Perfume Bazaar In Literature

On our way back we wandered through a Turkish perfume bazaar. As we passed along between the rows of booths, on the counters of which the Turkish perfumers were sitting cross-legged, their goods arranged in easy reaching distance about them, we saw many curious articles; among others the odd shaped otto of rose bottles, filled with that precious substance, and richly decorated with gold and colors; various styles of censers and casting bottles, amulets, that famous Turkish hair dye, called Rastik- Tuzi, which gives to the hair and beard such a fine black color and which almost every Turk uses; also a compounded perfume, karsi, used in the seralios.
A romance of perfume lands: or, The search for Capt. Jacob Cole. With ...
By Frank Sanford Clifford

The varying thread of our story now takes us to the farfamed perfume bazaar of Constantinople. Stay! what a cloud of perfume and sweet scents burthens the air! Here are gathered all the sweets of the far east and the west, from the long flacon of cologne to the tiny, gilded bottles of attar-gul, the aroma of brtrnt spices, delicate mixtures of rose and musk, with burning pestles of rarest flavor and most costly ingredients, calling to mind the sweets of "Araby the blest."

Bartering for. some trifling article of perfume at the bazaar, stood a young Greek, in the national dress of his people, with a short Spanish cloak of blue broadcloth thrown slightly about his shoulders, as if to protect the wearer from the night dew, which already began to fall. He seemed to be less engaged, after all, with the scent-merchant than in anxiously looking about him in the expectation of meeting some other person. Anon, a female, clothed in the ample dress of white which causes all the sex to look alike in the streets of Constantinople, and her features so hidden as to puzzle all conjecture as to whom she might be, approached, and, purchasing a small flask of otto of rose, exchanged a hurried and secret greeting with the Greek, and both turned together from the perfume bazaar.
The Turkish slave, or, The dumb dwarf of Constantinople:
By Maturin Murray Ballou








But the perfume-bazaar is the glory of Tunis. It is an arcade four hundred feet in length, communicating with the general bazaar. All the odors of the slumberous East are gathered here. At Constantinople you held it a religious duty to buy attar of roses, of old Tomasso the whitebearded perfume-merchant; you entered his inner shop—for he saw you were a Frank, and possessed of fabulous riches; and while you tucked yourself up most unorientally upon his cushion, imbibed his coffee, and slowly inhaled the smoke from the bubbling nargileh, and watched him as he decanted your purchase into its little gilded vessel, as regretfully and mysteriously as though it were the soul of the last rose that should ever bloom, and henceforth the harem of the Padishah himself must remain unperfumed, you fancied you were,coming into possession of those odors of which Hafiz had sung to you—in a French translation. You opened your treasure in your far Western home, and pronoui»ced Hafiz a humbug, and attar of roses a cheat No man ever thus misjudged who has read Hafiz in Persian or bought attar of roses in Tunis. But we must not waste superlatives even on the superlative Tunisian attar of roses; otherwise with what words, shall we celebrate the rarer, more precious, and fourfold more costly perfume of perfumes, the attar of jasmin, which never finds its way into any bazaar saving only that of Tunis? It is produced in perfection only in flower-embosomed Sfax, where the jasmin sucks up transcendent sweetness from a soil which appears to be only dry white sand, as the olive-trees of Sicily, pump up fatness from the bare rock. A fondness for perfumes is a noticeable feature at Tunis; all sweetmeats and fanciful dishes are fragrant with dellicate odors, redolent of something other than the gross scents of the kitchen; rather like those ambrosial cates which our first mother placed before the father of the race, while Paradise was not a remembrance of the regretful past. Closely allied with this is the love of flowers; every body carries them, every body wears them, with the stalks stuck under the head-dress. You will see a half opened rose repose blushingly against the cheek of the beggar who demands your alms.
Harper's magazine, Volume 5
By Making of America Project

The odors of the perfume bazaar so affected our senses that we were hardly conscious of tb,e movements of a stately Moslem, who, with slow deliberation was closing his establishment for the night; and the murmuring waters which were falling along the little, canals set into the walls of the houses, and in the street under our feet, so lulled our weary nerves that we were well prepared to enjoy the rest which remained for us a few minutes beyond. To an old resident, these sights and sounds had no novelty, but to one upon whom this panorama was first opened, it was more than Oriental, it was dream-land; and the spell was not broken when, passing through the long, low, narrow and dark passage from the street, we were ushered into the inner court of Dr. Mesharka's city residence.
The Century: a popular quarterly, Volume 14
By Making of America Project



In the most fragrant of the bazaars the spices are sold: those beautiful and pungent Arabian spices, which scent the air with delicious and subtle perfume. You have only to close your eyes, to fancy yourself wandering in groves of cinnamon or under the shady branches of the scented cedar. In the next bazaar you pause before a stall where the rich attar of roses brings to your imagination all the charms of that Bower of roses that stood by Bendemeer's stream, where, we are told, the nightingale sang all the day long. Here the nightingale is silent, but the scent of the roses is never absent. The well-known empty bottles are lying in numbers before you. If you buy one, the merchant takes it up, weighs it, then fills it with the luscious perfume, which filters in drop by drop. It is sold strictly by measure, and is worth almost its weight in gold.
The Argosy, Volume 54
By Charles William Wood


The Egyptian Bazaar, which adjoins the mosque of Yeni Valideh, is a miniature of "Araby the Blest." The building is covered by a vaulted roof and forms a street more than three hundred and fifty feet long, forty feet wide, and forty-five feet high. This is the drug and the perfume bazaar; and here are exposed for sale heaps and bags of every conceivable medicinal plant — dried, crushed, and powdered — coffee, gums, dates, opium, pepper, antimony, ginger, pistachio nuts, dye stuffs, cinnamon, cloves, sandalwood, attar of roses, essences of bergamot and jasmine, cosmetics of every imaginable variety — in fact a whole arsenal of Turkish coquetry.
Turkey and the Turks: an account of the lands, the peoples, and the ...
By Will Seymour Monroe


The most distinguished bazaars of Tunis are the spice, perfume, and jewel bazaars. In the first of these sit the Moors, pale, but handsome, in narrow window-seats surrounded by perfume bottles, boxes, ostrich eggs, bags with musk, bowls with dyes, wax-candles, and so on. The space is so limited that the seller can neither sit straight nor turn round. .So he sits in his picturesque costume all day long, without calling to customers or inducing them in any other way to buy. If he sells nothing for weeks he does not complain. The customer is sent by Providence, and as a firm believer in fatalism, he thinks there is no necessity to assist it.
Tunis: the land and the people
By Ernst von Hesse-Wartegg