The Arabian Allure: The Secret History Of The Middle East’s Most Famous Cosmetics

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Kohl for Her: Famously heavy-handed with her makeup brush, painting her lids in shocking green malachite shadow and rimming her waterline in kohl, Cleopatra, the spirited queen, made the look trendy centuries ago. In her day, kohl was believed to please the gods Horus and Ra, who in turn would keep the Evil Eye from afflicting the wearer with disease. For this reason men, women, children and even babies applied kohl daily.

Oud for Him: Anyone who has ever lived in the Middle East has had the experience of stepping into an elevator and being overpowered with the scent of the previous occupant’s oud. If you are lucky the smell is intriguing, spicy, and even sensual, possibly luring
 your mind to imagine details about the man who chose it. If you are less fortunate, the musk makes your eyes water effusively while you count the floors until the doors open, thankful that you don’t have to work or live with the gentleman who over applied to his wrists and neck.

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