Visiting the vibrant neighborhood Kampong Glam, one cannot help but be enthralled by its blend of history, culture and trendy lifestyle.
Kampong Glam is the room fragrance created by Singapore Memories that evokes the aromas that balance the ‘hip’ and ‘glamorous’ area of today with its rich traditions of the past.
The fishing village on the Rochor River was first named in the 1820s and was home to the Malay aristocracy of Singapore. In Malay, kampong means ‘village’ and gelam was the name of the Paperbark tree (its bark was used to make boats, medicine and seasoning) and is believed to be where the word glam originates from.
Sir Stamford Raffles allocated the area to Sultan Hussein Mohammed Shah and he housed his whole family there, believed to be over 600 people, in a palace that he built. The Sultan then requested the funds to build a mosque in Kampong Glam. During the colonial times, the area also housed the Malay and Arab communities. Many of the Arabs were traders and by the beginning of the 20th century, the area also had Chinese and Indian communities.
The Sultan Mosque is one of the major landmarks of Kampong Glam today and the area has been given new life buildings have been restored. The Istana (palace) now houses the Malay Heritage Center and is open to visitors who can explore Malay history and culture.
Haji Lane is where shoppers can indulge in browsing the quirky boutiques and modern stores. Arab Street is where shoppers can see the traditional stores that sell textiles, Persian carpets and traditional nonya dresses (kebayas). This is where the smells of Kampong Glam all blend into the heady mix of a bazaar. Perfumers make their own varieties of perfume and the culinary delights include Malay, Middle Eastern, Japanese, and even Mexican cuisine.
The aromas of Arab Street
In order to create a room fragrance Singapore Memories had to go to the heart of the Arab Street and discover each individual aroma that make the area unique. These needed to be carefully blended so that none overpowered the other.
Rich amber gives incense its aroma, the scent of the Mosque Sultan Mosque. Incense is a smell so powerful that it evokes a sense of mystery. Oud, and its warm woody sweetness is the aroma of sophistication, something that the streets of Kampong Glam ooze. The inclusion of Gelam Oil from the Paperbark tree that gives the area its name is the fresh note that was needed to balance the heavier notes in the room fragrance.
Kampong Glam, the room fragrance created by Singapore Memories, is the perfect souvenir to evoke memories of the history and culture of this beautiful area of Singapore. Kampong Glam is the ideal corporate gift for those who have been to the area and have had a taste of its super trendy lifestyle, a glimpse into the Singapore of the past and to the diversity that spurred its future development.