Sara Murad, a renowned television host, presenter, and media personality from Saudi Arabia made headlines this week because of the launch of her own fragrance line, ‘By Sara Murad.’

‘Black Oud,’ the inaugural fragrance from her eponymous perfume brand is set to captivate audiences with its unique and long-lasting aroma. Sara’s entrepreneurial journey was inspired by the success of women around her – acting as a driving force to tell stories of empowerment and confidence through unique fragrances.

With over two years in the making, ‘Black Oud’ pays homage  to the Middle East’s rich culture and heritage. In a free-wheeling chat, Sarah talks to EW about the essence of ‘By Sara Murad’ and what went into the making of it.

What inspired you to start your own perfume line?

I have always been passionate about perfumes. From a very young age, I have enjoyed collecting different perfumes and experimenting with layering scents to create unique fragrances. I wanted to bring one of my longest passions to life with the launch of By Sara Murad. Our goal, as a fragrance house is to bring together the essence of the Middle East with the expertise of globally renowned European perfumers: a cultural blend of the East and the West.

Can you tell me about the unique qualities that set your fragrances apart from others in the market?

By Sara Murad combines premium quality and expert technique by French perfumers along with a high percentage of oil to create a long-lasting scent. Oud is an ingredient that is so close to my heart, as I’m sure it is for most people who live in the Middle East. It is a scent that instantly transports you to happy memories – celebrations, weddings, graduation, family gatherings and more. Our debut perfume, Black Oud is gender neutral and my purpose behind creating this formula was to offer our audiences a scent that empowers them and boosts self-confidence, encouraging them to achieve whatever they set their heart to.

How did you go about selecting the notes and scents for your perfume collection?

I knew that my first perfume will have to feature notes of Oud. As a Saudi woman, living in the GCC, Oud is such an important part of our family and culture. I wanted to work with the best of the best in the industry to elevate the Oud aroma, paired with complimentary notes to create a perfume that not only appeals to our market, but has the potential to grow beyond borders, appealing to a regional and international audience.

Could you share the story behind the name of your perfume brand?

I wanted to share my story, my personal and professional journey with the world, which is why I chose this name. It is a fragrance line created By Sara Murad for the rest of the world. Within the elegant black bottle of perfume, I wanted to capture a spectrum of emotions and life-events that have made me the person I am today. The campaign for the launch of Black Oud is the perfect depiction of this, showcasing different elements of my character – with the most prominent being the elegant, the mysterious, the adventurous and the powerful. I aim to evoke these emotions and feelings in our customers every time that they use our perfume.

What was the most challenging part of the perfume creation process for you?

Launching my own brand, and specifically a perfume label – while having been a long-term dream of mine – didn’t come without its fair set of challenges. I wanted to ensure that our end product was exactly as I had envisioned, and the complete process proved to be such an interesting learning experience for me. Being new in this industry, I had to dive deep into intense research and rounds and rounds of trials to create By Sara Murad’s first perfume. We wanted to ensure that our product appeals to a regional and an international audience, and for this, we went through a series of tests across diverse sample groups to understand the sentiment and emotion it evokes across varied backgrounds and cultures. I am however extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to work with such a supportive team that made overcoming each challenge and setback so much easier than I could’ve imagined.

Are there any specific fragrances or ingredients that hold personal significance for you?

Oud is definitely a very special fragrance for me. As I shared, it is one that I closely associate with happy moments, celebrations and family. A whiff of Oud always takes me back to a beautiful memory. I also enjoy scents of Jasmin, Amber, Musk, Leather and so many more that I am excited to explore in our upcoming perfumes.

What sustainability or ethical considerations have influenced your perfume line’s production and packaging?

At this stage we are producing limited-edition drops with smaller batch production. However, we see immense growth and exploration within the areas of sustainable and ethical production practices. This is something that we are working towards implementing in our future production processes through reusable bottles and reduced plastic.


Is there a particular fragrance in your collection that holds a special place in your heart, and if so, why?

This is never an easy one for me to answer. I have such an extensive perfume collection and I always experiment with different layering combinations. Just like outfits, for me, each perfume and perfume combination serves a different purpose. Just like I wouldn’t wear the same outfit to a casual dinner out with my friends and to a work event, I also switch up my perfume based on the occasion and the time of the day. From dusk to dawn, I am sure to have a ‘perfume-change’ for the different moments of the day.

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