Amouage, the Oman-based fragrance brand that has branched out into homewares, is by most standards a purveyor of luxury.
The opening of its store and factory, dubbed The Amouage Factory, in Muscat, only serves to confirm this.
Amouage is actually French-Arabic for ‘wave’. Consultancy JHP, which designed the 2,000 sq ft store and associated visitor centre and ‘factory’, has used this to provide a number of the building’s signature elements.
A mirrored, undulating canopy takes the visitor towards the shop and is intended to remind the onlooker of waves - while doubling up as protection from the sun. Similarly, the store entrance uses a ship’s wheel as a logo, Sinbad was big in these parts and the vaguely nautical theme continues.
Step through the door and the interior is an exercise in high ceilings, cool colour and the kind of opulent minimalism - in spite of the apparent contradiction in terms this may sound like - favoured by so many upscale retailers. The difference in this instance is that it is in keeping with Amouage’s roots as an enterprise set up with the intention of being the Arab world’s first international luxury brand.
The store and the factory, where the fragrances are created, are in keeping with an Arab styled, both in terms of the architecture and the interior design with its spacious layout.
This is certainly luxury and it is definitely neatly integrated with the perception of opulence and wealth that most will have of this part of the Gulf, but it also provides a focal point for those who know the brand from its presence in department stores in the UK such as Harrods and Selfridges.