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Sara Murad’s First Fragrance Launch Celebrates Saudi Arabia’s Love for Oud

Photo: Courtesy By Sara Murad

Joining the region’s line-up of homegrown niche beauty brands, Saudi media personality Sara Murad has launched her own fragrance house, By Sara Murad. A self-confessed perfume aficionado, the MBC1 presenter’s first fragrance, Black Oud, is a gender-neutral composition which she describes as “bold and intense”.

Vogue Arabia speaks with the Sabah Alkhair Ya Arab presenter about her passion for perfume, championing Saudi culture, and why oud is for everyone.

Why did you decide to launch your brand?
The journey of launching By Sara Murad was never linear and there were so many reasons that played a role into me deciding that this is what I want for my next chapter. I have always been intrigued by fragrances and before I even realized it, that intrigue changed into an integral part of my life. I started feeling very passionately about the fragrances, I would get excited about every new launch coming into the market – not just the more established brands out there but even when traveling, I’d pass by local shops and make it a point to collect different fragrances because of how close it made me feel to different cultures. In parallel, I of course was also working towards reaching new accomplishments being in the media industry. My professional journey has been rewarding in so many different ways, the experiences I have had, and the stories of strength that I’ve heard from different people also played a huge role in shaping me into the confident woman that I am today. These experiences coupled with all the progressive changes happening in Saudi gave me the drive to embark on a new journey and the more I thought about it I realized that why not start this new journey with something I love and feel passionately about – fragrances.

What interests you about fragrance specifically?
I truly believe that fragrances are more than just adding a few notes together. It’s about encapsulating an emotion through layering and the creativity that goes into creating a fragrance is something that has always fascinated me the most. This has also always dictated my signature scent as I have never really worn just one fragrance, it has always been a blend of different perfumes and layering scents.

Photo: Courtesy By Sara Murad

What is the philosophy behind By Sara Murad?
By Sara Murad reflects the idea that fragrances are more than just a few notes together. It is inspired by a bold state of mind and gentle personality. It captures the essence of confidence, both inside and out.

What does your first fragrance, Black Oud, mean to you?
Black Oud to me is not just a perfume, it’s a unique way for me to share my thoughts and journey with the rest of the world. We have gone through rigorous rounds of research and testing the scent across varied sample groups, and we understand that Black Oud has the ability to connect with each person on an individual level, regardless of their culture or background. It offers a sense of warmth and love that makes one feel empowered.

Who do you think will enjoy Black Oud?
One of the many things that were considered while we creating Black Oud was that we don’t want it to be for only one set of people. We want it to be for everyone, whether it’s someone who is obsessed with trying different fragrances or someone looking for a signature scent. I am very happy that by the end of it, we didn’t stray away from this. The result as you see is a unisex perfume with a unique smell that everyone will relate to in a different way.

Photo: Courtesy By Sara Murad

Why did you decide to launch with an oud?
Oud has always been perceived as a very precious scent in our culture, and some of my fondest memories while growing up and even in my adult life have had an element of oud or in some way have been associated with oud. Oud was a natural choice for my debut scent as it has always made me feel happy and content and these are some of the emotions I want to share with everyone who wears it.

Does the brand draw inspiration from your Saudi heritage?
Yes, absolutely! It is very closely connected to the culture I have grown up in and have never stopped admiring. It heavily draws inspiration from the Saudi culture, blended with the expertise of some of France’s most renowned noses and perfumers. In fact, one of the reasons why I wanted to launch this perfume in September was because it aligned so perfectly with the celebrations for Saudi National Day and what better way to pay homage to your country and culture than to create something that reflects everything that we have learnt through our culture and wish to express to everyone around us.

By Sara Murad retails exclusively at

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