November’s – ‘The Fine Jewellery Issue’ – Download Now
Making waves in the perfumery space, Sheikha Hind Bahwan’s new perfume brand OJAR uses only the finest ingredients.
In the south of Oman amongst the Dhofar Mountains, you’ll find the world’s finest quality of Frankincense in the world – also known as ‘Hojari’. Epitomising this finery, directly named after Hojari is Sheikha Hind Bahwan’s new perfume brand OJAR.
With a background in technology, being the Omani founder of global technology firms Bahwan CyberTek and dt360, as well as being a recipient of France’s Legion of Honour, stepping into the perfumery space may seem like an out of the blue move for Sheikha Hind. However, with perfumery entrenched in Omani culture, particularly in Sheikha Hind’s hometown of Sur, located in the east of Oman, and her own longstanding passion for fragrance, launching her own perfume brand was, in fact, a natural step for her.
“My mother nurtured my passion for fragrances from my early childhood and I have fond memories of these very special moments spent mixing and creating perfumes with her at home,” she tells Emirates Woman. “Experimenting with perfumes has become part of my lifestyle and two years ago, I made the decision to create a perfume brand that is authentic yet modern; a brand that is inspired by my heritage, and yet, has a contemporary appeal that combines the perfect fusion between East and West.”
Taking inspiration from her home city which is famous for shipbuilding and trading in frankincense, oud and wood, these three ingredients alongside rose, honey and musk make up the core for her debut fragrance collection.
Discussing the story behind OJAR, Sheikha Hind reveals to Emirates Woman what inspired the new brand, the creation process of her scents, how her career path led to her this point and how her parents have been a source of inspiration for her.
The story behind OJAR
To create OJAR I surrounded myself with professionals and industry leaders notably; Givaudan, the world’s leading fragrance company who developed the various scents, creative directors, designers, engineers, manufacturers, filmmakers and music composers. They all played important roles in translating my vision for OJAR into a reality. The creation of OJAR has been a complex and thoroughly enjoyable experience and I am learning all the time which I find incredibly rewarding. I am very excited about the next phase of the OJAR journey.
How OJAR has evolved
I launched OJAR at the beginning of October this year and I couldn’t be more pleased with the feedback from the market. The fragrance market is very competitive. Delivering points of difference to the market is essential for our evolution as a brand.
At OJAR we continuously engage with consumers to understand their needs and we look at ways to incorporate these needs into our products, for example, the creative and engineering teams designed an elegant perfume oil bottle with a double cap usage which is the first of its kind in the industry. It is our authenticity, attentiveness, creativity and quality that will make OJAR stand out as the brand continues to evolve.
What OJAR represents
We developed OJAR with a universal appeal in mind. If I were to describe OJAR I would say the brand represents; heritage, culture, quality, authenticity, a bridge between tradition and modernity, a contemporary lifestyle, creativity and an enduring elegance.
The creation process
When I first met with the perfumers from GIVAUDAN, I brought some of my personal creation and shared my inspiration behind each scent. We began a captivating journey brainstorming around the collection, gathering around smelling sessions. As a perfume lover I couldn’t wish for more, the process of fine fragrance creation is literally fascinating.
We have created 18 unique fragrances, basically three variations around each of six main ingredients: rose, oud, sandalwood, honey, musk and frankincense. With three variants, each of these main ingredients is revealed in a very different identity. The collection has a very eclectic olfactive profile that will appeal to a broad audience. The collection has been specially created to encourage experimentation and layering, OJAR gives a multitude of possibilities for customers to create their unique signature.
Sheikha Hind’s career
I started my first company, Bahwan CyberTek, which has established itself as a leader in the technology, supply chain, education, business-process-outsourcing and security system verticals, at the age of 23.
My group has evolved from a two-member organisation to a group that includes a global technology company that has also featured as case studies delivered by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, three joint ventures, a renewable energy business, a commodity trading business, a workforce of 3,000 employees and now a lifestyle business.
My parents are my enduring motivation. I was very fortunate to inherit my father’ – Sheikh Suhail Bahwan – entrepreneurial DNA which has given me a mindset and vision that focuses on solving problems, presenting solutions and identifying opportunities. I get tremendous satisfaction when I launch and build a successful business. It is a lifestyle that I enjoy. I don’t see it as work.
On overcoming hurdles
There have been a myriad of events and developments that have occurred over the last two decades that have impacted my businesses, be they; the dotcom bubble of the early 2000s, the global financial crisis of 2009, the various oil price crashes, the evolution of smartphones, e-commerce and social media, the renewable energy revolution and of course the very difficult pandemic that we are experiencing at the moment. I have tried to use each one of these events as an inflection point where I can recalibrate, adjust and adapt my businesses to meet the new requirements, and hopefully, with my businesses emerging stronger as a result of these events.
That is a difficult question but I would have to say; developing Bahwan CyberTek into a global technology business with a customer portfolio that includes some the world’s leading companies gives me tremendous satisfaction. I am very grateful for the network of customers, business partners, colleagues and friends that I have been able to form over the last two decades. And, of course, launching OJAR is a very exciting and new direction for me and I hope that the brand will be a positive ambassador for Oman and the Middle East.
November’s – ‘The Fine Jewellery Issue’ – Download Now
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