Sixteen years in the business of incense and dealing with 16 types of “home-made” incense, which are in huge demand in the Sultanate, especially during the festive occasions.
Ahead of Eid al Fitr, Alabda al Balushi, a well-known incense-maker from the Wilayat of Musannah, is busy attending to hundreds of loyal customers streaming in and out of her home.
Having been in this business for 16 years, she has on offer 16 varieties of incense, for which she has received hundreds of orders.
She is not flustered. Quite used to the festival rush, she displays an air of confidence and quietly goes about her routine task.
She had a piece of advice to girls: learn how to make Bukor (one of the best forms of incense) and help revive Omani traditions.
Shamsa bint Saif al Maawali is another trader in Wadi al Maawil known for her special types of incense.
Like Alabda, she too is ready with her special collection. “I prepare early for the Eid because I receive lots of orders for incense.”
Shamsa has produced five types of incenses that are popular among her customers. She also makes body lotion fragrances, which are in demand.
“Eid is the best time for selling incense. The preferences and interests vary, so I have developed new types of incense,” she says.
Shamsa started making incense many years ago. She travelled as far as Dhofar, the home of natural incense, and learned how to prepare top quality incense. She has taken part in several workshops and training programmes to gain expertise in the field.
Her dream is to have her own brand and factory, and train Omani girls in making incense.
She has already started giving lectures on incense and its importance in schools and women’s associations, motivating many girls to enter this field.
Siham al Saidi –