Tiny shop creating custom perfumes to rival designer brands

Hashim Sharif at MNZL Fragrances in Lodge Lane, Toxteth where he makes his own brand and scents similar and the same as high street brands. (Image Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO)
-Credit: (Image: Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO)


A Liverpool shop offers a fragrance to suit "whatever environment that you're in".

Hashim Sharif said he wanted to open his own shop since his early teens - but he finally realised his dream in February 2023 and opened MNZL (which is Arabic for home) in the containers on Lodge Lane, Toxteth.

The 25-year-old started collecting fragrances from the age of about 14. The fragrances are homemade and many similar to high street brands, as well as many unique own brand scents.

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Hashim told the ECHO: "I’ve always been into fragrances from a young age. I wondered what it would be like to create my own.

“I made one of my own called Nostalgia, then I got in contact with a few factories that could make it in bulk for me. In the process I found you can actually buy these in quantity, the actual essence of the fragrances, and then add alcohol and a few additives to make the actual fragrance”.

Hashim Sharif at MNZL Fragrances in Lodge Lane, Toxteth, is mixing fragrance essences to create new and familiar scents (Image: Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO)
Hashim Sharif at MNZL Fragrances in Lodge Lane, Toxteth, is mixing fragrance essences to create new and familiar scents (Image: Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO) -Credit:Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO

With this information Hashim then spoke with family members to see if he could get them to support his plans, which they did and invested in him. He has plans to expand the business which can offer prices that are cheaper than the retail price of popular brands.

Hashim said: "In the Somali culture we love our normal essential oils in terms of pure oud oils and musk oils that we carry around with us everyday.

"If you ask a Somali person about any type of fragrances nine times out of 10 they would have Black Musk or Pure Oud, a type of fragrance oil".

He spoke of popular designer brands coming out with these oud fragrances which they mix with a few other additives such as patchouli, a fragrance flower from the mint family. Patchouli is widely used in creating fragrances, cosmetics and incense and although from the mint family it has what can be described as an earthy, woody and musky scent.

MNZL stocks over 150 scents similar or the same as high street brands. They make their own too, such as; Gallia, Velvet Noir and Nostalgia, which Hashim made first.

Hashim Sharif at MNZL Fragrances with the bottles of fragrance essence behind him ready to be mixed to create new scents (Image: Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO)
Hashim Sharif at MNZL Fragrances with the bottles of fragrance essence behind him ready to be mixed to create new scents (Image: Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO) -Credit:Hashim Sharif at MNZL Fragrances with the bottles of fragrance essence behind him ready to be mixed to create new scents (Image: Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO)

Hashim said: "We offer a unique service. We have a team of perfumers in store who break down your preferences by going through a series of tests as to what you like in a fragrance.

"We ask questions like; where do you spend most of your day to find out what type of fragrance would be suitable for you to wear. For example, in an office or a door to door kind of work environment or whatever environment you're in the most. Even if you're going to a wedding and you want a head turner fragrance, we offer that service.

"We have male, female and unisex fragrances and can boost up the concentration of the oil which will lead to a better performance (longer lasting). A lot of our fragrances use more natural products, which is better for the skin".

18-year-old family member Hamed Omar who helps make the fragrances said: "When working you kind of learn the fragrances, all of them, and know what each fragrance has. You figure out with trial and error until you find two fragrances, and sometimes more, that just fit together like a jigsaw and work really well.

"Surprisingly most people are not really fussed about gender, as we get women that like male fragrances and men that like women fragrances. Personally, I like to wear whatever smells nice".

They have two bottle sizes in store 50ml and 100ml. Their online service via their website offers sizes as small as 10ml and upwards with free delivery on certain orders.

For information visit MNZL HERE

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