Built by the Hafsid Sultan Abû Zakariyâ Yahyâ around 1240, Souk Al Attarine or Perfumers’ Souk is a small market specialized in the trade of perfumes and beauty products.
Al Attarine is located in the heart of the Medina, near the Zitouna Mosque, surrounded by the main axes that are the street Sidi Ben Arous and the street of Sieves. Other souks lead to it or emanate from it. These are the souk El Blaghgia, souk El Trouk and souk El Fekka.
The souk has long been the pride of the Medina. The know-how of the perfumers inspired respect and praise from all those who visited the city. It was said that the perfumes sold there were the best in the region. The distilled essences were sold in small decorated containers with long and thin spouts. It was also said that the women of Tunis spent most of their time making themselves beautiful, so that the perfumers’ souk was the last to close its doors in the evening.
The perfumers of the Medina, grouped in the small market, are known for their trade in essences of jasmine flower water and rose, orange, lemon, almond, amber, musk, among many others. They still continue today to mix the essences skilfully, according to ancestral recipes with inimitable smells.