Ingredients: Sandalwood, musk, clove water, and perfume.
Ignite a charcoal tablet with a torch for approximately 10 seconds on each side
Allow 50% of the charcoal to grey
Place an individual piece of sandalwood stick on top of the charcoal and allow it to burn fully
Use tongs to turn the individual piece of incense stick over if it burns only on one side but still seems sugary brown on the other side
Repeat until the whole wood is burned
Sudan is a cultural amalgamation of many peoples, tribes, and nations each with its language and culture. This rich diversity is something that has led to the development of one of the most complex incense and perfume cultures in the world dominated and perpetuated by women*. Each kind of incense plays a specific role and has many layers of spiritual implications. Out of all those, the most luxurious is considered the Sandalwood incense usually made for new brides, and burned within the confines of the private chambers of the home only. When it's burned in the bedroom, an action called 'kabrata', it's a signifier of readiness and desire as the incense is considered to be an aphrodisiac and pleasure inducer.
Traditionally Sudanese women didn't wear a wedding band when married but would use a specific perfume called Khumra, burn sandalwood, and incense their bodies in a smoke bath ritual called dukhan. These scents culturally notating their nuptial status.
Fragrance House: Bakhoor Alsarah Founded: 2022 Artisan: Alsarah Disciplines: Musician & bakhoor maker Bio: Alsarah is a Sudanese singer, songwriter, producer, ethnomusicologist, and self proclaimed #kitchenwitch based in Brooklyn. She founded her band Alsarah & the Nubatones in 2013. Fascinated by the weaving of rituals and traditions into sound and scent, she focused her ethnomusicology thesis on the intersection of music, scent, and spiritual possession in the practice of Zar in Sudan.
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