One of the things that does not appear to have suffered in Egypt during this time of war is the perfume industry.
Jasmine picking in farm
Girls in field picking and singing
Jasmine being weighted
Putting into tubs in shed
Running off almost pure concrete
Further distillation and concrete being poured into tins for shipment to factory.
Exterior Cairo perfume factory
Interiors bottling and packing cologne
Checking bottles for imperfections
Making Max Factor cosmetics - large vats of powder
Girls making moulds of powder for insertion into plastic cases
Girls putting moulds of powder into tins and then into cases
Checking for imperfections, puffs and small cellophane disc being inserted
Cutaway Max Factor sign
Melting and pouring, 5 minutes in freezer to set then
Moulds being broken and lipsticks put into cases
Final shine being put on lipsticks
Perfume mixing in laboratory and dissolving concrete
Lipsticks of many brands being tested for melting point
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Background: One of the things that does not appear to have suffered in Egypt during this time of war is the perfume industry. Egyptian perfumes have been famous for centuries and the Egyptians themselves are constantly trying new ideas one of the latest is a range called May Fair comprising not only perfume but cosmetics. The factory visited in Cairo was under licence to Max Factor to produce their goods. Raw stuff for the cosmetics was imported but the plastic cases for powder were made locally. It was from the know how gained from the Mac Factor operation that the organisation decided to go into the cosmetic business for itself. Far more attractive, however, is the perfume side. About 30 kilometres outside Cairo on the very edge of the desert is a large Jasmine estate where girls pick the flowers every day from 6 - 11am. The picking season lasts until November from June. The Jasmine flowers are then the water content is evaporated leaving behind a thick brown residue which, once it has solidified, is called a concrete. This concrete is worth GBP200 per kilo and the factory produces 80 kilos monthly during the season. The concrete is then shipped to the factory inside Cairo where it is blended with solvents and oils to make the essence for perfumes. One of the new projects is Cologne. Bottles are imported from France and the cologne, after being mixed, stands for three months before bottling. It is good quality cologne aimed at the middle and upper market and is packed attractively.