When you explore the history of oud and the best perfume stores in the UAE, you’ll quickly find that it’s not just about fragrance. With its rich traditions and undying allure, it’s easy to see why the oud fragrance is called liquid gold. Derived from the resinous heartwood of the Aquilaria tree, this precious oil has enchanted the Middle East for centuries and made a profound impact on the fragrance industry.

If you’re passionate about scents and luxury, let’s embark on a journey to explore the story of oud.

The History of Oud

Oud is one of the most precious and expensive ingredients in the fragrance industry. Its use dates back to ancient times, where it was revered for its beautiful scent as well as cultural and medicinal significance. But, oud’s story begins with the Aquilaria tree, native to Southeast Asia. When this tree is infected by a specific fungus, it produces a dark resinous hardwood known as agarwood or oud wood.

The infected Acquilaria tree secretes a resin to protect itself, which creates this precious material. This resinous wood is then distilled to produce oud oil – a key ingredient in many traditional fragrances. Historically, oud was exchanged along ancient trade routes, making its way to the Middle East where it became a huge part of the region’s cultural heritage.

In many Middle Eastern cultures, oud is an integral part of social and religious practices. In fact, there are various traditions associated with oud.

Additionally, oud’s historical significance is highlighted by its mention in ancient texts like the Sanskrit Vedas from India and the Hebrew Bible, where it was used as perfume. In Assam, agarwood was even used as writing material – a practice that continues to this day.

Today, oud is celebrated in the Middle East and around the globe, attracting a diverse range of admirers. Its use in perfumes combines ancient practices with modern innovation, and its presence in contemporary fragrances is a nod to its timelessness.

Also, despite the emergence of synthetic alternatives, the demand for natural oud and its essential oils is still incredibly high, especially in the perfume industry.

Top 6 Perfume Stores in the UAE

  1. Ajmal Perfumes – Dubai
  2. Taif Al Emarat – Abu Dhabi
  3. Swiss Arabian – Sharjah
  4. Limited Gallery – Ras Al Khaimah
  5. Arabian Oud – Fujairah
  6. Al Haramain Perfumes – Umm Al Quwain

1. Ajmal Perfumes – Dubai

Location: Unit B29C, Level 1, Deira City Centre, Deira, Dubai

Operating hours: 10 AM – 10 PM, 10 AM – 12 AM (Friday – Sunday)

Ajmal Perfumes, a renowned name in Dubai’s fragrance industry, offers an extensive range of oud perfumes. Their carefully curated selection features scents that boast traditional craftsmanship and modern innovation, truly capturing the essence of liquid gold.

2. Taif Al Emarat – Abu Dhabi

Location: Dalma Mall Ground floor (near Starbucks), Abu Dhabi

Operating hours: 10 AM – 11 PM, 9 AM – 12 AM (Friday – Saturday)

If you’re looking for intoxicating oud perfumes and a luxury shopping experience in Abu Dhabi, look no further than Taif Al Emarat. This store features exquisite collections that reflect the rich traditions of Middle Easterners. You’ll also be pleased with how friendly and helpful the staff are in guiding your decision.

3. Swiss Arabian – Sharjah

Location: 60811, City Center, 2 U005 first floor, Sharjah

Operating hours: 9 AM – 10 PM

The great thing about Swiss Arabian is that they offer a wide range of perfumes at incredibly reasonable prices. To add to this, if luck is on your side, you may even find an unexpected discount. Their reputation for blending Western and Oriental craftsmanship is why their perfumes are revered by many.

4. Limited Gallery – Ras Al Khaimah

Location: 69 – 2 Corniche Al Qawasim St, Khuzam, Ras Al Khaimah

Operating hours: 10 AM – 10:30 PM, 10 AM – 12 AM (Thursday – Friday)

When you aren’t partaking in one of the many activities in Ras Al Khaimah, stop by Limited Gallery. It’s the place to go if you’re more into niche perfumes. Discover their well-picked-out selection, featuring brands like Stephane Humbert Lucas and Amouage.

5. Limited Gallery – Ras Al Khaimah

Location: 69 – 2 Corniche Al Qawasim St, Khuzam, Ras Al Khaimah


Operating hours: 9:30 AM – 10 PM

Arabian Oud on Hamad Street is a solid option for anyone in Fujairah. They’ve got a stunning array of both traditional and modern scents. Plus, they’re open daily and close late, giving you ample time to explore the rich, aromatic oud perfumes on offer.

6. Al Haramain Perfumes – Umm Al Quwain

Location: Al Salmah, Al Salamah 3, Umm Al Quwain

Operating hours: 8:30 AM – 11 PM

Last up is Al Haramain Perfumes – another solid choice for anyone looking for an oud scent or something a little different. They’ve got a nice collection of fragrances, including their renowned Amber Oud series. Al Haramain also offers perfume oil, incense, Dehnal oud, and gift sets.


Which popular perfumes contain oud?

Several popular perfumes feature oud as a key ingredient, adding a luxurious and exotic touch to their fragrances. Some notable perfumes that contain oud include Tom Ford Oud Wood, Gucci Intense Oud, and Armani Privé’s Oud Royal.

Why is oud so popular in the Middle East?

Oud’s popularity stems from how deeply embedded it is within Arab culture, religion, and tradition. Oud is frequently mentioned in Islamic texts and is believed to have been used by Prophet Muhammad himself. It’s used in religious ceremonies, social gatherings, and on special occasions like weddings. Oud also represents luxury, prestige, and identity in Arab societies.

Is oud a scent or an instrument?

Oud refers to both an instrument and a scent. The confusion often comes in because the instrument is also of Middle Eastern origin.

What does oud smell like?

Oud has a distinctive scent that’s often described as warm, smoky, and slightly animalic. It’s got a rich, complex aroma that’s prized for its depth and intensity. Many also describe the smell as luxurious and sophisticated.

Final Thoughts

Getting a whiff of oud is like stepping into a world of timeless luxury and tradition. Its harmonious blend is why so many fragrance companies use it to create beautiful scents that captivate the senses. So, if you’re looking to add a touch of “liquid gold” to your collection, head over to one of the stores we mentioned and pick up an oud perfume.

This remarkable essence continues to define the elegance and sophistication in the world of perfumery.


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