can u not?

I guess you could say I found my “signature scent” when I was only 21years old. Think Arabic oud meets the sweet yet crisp scents that don’t overwhelm the American pallet. That’s Faedatik, by Swiss Arabian aka my favorite perfume in the world. Don’t get me wrong- it isn’t my only perfume. I really love other perfume by Swiss Arabia, especially mohobity. Yes, the company gives their perfumes really stupid names, but the scents are on point. Basically, Swiss Arabian is bae.

The downside is it isn’t available in USA, so once I run out I can’t get a new bottle unless I travel to the Middle East, which isn’t easy. And to top it off, it is only available in bigger cities, like Riyadh, Doha, and Dubai. I found out in May, much to my dismay, that it isn’t available in the whole country of Bahrain. I know this because I couldn’t find it anywhere… because it isn’t available there.

But for some glorious reason I won’t ever question, it is available right here in Qassim. Alhamdulillah.

When I discovered the shop, I couldn’t buy anything because my bank froze my account and really left me in a horrible situation for a while. So I was triple excited when I finally had money and could finally replace my Faedaetik and Mohobity.

A little background story of why just saying faedaetik makes me want to throw up in my mouth- it’s a super romantic word that means something to the effect of I love you so much I would die for you. Sweet, right?

Anyway, as soon as the bus arrived to the shopping plaza, I made a beeline straight to the Swiss Arabian shop, already knowing exactly what I wanted. The salesman was really friendly and a little pushy. He kept trying to show me new perfumes, but being a creature of habit I wasn’t interested. It quickly became very apparent that he wasn’t good at English.

“I need Faedatik,” I explained pointing at the bottle.

He gave me a look as if I was super dumb, “Faedatik?” he confirmed pointing to the bottle.

“Yes!” it’s probably embarassing how excited I was, “That one!”

“Okay, okay, waheed? Thneen? Thilatha?”

“Uhhh… waheed, waheed faedatik shukran.” Clearly Arabic isn’t my strong point.

He kept trying to show me new perfumes but I was on a mission…. I wanted mohobity. He’s trying to offer me others and I did smell a few, just because I didn’t recognize the new ones since it had been a while since I been in a Swiss Arabian shop. The problem with smelling perfumes, however, is that it is nearly impossible to smell while wearing a niqab. So,what did I do? I flipped my niqab up to smell it. Yeah, it seems harmless, but in his mind it gave him the green light to be a total creep.

I’m trying to find my second favorite, and he’s trying to make conversation with his broken English. I manage to find out that he is from Yemen and he realizes I am from USA. I finally find a solo bottle of the mohobity, and I point to it.

“I really NEED one of these.”

“These?|”

“Yes! Yes yes yes!”

What he said next made my heart drop to my knees.

“La. Halas.”

“What do you mean halas? Do you mean it is out of stock? When will you get more?”

“No. No. Halas. Done. Halas.”

My inner drama queen couldn’t even deal with this news.

“So you are telling me that there is not more of this perfume… Ever?|

It had been discontinued. Never again will I smell the sweet scent of pure love in a bottle that once enveloped everything I owned as I have a severe perfume problem.

“Oh my GOD this SUCKS,” and almost as soon as it started it ended, “Well what else do you got? Show me something similar. What is good here?”

He directed me to small bottles with a very concentrated liquid scent, pure oud. These bottles don’t have sprayers like traditional perfume. You unscrew them and they have a little stick and you apply the oil directly onto your skin. So he asked for my hand to put the oil, which is usual. It isn’t my first time in a perfume shop so I kind of expected that: however, I didn’t expect him to try to rub the palm of my hand with his pinky. I convinced myself that I was just being crazy, until when he showed me the second type of oud he actually tried to grab and hold my hand in an aggressive manner. “LA!” No, I shouted in a very stern voice.

This action really made me mad so I decided I didn’t want a replacement. I just wanted to pay for the 2 bottles I had picked out and leave. But that would be too easy. It wouldn’t give him a chance to be an asshole, so he had to find a way to complicate things. He wouldn’t tell me the cost, so finally he told me how much it cost, but he wouldn’t accept the cash until I gave him my phone number.

I told him I didn’t have a mobile. “No mobile??” He didn’t believe it.

“That’s right. No mobile. I don’t have a phone.”

“No phone? Why no mobile? Why?”

“I don’t have an iqama.”

“Why?”

“I’m new. No Iqama, no phone.”

Which is a total and complete lie and we both know it because I got my Saudi number the minute I arrived in this country and because he watched me walk into the store with my phone in my hand.

Fed up, I laid my money on the counter. He owed me change, but I wouldn’t accept it directly from his hand. I had him lay it down on the counter where I retrieved it. I put it in my wallet, as he put my perfumes in a bag for me. I went to take the bag and he grabbed it away from me and refused to let me have it. At this point I am really irritated.

“Give me my bag.”

“No, you come back.”

“No, I’m NOT coming back. Give me the bag, now.”

He continued to be a dick until I was able to wrestle the bag from him and leave the store. When I was headed back to the bus he tried to approach me. I had to yell at him so he would leave me alone. I don’t even know how he recognized me as I had on a niqab.

Everyone here in Buraidah always complains about the motawa, religious police, but to be honest I would have loved to have one there that day.

I talked to some Saudi friends about what would happen had I told the motawa. Probably he would be jailed and/or banned from the country. Do I think he should be reprimanded for his actions? Yes. Do I think prison is a bit harsh for what he did? Yes. He did harass me, he touched me without my permission, but he didn’t really harm me. I really have mixed feelings about the whole situation. I just know if the motawa got a hold of him they would have no mercy, and not even just because he harassed a lady, but because he is a foreign citizen in this country causing problems. I wanted him to be reprimanded because he harassed me, but now punished cause of nationality. I guess I shouldn’t care about it because it is over now. All I know is next time I buy Swiss Arabian I will go to Riyadh.

Salaam,

KC

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