Shumukh, the world's most expensive perfume, comes to Dubai

The scent and its gem-encrusted case is valued at Dh4.75 million

Asghar Adam Ali alongside his creation, Shumukh
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The world's most expensive perfume will be unveiled at The Dubai Mall on March 14. Shumukh, Arabic for "deserving the highest", took more than three years to formulate and was the 495th sample created before the scent was deemed perfect. Now, finally, the juice is available to purchase for the trifling sum of Dh4.75million. For just one bottle.

Shumukh is valued at Dh4.75 million
Shumukh is valued at Dh4.75 million

Why? A glance at the 1.9-metre-tall display case should reveal at least part of the answer. Clad in embossed leather, with a prominent gold diamond reading Shumukh, The Spirit of Dubai, the case opens to reveal the bottle itself, replete with rearing stallions and a falcon.

Picked out in gold (naturally), the lid features a trio of Arabian thoroughbreds around three silver clam shells, each holding a real pearl. That most pearls come from oysters and not clams is of little importance when one’s eye alights on three desert roses rendered in pink gold and dusted with diamonds, as if caught in a snowstorm, or inadvertently left in the freezer overnight. A crystal globe with the continents picked out in gold sits among three miniature marble pillars that support a dome, on which a diamond-studded falcon sits, its raptor eyes fixed on the viewer.

More diamonds sit in a band around the amber-hued perfume, which itself is a blend of amber, sandalwood, musk, rare pure Indian agarwood, pure Turkish rose, patchouli, ylang-ylang and, of course, frankincense.

Shumukh in its custom-made display case
Shumukh in its custom-made display case

Overall the bottle and case is set with 3,571 VVS-grade gems, including diamonds, topaz and pearls, for a total of 38.55 carats, as well as 2,479 grams of 18k gold and 5,892 grams of silver.

On show at Fashion Avenue in The Dubai Mall, the fragrance is included in the ART+ show. It boasts not one but two Guinness World Record titles, for Most diamonds set on a perfume bottle, and Tallest remote-controlled fragrance spray product.

Shumukh was designed by Asghar Adam Ali to allude to the seven key elements that represent Dubai. They are baz (falconry), durra (pearl diving), abjar (Arabian horses), narjesi (roses), haibah (luxury), Arabic hospitality (diwan) and aamal – Dubai’s status as a city of the future.

“With a history of passion for perfumery that has spanned 47 years, my dream was to bring to life a ‘history in the making’ concept with innovation at its core. My vision was not only to capture Dubai’s persona in one monumental piece of art, but to also create a fragrance that embodied the pinnacle of luxury in the world of perfumery,“ the creator explains.

In addition to creating Shumukh, Ali is also the founder and chairman of Nabeel Perfumes Group of Companies, and a master perfumer. The formulation of almost 50 years of experience, Shumukh is a one-of-its-kind blend, with only one bottle in existence. Best get in there quick, then.