Saturday, October 26, 2019

Fes Sufi Festival - Perfume Master Class

The return of the good weather on Friday allowed for all festival events to be rightly held in the Jardin Jnan Sbil, which proved the perfect location for the evening’s perfume master class to take place. Alice Price reports...

The master class was led by Abderrazzak Benchaabane, the Marrakech based Botanist and Master Perfumer who’s extensive career in the industry has seen him establish a notable mark on the perfume world, from founding festivals such as Festival Jardin Art, to more notably working alongside Yves Saint Laurent at the world renowned Jardin Majorelle.

Despite his successful career, Abderrazzak maintains that his motivations have always been purely spiritual, in emphasising that the role of a master perfumer goes deeper than the knowledge of the scents themselves, but that of the knowledge of their spiritual significance and associations.

Abderrazzak brought our attention to the spiritual significance of not only Morocco, but Fez itself within the perfume world. Despite many associating places such as Paris to be the perfume capital, Abderrazzak enlightened us as to the diversely rich scents and spices that are unique to Morocco. For instance, when it comes to creating a perfume that incorporates solely Moroccan essences, the master perfumer informed us that scents such as orange flower, rose and saffron form the key ingredients, with these particular scents harbouring superior qualities.

Rose for instance, is considered to be at the heart of a good perfume, with the Moroccan and Turkish roses being the most highly sought after.

Perfume and sunset in Jnan Sbil Gardens

Abderazzak emphasised that the key to a good perfume does not only rest in the smells it emanates, but the feelings it incites from the individual. According to Abderazzak the effect that perfume has on the human body is incredibly profound, with human beings making strong personal and emotional associations with smells that remain ingrained in their memory for life.

Overall, the evening proved to be an atmospheric and spiritual breath of fresh air for the Sufi Festival, with audience members having maintained very positive reactions as to the information and smells they were met with.

Photographs and text: Alice Price


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