In conversation with Gulchekhra Begim, Founder and CEO, Begim Perfumes
Tell us a little bit more about your journey with fragrances. How did it start and how did you know this was your calling?
My journey with fragrances began in 1985 when I visited Morocco for the Day of Culture and met Yves Saint Laurent. He liked my gold embroidered Bukhara Chapan-Kardigan, so I gave it to him and he sent me a dress in return. To this day, it remains with me as a symbol. Then, we started a friendship which led to business – in 1990, I became YSL’s exclusive distributor, and other brands followed automatically. Now our company is the exclusive distributer of more than 150 Luxury brands in the Uzbekistan market. As PhD of arts sciences, I felt that was time to make scents inspired by one of the world’s greatest centers for history & culture. In 2017, I started with Firmenich, to produce BEGIM Perfumes in France.
What are some key memories that you will always cherish from this journey of setting up Parfum Gallery over the last 33 years, what would they be?
The company has been established since 33 years. One thing I have learned is going through difficult experiences & suffering only leads to us achieving great feats & success.
Parfum gallery embodies my life motto: ‘Prime- AMOUR-BONTE-CULTURE-BEAUTE.’
Now onto Begim Perfumes – how did this happen? What inspired this development?
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – said great Albert Einstein. So it’s only natural that knowledge and creativity lead me towards progress.
I always follow one rule – amplifying beauty, while simplifying routines. With BEGIM, I have tried to create scented happiness for the world and for future generations.
Can you tell us a little bit about each of the collections and what inspired them?
The ‘Treasures Collection’ that I developed comprises of 10 fragrances inspired by various events throughout World history. Each fragrance transitions across the borders of geographies and the sands of time.
The Kohinur Diamond – This diamond has had a long, illustrious history, and is a symbol of power & success. It was first mentioned in many legends about the Tamiris Princess from Uzbekistan, then it appeared on Taj Mahal and now resides in the British crown. Throughout its journey from one place to another, this sparkling diamond continues to shine brightly.
‘Ruby of Temur’ – A symbol of strength and longevity, the Uzbekistan King Amir Temur owned it before it was taken to the Taj Mahal. Later, it went to a museum in Great Britain before making its way to the Sheikh of Kuwait’s museum now.
Both ‘Samarkand’ and ‘Bukhara’ have been around since the times of Babylon and still to this day are full of historical treasures & artifacts.
Come and explore the wonders of the past with Begim Perfumes! Feel and smell all the amazing treasures of history!
What is the significance of the silk route to your brand? How does it shape your brand identity?
The Great Silk Road was an integral part of history and civilization, linking the East and West. Trade caravans would travel through India, Uzbekistan, China and all the way to Spain along this network of routes. This is what made it so special and significant in world history. It was more than just a route, it was a crossroads for cultural values and exchange which is what we celebrate with Silk Road!
What kind of role does the history of the silk route play in terms of notes and ingredients for Begim?
On the Silk Route the main finance unit of currency were spices, silk and gold. That is why the main ingredients of Begim’s Silk Road perfumes are sandalwood, saffron, jasmine, pepper and others precious oils.
Mr. Hamid Merati Kashani, renowned for his knowledge, carried out a thorough research of history and crafted a exquisite, splendid melange of scents.
Could you please pick the top fragrances from Begim that our audiences must experience and tell us why you’ve selected them? And, which perfume is your worldwide bestseller?
Kohinur Diamond perfume is our global bestseller.
⁃ Silk Road is another global bestseller as everyone wishes for a fragrance that is symbolic of a gorgeous, unique life that’s filled with ambitions of great progress & knowledge.
⁃ Bukhara Spirit – For those who live a wise life filled with power, richness and sensuality.
⁃ Samarkand Spirit– A scent that signifies a love that will last an eternity, with a mysterious and irresistible allure.
⁃ Ruby of Temur – Revel in a life of incredible luxury and joy, bursting with unparalleled love from the heart!
Since we are moving to more androgynous, non-gender specific fragrances, which ones would you say would fit into this category?
I always say, “Scent is Food for our Astral Body, which leads us to Success!”
There is no male or female specific food for our physicial body, so I feel fragrances as food for our Soul can appeal to all genders.
Lastly, what next for the brand? Anything new and exciting we need to keep an eye out for?
Now, we have novelties – Eternal Collection. I write fairy tales for children inspired by Adventures on the Silk Road, this prompted me to produce 4 fragrances that spread this unique message: “King Noble”(edp) can make “Universe of Love”(edp) as “Magic Valley”(edp) with beautiful “Stars Dance”(edp).
The world needs love and beauty, so let’s spread the message with these 4 new scents.