The current trend in couture fragrances compelled Amna Al Habtoor, the daughter of Sultan Al Habtoor, president of Habtoor Motors, to launch Arcadia, a collection of 10 custom-made scents. She talks to Bazaar about creating meaningful perfumes inspired by her Emirati heritage.
Describe the Arcadia fragrance collection...
Arcadia is a ﬁne fragrance series that acts as a sensory guide, transporting you to a particular moment in time – it is intended to evoke nostalgia. The bottle design is a modern take on a potion label that you may ﬁnd at an old apothecary.
What does Arcadia mean?
The origin of the word Arcadia represents the idea of a utopic existence. It seemed a ﬁtting name to describe that exact moment when a familiar scent ﬁrst strikes you. The theme is deﬁnitely nostalgia and the euphoric experience that occurs while reminiscing.
What is your inspiration?
It was inspired by the memories of my late mother, peace be upon her. With scent being such a powerful trigger for emotions, I was able to reminisce meaningful moments with her. This fuelled my passion for perfume and compelled me to start experimenting. I loved the idea of bookmarking a signiﬁcant time in your life and being able to return to it, simply, with a familiar aroma. I created a fragrance to capture the time of my wedding. I did the same at the birth of my daughter, and created a scented candle at the birth of my son. I am also forever grateful and inspired by my father’s support of this venture.
Who wears Arcadia?
Arcadia has a lot of women’s fragrances, but there are unisex scents in this series as well. This series is aimed at a modern and progressive audience who enjoys living outside the box of gender, culture and society.
How has your heritage inﬂuenced this collection?
Like most Emirati households, I grew up watching my mother burn wood chips that had been soaked in her homemade perfume for days. The scent of that Bukhoor would settle into our furniture, and live in our clothes. This tradition deﬁnitely reﬂects in my fragrances in underlying notes of amber, oud and musk. We have two more series of perfumes coming out later this year and we have modern Bukhoor sets with each one.
Arcadia will be available online in March at Arcadiame.com