I was initially skeptical of the stop at a 'perfume factory' our private tour guide took us on (having been sidelined to "jade factories" in Bejing, "jewelry factories" in Bangkok, etc). However, this was a wonderful experience, and definitely recommended if you are in the Giza area, near the pyramids. We watched their glass blower blowing intricate perfume bottles on the ground floor, after which we were taken to the well-appointed second floor, and shown newspaper articles documenting the historical presence and reputability of the shop (dignitaries from all over have shopped there). Mr. Fayed then sat with us and gave us an olfactory tour of the various essences they specialize in, along with some hot tea or coffee, sharing the recipe for the "secret" cream (of course using one of the essences they sold) Cleopatra herself use to use to keep her skin beautiful- I'm going to try it for sure, worth a shot ;-) He also was able to identify the raw essential oil that comprises popular french perfumes-- and he seemed very accurate, to my nose. Of course, we ended up buying a box of the oils each-- but we were both so happy with our purchases, and its been fun making eau de toilettes to share with freinds as a souvenir of the trip (instructions included!). To top it off, at our visit Mr. Fayed promised us a "lifetime gaurantee" that should the oil ever break while in the original bottle, he would replace it for free. Well, lo and behold when I unpacked my suitcase (damn the liquids in carry on ban) one of the 4 bottles had broken). After emailing him my receipt and dimensions of the bottle, I indeed received a new one in the mail this week!
We really enjoyed our experience there, it ended up not being an inexpensive stop, but a very enjoyable one and it was a tremendous value, compared to perfume at the duty free! Would definitely recommend!
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