Ajmal Perfumes, a regional fragrance house in the United Arab Emirates, has named Jihad Badran as the winner of the talent hunt for the "Young Perfumer," according to recent news reports. The competition was open to all individuals between the ages of 16 and 21 residing within the UAE.
The company partnered for the competition with Firmenich and Emirates Diaries, a youth-focused magazine. Ajmal put together extensive road shows across universities, along with select Ajmal stores and mall locations across the UAE to promote the talent hunt.
The company planned two stages leading up to the main competition – candidate registration and short listing; as well as training of the 20 shortlisted candidates and finals. Ajmal, along with Firmenich devised a three-step process to understand the level of perfumery knowledge the candidates have. There were three tests in total to go through and the short listing of the candidates based on their responses to the test. The 20 short-listed candidates were given a formal training of perfumery both theoretical and practical to prepare for the final, which was held at the Westin Hotel in Dubai on November 15.
A jury panel, consisting of Ajmal and Firmenich perfumers selected the top five fragrances from the list of 20 creations made by the finalists. The selection of the top five was primarily done on the fragrances the students create while their presentation technique and aptitude to the final competition was also evaluated.
Runners-up were Sakina Sawan, Mohammad Ali Al Hamadi, Ziad Awad and Maitha Mohammad Salem.
The title winner of Ajmal “Young Perfumer” 2013 gets the opportunity to work with Ajmal Perfumes and the Firmenich team, on project basis, to create the next youth fragrance by Ajmal. The winner will also get an opportunity to work as an intern for three months at Firmenich, Dubai and a cash prize of Dh25,000 ($6,805), it said.