The value of consumption of perfumes in the Gulf region throughout the year exceeded SR12 billion ($3.2 billion), with the Saudi market accounting for more than half — SR5.4 billion — throughout the year. In total, people in the Gulf region spend around SR45 billion ($12 billion) on cosmetics, perfumes, oud and bukhoor, Makkah newspaper reported.
According to Mohammed Abdul Samad Al-Qurashi, CEO of Abdul Samad Al-Qurashi Group of Companies, the size of the perfumes and skin care products' market in the Gulf exceeds SR12 billion, with the Kingdom marking more than 50 percent of the consumption.
"The sale of cosmetics and perfumes during Ramadan alone exceeded SR 4.5 million in the Kingdom. The reason behind that is the tradition where they have to welcome people in their homes with bukhoor and gift them oud for eid," he said. "People in the Gulf consumed almost SR10 billion and more than half is consumed by the local market," he added.
"The Saudi tradition of buying perfumes seasonally and on special occasions is gradually trending with the change of culture and lifestyle in the community," said Abu Mohammed, owner of a perfume shop in Jeddah. "This lifestyle has made our market very active, especially on special occasions such as Eid.
People started giving perfumes as gifts and almost 50 percent of my customers ask me to gift-wrap their perfumes," he added.
"Pilgrims and expatriates like to buy their families special scents, especially those made locally such as oud and bukhoor," said Abu Salem, salesman at an oud shop. "Saudis buy oud only on special occasions such as weddings and Eid because they have an expensive taste and wouldn't buy the cheap varieties of oud, but expatriates and pilgrims would go for this kind because their poor knowledge and understanding," he added. Perfumes, cosmetics and oud are essential for Saudis, especially women, according to businesswoman Sarah Al-Qahtani. "Women around the world generally keep close attention to appearance so we spend a lot of money on clothing, jewelry, makeup, hair salons and perfumes," she said.
"In our case, even men keep close attention on their appearance so they also spend their money on luxury items like their cars, clothing and of course perfumes. There is no surprise that the size of the perfume market is huge as even international designers have started using oud in their perfumes to attract the Gulf market more," she added.