The way that smell functions in the Middle East stresses communal ties – the recognition of individuals by their scent is a form of literacy, a way of reading each person. Scents can evoke strong emotional reactions. Kuwaiti and Saudi Perfumers Omar Al Houli and Abdullah Al Dossari, along with French – Kuwaiti Creative Director Djinane Al Suwayeh, launch a new ethereal fragrance brand, ODICT. Viki Shah speaks to them on the experiences and emotions associated with scents.
Our olfactory receptors are directly connected to the limbic system, the most ancient and primitive part of the brain, which is thought to be the seat of emotion. Smell sensations are relayed to the cortex, where ‘cognitive’ recognition occurs, only after the deepest parts of our brains have been stimulated. Thus, by the time we correctly name a particular scent as, for example, ‘vanilla’, the scent has already activated the limbic system, triggering more deep-seated emotional responses.
ODICT = Oud + Addict. Oud is derived from Agarwood, and has been used ceremonially as oil (dehn al oud) or resin (oud mubakhar) by Arabs since ancient times. An Addict is a devotee, dedicated to their source of addiction. ODICT unisex perfumes are bound together by their love of mystery and a shared culture of scent. Oriental bouquets such as oud, frankincense, saffron, amber and musk are combined with crisp, contemporary notes such as bergamot, vetiver, leather, geranium and grapefruit.
Is the act of smelling akin to the act of thinking?
We think that they go hand in hand based on the context the individual is in at the moment. As smelling triggers thoughts, and thoughts trigger specific perceptions of smell, both acts are akin.
Are perfumes associated with feelings/forgotten feelings? I mean, would a particular perfume make us happy or sad?
Yes, absolutely! How does smelling the pages of an old book make you feel? The beauty of smell is that it’s personal, the same scent that can transcend someone to a happy place can be the trigger of a bad memory for someone else.
Is it possible for fragrances to help us de-stress? If so, which ones?
Our spiritual life force comes by way of air and respiration. We believe in the healing powers of scent; it’s called aromatherapy! Jasmine, Lavender, Vetiver, Bergamot, Geranium, Ylang Ylang are just a few fragrances used to de-stress and are found in ODICT perfumes.
Can you comment on perfumes with respect to emotions, moods, preferences, perceptions?
The intangible but very real scent of a perfume is a passageway to the unconscious, to the nature of the soul. Scent is essentially a part of every civilization and religion, existing at the heart of spirituality in every culture and era. It evokes enduring strength, memory, emotion, and desire. Picking a scent that is attractive to you based on your mood, might exude differently to those exposed to your scent as both perceptions become important in comparing smells.
The philosophy behind ODICT and the logo
Greek Philosopher, Plato, believed that three dimensional shapes were the building blocks to the creation of everything— in us, around us and beyond.
Inspired by sacred geometry, ODICT is branded with an elegant octahedron shape which symbolizes the elements of air and heart, and a silver vertical axis in its centre which connects the sky and earth. The sense of smell gives pleasure to the soul, it is the material of Love, Transformation and Elevation.
Written by: Viki Shah
Visit the website at www.odictofficial.com or follow on Instagram @odictofficial.