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Contestants battle it out for 'Young Perfumer' award.

The 'Young Perfumer Talent Hunt' held at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marine on Friday, November 15.

Finalists at the Young Perfumer Talent Hunt taking part in the grand finale in Dubai on Friday. -- KT photo by Mukesh Kamal

20 of the sharpest sniffers in town duked it out, but only one nose could win the title of 'Young Perfumer' for 2013.

During its 36 days of roadshows, perfume brand Ajmal had 2,526 people register for the event. Whittled down to a mere 20 contestants -- ten boys and ten girls -- they underwent a whole day of theoretical and practical training under the guidance of staff from Ajmal and perfumer partners, Firmenich, to tell apart jasmines from their jatrophas, in a manner of speaking. All this led up to the 'Young Perfumer Talent Hunt' held at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marine on Friday, November 15, where they battled it out to win the title in front of over 500 people.

The contestants were given 90 minutes to create a fragrance that would be their representation of a 'French Mukhallat' fragrance theme from the 16 ingredients provided to them. Each competitor was provided with a perfumery workstation for freedom to work and expression of creativity.

Their renditions were judged by an esteemed panel of judges and after much deliberation, Jihad Badran bagged the title. Sakina Sawan, Mohammed Ali Al Hamadi, Ziad Awwad and Maitha Mohamed Salem were named as first, second, third and fourth runners up respectively, and awarded for their creative renditions as well.

Badan said he felt "truly privileged" to have taken the crown, adding the recognition was a profitable return on the efforts of Ajmal Perfumes.

"This first of its kind competition was a thrilling experience for me and my fellow contestants where we were able to apply our creativity and receive valuable training in perfume making. I regard this award an honour to all youth as it has established our creative and cognitive capabilities that assist in opening unrestrained perspectives in the fragrance industry," said Badran.

Judges included, among others, Abdulla Ajmal, General Manager of Ajmal Perfumes, who Khaleej Times managed to speak to on his way to the event. "When we started this talent hunt, we knew that we had a great idea on our hands, but were left amazed at the interest generated by local as well as expat youngsters across the UAE," he said.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Nov 17, 2013
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