Chicago's Intense Oud perfume store is gateway to world of Middle Eastern fragrances

Karen Jordan Image
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Intense Oud perfume store is gateway to Middle Eastern fragrances
If you're in the market for a new perfume, Intense Oud in North Center a vast array of Middle Eastern fragrances.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- If you're in the market for a new perfume, Intense Oud in North Center offers a gateway into the world of Middle Eastern fragrances.

Neha Jaweed provides exceptional customer service in the experience room of Intense Oud, which is South Asian-owned.

"Oud is a specific type of fragrance which comes from a specific tree," Jaweed explained.

Abdul Ahmed, CEO of Intense Oud, said that woody note is found in most Arabic perfumes. His father Ahmed Muhammad started the business six years ago as an online resource for Middle eastern fragrances.

"I think the pandemic was a game changer for us," Ahmed said.

He said the business took off in the past few years, thanks to its presence on social media. More staff has been hired to keep up with orders that come in from all over the word.

Intense Oud carries up to 30 brands of perfume from Middle Eastern countries, and they're looking to expand their business to a bigger space.

Shajan Kuriakose with the South Asian American Chamber of Commerce said more and more South Asian-owned businesses are expanding beyond the Devon corridor. The chamber was formed two years ago to provide resources for businesses that were struggling during the pandemic.

"We are a resource center, we are a service center. Anything that a business might need help with," Kuriakose said.

That kind of assistance has been welcome as Intense Oud has continued to grow, Ahmed said.