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Al Zahra wants to expand the olfactory scope of Brazilians

Last September, Julia de Biase inaugurated Al Zahra (The Flower, in Arabic), the first shop entirely dedicated to Mid-Eastern fragrances in South America.

Julia de Biase

Julia de Biase

Located at 490 Melo Alves, at the corner of the Oscar Freire street, Jardim Paulista, in Sao Paulo, the shop is signed by architect Nelson Presbiteris, with a contribution from Jeane Madalena de Biase who brought the eastern decorative elements to the place.

I wanted to create something different, with new products never seen in Brazil before,” Julia de Biase told Brazil Beauty News.

Julia’s initial training and first profession was architecture but perfumery is her passion. She discovered Mid-Eastern fragrances during a trip to the United Arab Emirates a few years ago, but it was only when she returned to Brazil that she understood there was business opportunities for this kind of perfumery. “I came back to Brazil with some perfumes for my personal use, and people were often asking what was the name of my perfume and where to find it,” she explained.

Initially, she just wanted to import the products, but the lack of points of sales willing to develop this entirely new segment convinced her to open her own shop. “It was a huge challenge because people here in Brazil don’t know anything about Arabic fragrances. No one had any experience of this kind of perfumery. I had to explain what jasmine, agarwood, sandalwood and vetiver are, as well as there meaning in traditional Arabic perfumery.

The first feedback from customers is very positive. “The perfumes are very different from what Brazilians are used to purchase, but it seems that they love them! I offered my first customers the possibility to bring the perfumes at home to test them and to come back to be refunded in case they would be disappointed, but nobody came back for that. People are happy to have something original and different.

The fragrances currently sold at Al Zahra are priced between 400 and 500 R$ (about 110 to 140 US dollars or 100 to 130 euros). However, Julia de Biase thinks there is a public for more expensive brands such as Amouage and she is working to convince them to tap into the Brazilian market, the world’s biggest market for fragrances.

Vincent Gallon

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© 2015 - Brazil Beauty News - www.brazilbeautynews.com

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