Dubai - Khaleej Times had just recently featured the Indian perfume maker in our 'Humans of UAE' series.
By Yousuf Saifuddin Kapadia, Nilanjana Gupta
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Published: Mon 1 Apr 2019, 12:00 AM
Last updated: Tue 2 Apr 2019, 6:46 PM
What are the odds of a fan in UAE bumping into their favourite celebrity out and about in UAE? Very slim, as they mostly move around off-peak hours, or stay in hotels far from the main city, or usually explore old areas of the country to learn about the history and culture (Slash of Guns N' Roses visited Deira during the band's last Dubai tour in 2017). But one lucky Dubai expat didn't just bump into an international celebrity here. The celeb walked into his store, and purchased some perfumes he made especially for her. Incidentally, the expat had been featured in Khaleej Times' 'Humans of UAE' web video series, where the video was viewed nearly a million times. American pop-rock star, Gwen Stefani, who visited the city to perform at the Dubai World Cup, paid a visit to perfumer Yousuf Mohammed Ali Madappan before she flew out. An Indian expat has been concocting scents in Deira's Gold Souq for 30 years, and is quite the local star in his own right, which led us to him for a 'Humans of UAE' webisode in November of 2018. The 'Hollaback Girl' star had apparently uploaded a video of her visit to the perfumer's store on her Instagram account, where it went viral. Bt what caught our attention was the perfumer, Yousuf. What are the odds of that happening?! The timing of it all got us excited and Khaleej Times once again reached out to Yousuf to find out what exactly transpired that day. Recounting the high-profile visit, the humble perfumer said that he was unaware of Stefani's celeb status, otherwise he would have taken a selfie photo or video with her and given her a royal treatment. "I got a random phone call from a guy, who said he wanted me to make a 'custom perfume' for a lady. I asked him to bring her over, and they visited my store on Sunday at 11am." "She asked me to make 2-3 custom fragrances for her. There were four other people with her. They spent nearly 3 hours at my shop. Stefani was so happy with the fragrances that she asked me for a hug and a kiss - to which I only obliged for a hug and a traditional Arab cheek kiss. "Then she recorded (the now viral) selfie video." When she asked him if she could take a selfie, Yousuf jokingly said, "make sure I look handsome." Yousuf ended up concocting two scents for her, comprising of patchouli, vanilla and musk notes.
The other one was an Arabian scent, as per her request. "I didn't know that she was such so popular. I just found out today that she's a famous singer. Had I known earlier, I would have given her royal treatment." He didn't even know that she is a celebrity. Now, that's what you call a 'scent-sational' encounter.