Travel Diary: SIFR Aromatics – Kampong Glam, Singapore

Perfume Oils - Sifr Aromatics
Perfume Oils – SIFR Aromatics

One of my latest obsessions is perfume oils. Last year I discovered a wonderful old shop in Delhi’s Chandini Chowk district, called Gulab Singh Johri Mal. This Mughal era parfumery specializes in attars – scented oils derived from botanical sources. I was hooked. So when I landed in Singapore, one of my first stops was SIFR Aromatics, a niche perfumery passed from father to son.

fdakl;
Parfumier Johari Kazura

SIFR Aromatics is on Arab Street in Kampong Glam – Singapore’s oldest Muslim district. Owned by parfumier Johari Kazura, SIFR has a range of small batch scents handcrafted by Kazura, as well as a beautiful perfume bottle collection mounted on beautiful dark wood cabinetry built by Indonesian craftsmen. What intrigued me most, was the possibility of creating my own bespoke fragrance.

IMG_8978
Luckily for me, Kazura was in the shop and available. (An appointment is recommended.) I gave him a list of my favorite fragrances and scents – Tom Ford’s “Jasmin Rouge” (Sambac jasmine and spices) , Kilian’s “Back to Black” (cherry, leather, tobacco and honey) as well as Comme des Garçon’s “Ouarzazate” (pepper, spice, incense).

IMG_8981
Since I’m new to this arena and had limited time, I started by smelling Kazura’s line of fragrances and found a smoky perfume oil to use as a platform to build on. He continued to add ingredients – jasmine, oud and other oils – until we arrived at balance I liked. He then encouraged me to leave for an hour or so to let the oil settle on my skin. So we took a nose break to check out the historic Raffles Hotel and grab a Singapore Sling (crossed off the Bucket List).

Nearby Abdul Gafoor Mosque.
Nearby Abdul Gafoor Mosque.

It’s important to let a fragrance settle because the notes change as they are exposed to air and the oils in your skin. And after an hour or so of smelling a bunch of different fragrances, it’s easy to have sensory overload. Taking time out to sniff coffee beans is a great way to wipe the olfactory slate clean.

IMG_8977
After checking out Singapore’s colonial past, we cabbed it back to SIFR and I collected my new fragrance – “Jasmine Smoke”. Johari wrote down the ingredients in his notebook, along with my contact information so I can order more when the oil is gone.

IMG_8979
The wonderful thing about oils, is the fragrance lasts a lot longer than an eau de parfum. Perfumes are mixed with alcohol and the fragrance dissipates much quicker than oils. And there’s something really cool about wearing a fragrance no one else has.

Customized perfumes range from $75-$200.

SIFR is at 42 Arab Street, Singapore
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-8.30pm
Sat 11am-9pm
SIFR Aromatics Website

Advertisements

One thought on “Travel Diary: SIFR Aromatics – Kampong Glam, Singapore

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s