Scent with a Story
When my mother immigrated to America in the 80s, she searched for reminders of Yemen, her beloved home. Her sense of smell took her on a nostalgic journey back to the traditions of burning bukhoor. This became a ritual in our home that flooded her thoughts with happy memories and the embrace of familiarity in a new land. When visiting Yemen, she would dedicate time to searching out and purchasing quality bukhoor directly from local craftswomen who made the goods by hand as a means of support for their families.
Every Friday, my mother would burn this aromatic incense, sending me to wander around the house carrying the mabkhara (incense burner), with the billowy, fragrant smoke. When I would bring the mabkhara back to my mother, she would gather the rich wafting scent with her hands and infuse her clothing, skin, and hair. Burning bukhoor blessed our space, grounded our bodies and rooted us in the heritage of our ancestors.
Now I’m excited to share this cherished piece of Yemeni culture with you, as my mother did with me.
Ahlam Saïd, founder, mennās
Who We Are
“We are from the people, and the people are from us.” In our Yemeni-American household in Texas, Mama repeated this Arabic proverb to keep us grounded, connected, learning from, and in service to our communities.
Inspired by her teachings, we created mennās: a concept shop for traditional and reimagined heritage goods from Yemeni artisans.
mennās - Origin: from Arabic, meaning "from the people"
We are a woman-led business whose mission is to work with artisans across the country to produce beautiful handcrafted goods using art forms that pay homage to our rich Yemeni history.
Each piece is made with love and care from people who, despite living through war and one of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, are preserving and reviving tradition. mennās is committed to improving the quality of the artisans’ lives by paying them dignified wages.
We hope you’ll join us in celebrating their work. From the people to the people.