, which spread a sweet and dark aroma when burned. 

Let us explore how Oud has gone from incense sticks to being the most exquisite and expensive smell known to a human nose in Dubai. 

Extraction and distillation of Oud

Sometime during the 16th century, when Vietnam and other countries were busy trading Oud, Middle Easterners came across It. By this time, the Gulf was already using oils as perfumes. Oud’s fragrant power was recognized here, which has been the UAE’s game changer. 

Oud is extracted from the resin produced by Agarwood. This resin is created in the tree to protect against fungus. When an agarwood plant is infected, it makes a resin that hardens and protects the tree from fungus. Oud is an excellent example of the best from waste! 

Extraction of Oud is a manual process based on the extent of fungus present in the tree. Workers shave and shred the tree to extract finer pieces of wood. These tiny wood pieces are then soaked in water and steamed for distillation. This is how the infected wood secretes oud attar oil. The oil secreted in the water is collected by hand, adding more truth to hand-extracted oud. 

Securing oud oil is tedious and time-consuming, which is another reason for the skyrocketing prices of this fragrance. In fact, Oud is called liquid gold because of its comparable price to gold. 

Pure oud attar’s current status

Today UAE is the home to the sweet, dark honey colored fragrance of Oud. Since pure Oud oil is costly, so people have found ways to enjoy it by mixing it with other ingredients like Amyris. This has made it into a perfume note. You can get more complex and enticing fragrances when trying Oud with different ingredients. Many souks are dedicated to various kinds of attars and perfumes to enjoy and take back. 

The perfume shops in Dubai have tremendously grown by technology present in the city. Perfumers have adapted the technology to enhance the traditional process of making an attar or fragrance. This has led to multiple new creations to keep your nose busy and happy! UAE is advanced to levels where you can get personalized scents and even have a replica made of any fragrance in just under 15 minutes. Yusuf Bhai, a store run by a Kerala-born perfumer, offers this challenging service of replicating any fragrance. People have gotten fragrances of their loved ones made after their passing and felt closer to them. 

Finding pure Oud oil is a herculean task and an expensive one! However, it is not impossible. Pure Oud oil can still be found in Dubai for its authentic price. It is one of the best souvenirs to take back from the UAE. 

Where to shop 

There is no scarcity of attar shops in Dubai. This makes it harder to find the perfect place to buy a fragrance. Dubai Local has curated a list of top places to find your favorite scent stop in Dubai. 

  1. Ramasat Perfumes

Get on an olfactory journey with Ramasat Perfumes that you will never forget. From high end perfumes to traditional attars, everything can be found at Ramasat. Take a trip to this Dubai perfume shop, you will come smelling like a treat and much more educated in the world of fragrances.

Location- Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.

Timing- 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Sunday closed)

Phone- +97142242233

2. Al Injaz Perfumes

Al Injaz has an extensive collection that caters to everyone. Here, you can find the fragrance that suits your personality and will help you make a lasting impression. To the men reading this, if you are looking for a cologne like Oud Attar that will exude confidence and masculinity, AI Injaz is the place for you! 

Location- 12 Al Wasl Road, Dubai.

Timing- 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM 

Phone-  +971581248860

   3. The Scent Library

Earlier known as Marash, established in 2016 by Saeed Al Nuaimi, the Scent Library is the most extensive network of niche perfumes from all around the globe. The Scent Library is the pioneer in niche perfumes and has helped the UAE grow in this fragrant sector. It is a must-see for perfume connoisseurs looking for the best attar shops in Dubai.

Location- Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.

Timing- 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Monday to Friday);

10:00 AM to 1:00 PM (Saturday)

Phone- +97122463910

4. Oud Al Azraq Perfumes

One of the best shops for getting some premium quality oud attar. Oud Al Azraq focuses primarily on perfumes and fragrances made with Oud. This attracts a massive clientele, making it a hub for connoisseurs and people wanting a whiff of UAE’s sweet scent.  

Location- Al Sharq, Sharjah.

Timings- 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM (Monday to Thursday and Saturday);

03:00 AM to 8:00 PM ( Friday); Sunday closed.

Phone- +971501717740

5. Rayhaan Perfumes

We cannot leave technology behind when talking about Dubai! Rayhaan Perfumes is another one of the best perfume shops in Dubai. It is the most trusted online perfume store. The scents here are majorly masculine. Scents with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon with spice are their best creation for men who like to make a statement!

Location- Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Timings- 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM (Monday to Thursday);

10:00 AM to 12:00 AM (Friday to Sunday)

Phone- +971506874844

Sealing the scent! 

These are some of the top perfume shops in Dubai. Whether you want premium Oud oil or a specific perfume, Dubai serves it all! Smell your best in and after your time in the UAE. 



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