Thousands of years ago, goddess worship was prevalent throughout the world. Powerful mother goddesses ruled over all creation, one of whom was named Anahita, Zoroastrian goddess of water, love, fertility, and war in what is now Iran. Anahita was depicted as beautiful and alternately giving and cruel; a deity so popular that she has been venerated across the region- as Ishtar in Babylon and Venus in ancient Greece.
Historians believe that among the rituals involved in her worship was the burning of agarwood, also known as aloe wood or oud. As a child growing up in pre-revolutionary Iran, one of my greatest pleasures was wandering the bazaars and neighborhoods of downtown Ahwaz with my parents, breathing in all of the city’s multifarious scents, none more enthralling to me than one I could not name.
I assumed it was some type of incense, and over time it came to seem synonymous with Iran itself: beautiful, fragrant, and elusive. I can only guess that in a deeply traditional country rife with both Islamic and Zoroastrian customs, this may have been the same oud burned in Anahita’s honor.
However, after I was evacuated from Iran in late 1978, I grew to accept that I would probably never return to Iran, never again hear the mosque singers calling the faithful to worship or swim in the Caspian Sea or smell that elusive scent whose name I never knew.
And then I received a sample of Xerjoff’s “Kobe”, from their Shooting Stars Line, ostensibly for men but which for me transcends gender. Recently there have been a number of ouds on the market, many quite beautiful, but none that match Xerjoff’s version. On opening the bottle, I felt an immediate shock of recognition. This was the scent from the bazaar. The one I thought I’d lost forever. Inhaling the smoky perfume, memories came flooding back in a way that only fragrance can achieve for me and I knew that I’d done something most of us are lucky ever to do- I’d recaptured part of my childhood.
What is your favorite Xerjoff Fragrance? What scent evokes a memory of a distant land you have visited?Please leave a comment and you are eligible.
We have one sample of Kobe for one winner draw ends June 20, 201
–Leslie Robinson, Contributor
Thank you to www.xerjoff.com for this draw