It's not often that one can say their job is a tangible combination of business and pleasure. Anjam Seher Sheikh has followed her commercial instincts as well as her heart to launch a niche fragrance collection. 

Mehek Heavenly Scents and Perfumes was only established seven months ago and has evolved from four baskets to a full-time specialist stall in Blackburn Market. 

She told us, “Before I launched the business, I knew I wanted to sell something I truly love.

“Oriental and Arabian perfumes are suited to Asians culturally and they hold a huge appeal to non-Asians too.”

Anjam explained why she chose Blackburn Market as the location for her business. 

“I love the ambiance of Blackburn Market. It’s so vibrant. There is a wonderful cultural amalgamation here which makes Blackburn so unique.

“I wanted to sell my perfumes in an open space as I feel it is a more inviting environment for customers. 

“Customers are able to browse for a good twenty minutes or so and sample all the fragrances before making their purchase.

“Despite living in a digital age where so many products are sold online, I still feel there is a very real demand to make fragrances visible.

“Perfume is such a personal thing. I personally couldn’t catalogue shop for a perfume. Smell is such an evocative sense. I need to see the perfume and smell it myself.

“I want my customers to experience the same thing.

“I like to meet customers face-to-face and interacting with them and helping them discover what they like.”

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Anjam left school when she was sixteen and went on to work in the post office, a family business for eighteen years. She then became a foster carer for eleven years.

Anjam revealed how her childhood influenced her new work trajectory. 

“From my young days I was the designated person in the family who bought everyone’s gifts, and naturally, perfumes were a recurring theme.

“I have a good indication of fragrances that are appealing.

“I always trust my instincts rather than strategy when I pick which perfumes to sell.

“The smell has to be something I like before I decide to sell it.”

Anjam said her ouds and perfumes resonate with men as well as women. 

“Men are taking more pride in their appearance and that is reflected in the products they buy.

“The men’s Oud’s, in particular the Abiyebh and Quaeed, are very popular with the male customers. It’s a fresh, full-bodied fragrance that has a real tenacity about it. 

“Asian men like to wear Oud on Jummah as it enhances their attire for Friday prayers.

“The Unisex Oud’s are hugely popular with both men and women.

“Aither is something that is decadent and my older customers love that. The concentrated perfume oil means the smell is a long lasting one.”

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With the approach of Ramadan and Eid, Anjam said Oud and perfume gift packages can make the perfect gift.

“Trends are changing. On Eid more and more people exchange gifts rather than money or Asian sweets.
“I’m looking forward to creating gift sets for Eid.  I am here at Blackburn Market six days a week and I love what I do.

“I threw my heart into the business.

“If you do something you love enough, it does not feel like work. I cannot think of anything more gratifying."

You can find Anjam on Facebook @MEHEKhsp or call 07414 878877

This article features in the May Issue of Asian Life North West here