Oman is often dubbed the land of frankincense, these small yellow tears with a potent unmistakable scent are extracted from the tree bark of genus Boswellia and is found in the Dhofar Governorate region. Frankincense has a rich history with kings and emperors favouring its essence as unique royal gifts. Today Frankincense plays in a pivotal role in Oman’s culture and heritage and can be found in every Omani household. Generations of Omanis have used the precious essence in perfume for centuries. In an effort to preserve the traditional Omani perfume industry, Sultan Qaboos Bin Said instructed Prince Hamad Bin Hamoud Al Busaidi to create a company which will not only maintain these sacred practices but offer a valuable gift to world visitors during official visits. In 1983 Amouage was launched bearing the royal seal of approval.
Perfumers at Amouage eventually earned an international reputation and propelled the brand to global status. It rapidly became known for its luxurious feel and was hailed as one of the most expensive perfumes in the world. The Amouage scent is unmistakably Arabian and uses a combination of Arabian scents and local essences including oud, musk, sandalwood and more importantly Omani frankincense from the Dhofar region.
The uniqueness of the Amouage lies with its vast and diverse scent repertoire but also with the fine craftsmanship employed to create stunning bottles. These fine bottles often take the shape of Omani national treasures as the famed Omani dagger, the beautiful dome at the top of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Other bottles are made of natural crystal in a cuboid shape and are decorated with wave effects and topped with a magnetic cap.
Eventually the popularity of the brand prompted Amouage to open shops overseas. The first of these shops launched in neighbouring Dubai in 2011 followed by shops in other Arab countries in the region. Today the Amouage brand is not limited to perfumes, the company also retails luxurious body and bath products, fine leather goods including leather bags, wallets, purses and game cases. The brand also launched scents for the home such candles, room sprays and home scents.
In 2012, Amouage opened its factory and visitor centre in Muscat as part of its 30 year celebrations. The centre offers visitors an insight into how perfume is made and produces around 25,000 bottles weekly. Today Amouage operates 21 standalone shops and their products are sold in leading department stores including Harrods, Selfridges and Bloomingdale’s. Despite its huge international following, Amouage has retained its Omani identity and is a strong competitor to other major international brands.