Sunday, July 24, 2011

Malaysia to develop into halal product hub? Plus: a quick guide to Muslim cosmetics

Malaysian news agency Bernama reports that the French Atelier des Parfums, presenting its halal non-alcoholic fragrances at the Seventh Malaysia International Halal Showcase, June 23-27, has set up a new center in the country, from where they plan to target Muslim consumers all over the world.

"We are now able to bring world-class halal perfume, created in France and manufactured in Malaysia, to all Muslims around the world at affordable prices," Mustaffa Omar, general manager of the Malaysian outpost of the company located in Sri Damansar, said.

"We are giving them modern, fresh, new trendy scents that have never been created before and are not only by far superior to the existing halal fragrances on the market but also give consumers the security to use real halal certified products."

Atelier des Parfums president and CEO, Hermann J. Portner told Bernama that he was looking to help Malaysia, the host of the leading halal product showcase, become the global center for halal cosmetics and fragrances.

However, there is a debate on the internet as to whether fragrances may contain alcohol or not in order to be considered 'halal', meaning 'lawful' in Islamic terms. Several have pointed out that in countries that are usually keen to enforce 'halal' goods - and to oppose those considered 'haram' or 'unlawful' - such as Saudi Arabia, fragrances containing alcohol are still commonly sold.

For those uncertain whether to use conventional fragrances or cosmetics: it has been widely agreed that products don't necessarily need to carry an official halal certificate in order to be 'allowed.' Anything labeled 'organic' or 'vegan' or 'natural' is fine, as long as it is free of alcohol, pork derivatives, and doesn't rely on animal testing.

Useful links of companies officially qualifying as both organic and halal:


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