Nobody can beat the arabs when it comes to perfuming their house and dwellings. Their secret – Bakhoor!
Oud is the general term given to the perfume oil extracted, using a variety of techniques, from the wood of the Agarwood tree. Oud oil has been previously discussed in detail in our previous blog here.
Bakhoor is usually the general term used to refer to, mainly wood chips, soaked in fragrant oils that can be burned to release their intoxicating fragrance.
Muattar or Mamool are terms used to refer specifically to chips of agarwood that are then soaked in fragrant oils. Mabsoos/Mabthooth is a specific term for when shavings of agarwood are also used and soaked in fragrant oils. However, the term bakhoor encompasses muattar, mamool and mabthooth.
Bakhoor can also be made from other natural ingredients such as sandalwood, resin, ambergris, or essential oils to name a few. The bricks of these natural ingredients are then soaked in fragrant and/or essential oils.
Unlike Oud oil, which can be worn directly unto the skin or used to fragrance clothing, bakhoor has to be burned. Bakhoor is burned using charcoal traditionally. The traditional incense burners are known as Mubkhara or Medhan, in the Arabic language.
The Mubkharas can be made from wood, ceramic or metal. The stage (where the bakhoor and coal is placed) is usually made from metal or ceramic. The most modern method involves using an electric incense burner. Purists will still prefer the coal burning mubkharas as they feel this gives out the best fragrance from the bakhoor.
When heated, the bakhoor eludes a fragrant smoke which is used to fragrance the home or clothing.
In some parts of the Gulf, like Yemen, they have individual bakhoor makers who use their own personal secret recipes and mostly natural ingredients. The bakhoor makers, here, inherit the art of bakhoor making from their ancestors. They all have a secret ingredient which gives their produced bakhoor a distinct fragrance which can be traced back to the individual bakhoor maker. The secret recipe is kept secret from generation to generation. The bakhoor makers make the bakhoor by either a cooking method or a baking method. Most of the bakhoor sold nowadays, however, is manufactured on a bigger scale than in individual homes but using the principles of unique bakhoor production. There are so many scents of bakhoor available, that one is sure to find a unique scent that is to one’s liking.
One way to personalised your own bakhoor scent is to mix and match. Layer the woodchips or mamul on the hoat coal and then sprinkle non-woodchip bakhoor on top.
Bakhoor can be used in many scenarios including, but not limited to:
- Perfuming the house,
- Perfuming clothing and/or hair,
- For welcoming special guests,
- For weddings and other special occasions,
- To boost positive energy,
- To dispel unattractive smells that may come from cooking etc,
- To attract customers to a store and enhance their buying experience,
- Used in old medicines,
- To enhance one’s mood and increase creativity, or
- To create a romantic atmosphere for a couple’s bedroom
How do I choose my bakhoor?
Like most things, you get what you pay for. The price of the bakhoor reflects the quality of the ingredients used to create it and also the fragrance lasting properties of the bakhoor. The best quality bakhoor uses the best agarwood chips infused with the highest quality essential oils and fragrance oils. The bakhoor produced using natural ingredients with the highest quality essential and fragrance oils also attract a higher price. This is because; you will usually need to burn less of the bakhoor to achieve a long lasting and intense fragrance in your homes. Even with the lower priced bakhoor available with us, you are still getting a high quality product with a fantastic fragrance which will last for hours and hours throughout your home.
Buy all your bakhoor items from our store here.
Buy mubkara/bakhoor burner here.