A Home Fragrance Brand Creating Positive Impact and Spreading Light on Local Heritage.
Alyazi Almheiri founded From the Arabs, a locally grown brand of beautifully scented aromatic candles, infused with the essence of Emirati culture, in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. It took two years of extensive research and development of the scents and formulations to bring this tantalising project to life. The talented 20-year-old is also a student at Birmingham University, studying Economics. If you’re wondering how she balances her studies with a start-up, Alyazi says, “I’d be lying if I said it was easy. It requires a lot of discipline and commitment to be able to balance the two. As I am both an entrepreneur and a university student, I learnt that it is all about prioritising and having an organised schedule."
The young entrepreneur, who hails from Dubai, was interested in perfumery as a hobby which was passed on from her grandmother who was a perfumer in the 80s. The making of the brand was inspired by her grandmother’s ‘bakhoor’ recipes, which is an alluring scent of wood chips soaked in fragrant oud oils, extracted from the rare Aquilaria tree, and enhanced by burning coal. The aroma itself is unique and at first if you are not familiar with the scent, it may appear rather potent, but the rich scent is iconic to the beauty of Emirati heritage. Alyazi says, “You get to learn the stories of heritage through scents.”
Her goal is to create a brand representing Emirati culture by diffusing Emirati and Arab aromas into the world. What was once her hobby turned into a successful home fragrance brand that’s grown into a regionally recognised name, all within a couple of years of launching. “The process of developing Arab scents was extensive, as formulating them to suit candles was very challenging due to the nature of the raw material used in traditional Emirati scents,” Alyazi mentions.
I love discovering new brands from the region and what I value about From The Arabs is not only how it elegantly captures the elegance of fragrance from old-world Emirati heritage with each candle they make, but the brand stays true to its commitment to sustainability. Each product comes in a gorgeous handmade clay pot that can be reused once the wax runs out. The use of clay pots for the candles highlights the Arab tradition of using clay water pots called matka or matla. Everything used is ethically sourced materials, from the pots to the recyclable packaging and tags. Even each candle is hand-wrapped in dried palm tree leaves, which pays homage to the culture and traditions of the past.
There’s more to be said from the founder Alyazi Almheiri:
Q: What is the story behind the name From The Arabs? What’s the inspiration?
Alyazi: From The Arabs is a home fragrance brand that was created to reinvigorate Emirati culture with scents. Infusing traditional scents usually found in Emirati homes in the forms of bakhoor and incense with candles. Tapping into the field of Arabic flavours in a way that has never been done before. Our products are authentic, completely made by hand, and 100 per cent locally sourced in the UAE. Each one of our pieces is entirely unique because of the craftsmanship and pottery work that goes into creating them. Our inspiration for our brand came from preserving our grandmother's famous bakhoor recipes. To modernise it, we started creating home fragrances inspired by traditional Arabic scents and using her signature recipes in different forms. This led us to create our first line of candles, which embodies our vision as a brand.
Q: What do you think makes your candles standout from the others in the market?
Alyazi: It’s all about culture. When you learn about us as you learn about Emirati culture, each scent pays homage to our heritage such as our Fil scent, which is derived from Arabic jasmine, a scent typically used in local weddings, known as a scent of celebration. As well as our L’ban scent which derives from Arabic gum, a scent used to purify homes in local culture, also known as a healing ingredient in many traditional medicines.
Q: How important was it for you to have a brand that shares information about your heritage and culture to the world?
Alyazi: Culture is the fundamental building blocks of From The Arabs, our goal was to combine culture with modernity so when you learn about us you also learn about Emirati culture.
Q: Where are your products and materials from? Are they made in the region?
Alyazi: Yes. We locally source all our materials within the UAE and hand make everything in our Dubai production facility. Our terracotta clay pots are made from clay derived in Fujairah and are hand-thrown daily in our production facility, we also hand make our perfumes ourselves in addition to hand pouring every candle with immense attention to detail. Additionally, to be made in the UAE, we are also 100 per cent sustainable, using ethically sourced and sustainable materials, with recyclable packaging and reusable candle pots. We believe in the long term.
Q: Where are you selling your candles? Just in the UAE or anywhere else? Where can we buy them?
Q: Will you be expanding your range?
Alyazi: Yes. We are definitely looking forward to expanding our product range in the near future, with our next line of candles inspired by Emirati coastal heritage launching very soon.
Q: What are your hopes with the business?
Alyazi: Our goal is to diffuse Emirati flavours into modern perfumery around the world, expanding From The Arabs to the global market, simultaneously spreading local culture.