Encapsulating Life in Perfume: Mohammed Ne’emah

French-Oriental perfumeAn ultra-luxurious French-Oriental perfume brand synonymous with high-end luxury, Ne’emah for Fragrance & Oudh was established in 1997 by Mohammed Ne’emah. Since then, the brand has embraced opulence and signature perfumes in the market. HEALTH meets the man behind Ne’emah who narrates his journey.

Q How did you venture into perfume making?
Mohammed Ne’emah: My journey as a perfumer began at the age of 17. My parents had a huge collection of perfumes, meant for special occasions such as weddings, festivals, and other important events. I could recognize and distinguish one scent from another and I remember them vividly and can recognize them everywhere, even today. I tried experimenting with a few ingredients to create a perfume, which became hugely popular among family and friends. From there on, I realized that perfumery was a field that was meant for me. Being the third generation pursuing this craft, the
art of perfumery and the tradition of the Orient are within my family roots and I believe that becoming a perfumer was my chosen destiny.

Q What is your characteristic style and what types of perfumes do you create?
Mohammed Ne’emah: Simplicity and timeless understated elegance are two phrases that would aptly describe my style. This is evident from all my perfume bottles that are black and white with a touch of gold. As a perfumer, I only believe in making Eau de parfum, because fragrances are meant to be long lasting. At Ne’emah, we do not offer Eau de toilette or Eau de Cologne. We make long lasting Oud-based perfumes that are rich and leave you smelling fresh for a long time.

Q Who/what inspires you?
Mohammed Ne’emah: My inspiration is endless and finds its source in the world that I like to explore, and the many different people I meet. To me, every place has its own scent, and every single person his own olfactory character. I sense and capture everything that I can from my visits world over, and keep it alive in my memory. Every one of my creations is based on my life, and my personal experiences. My grandfather has also been one of my greatest sources of inspiration. He was the first perfumer in our family and all my interest and skill in perfumery comes from him. He taught me that perfumery is not just another business but something that requires great passion.

Q How different, in your opinion, is the Middle Eastern perfume market than the Europe or North American market when it comes to women and their perfumes?
Mohammed Ne’emah: The demand for exotic natural ingredients like Sandalwood, Amber and Oud have risen considerably and Oriental scents are now the trend among women in the Middle East. Perfumes are more of a fashion statement and women in this region splurge on fashion and cosmetics. Luxury perfumes are in high demand and major international brands are increasingly creating special limited editions to suit local tastes.

On the other hand, celebrityendorsed perfumes and celebrity fragrances are hugely popular in the European and North American markets. Women in these regions love intense fragrances and eye-catching packaging. Unlike seasonal scents in the Middle East, women in North America buy fragrances that can be used throughout the year.

Q What do you feel constitutes a classic perfume?
Mohammed Ne’emah: A perfume that smells like one you’ve never smelled before, a perfume that is long-lasting, and a perfume that has timeless elegance. Classic perfumes are those that change the path of perfumery.

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