Authorities in Qatar have seized a number of perfumes and scented lotions from store shelves this week after getting complaints about their labels.
On Twitter, officials from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) said the items contravened the “customs, traditions and religious values” of the nation.
تم قبل قليل ضبط كمية من العطور في احد مراكز التسوق تحمل اسماء تنافي العادات والتقاليد والقيم الدينية والتحفظ عليها pic.twitter.com/HBkBVPIqin
— وزارة التجارة والصناعة (@MOCIQatar) January 11, 2015
Speaking to Doha News, an employee at Victoria’s Secret confirmed that bottles of “VS Fantasies: Strawberries & Champagne” were removed from its branch in Landmark Mall earlier this week.
On the heels of that announcement, inspectors also removed bottles of perfume from Family Food Center on Nasser St. following complaints about their branding, a store supervisor confirmed.
The bottles featured the Playboy bunny logo. Playboy is an American men’s lifestyle magazine that features photographs of nude women.
This is not the first time Qatar authorities have moved to control the sale of perfumes and scented products, though in the past the issue involved the ingredients, not the packaging.
In early 2013, the Ministry of Environment announced tighter regulations on the sale and import of alcohol-based perfumes “in the interest of public health.”
To help prevent the misuse of alcohol among some residents, the authorities issued a number of rulings, including:
- That all perfumes should be sold in bottles with a spray nozzle;
- At least one ingredient should be added to make it unfit for drinking, and
- Items should feature a warning advising users that the product is for “external use only” in both English and Arabic.
Alcohol is closely regulated in the conservative Islamic society of Qatar, since Muslims are prohibited from imbibing.
It is on sale in certain restaurant hotels and bars and only those with a liquor license are permitted to buy and drink it at home. The licenses are granted only to expats with a salary over a certain amount.
Due to the restrictions, the production of homemade alcohol is not uncommon, particularly among low-income workers. Authorities undertake periodic raids on labor camps, arresting those caught for making their own liquor.
Other products have also been targeted recently by Qatar authorities over concerns about their ingredients.
A brand of instant noodles, believed to be Nissin Cup Noodles from Japan, was taken from supermarket shelves here last week and tested after the Saudi Arabian Food and Drugs Authority (SFDA) recalled the product from the nation’s stores.
The Saudi authorities claimed this was because the noodles contained pork derivatives, unauthorized artificial coloring and gelatin from unknown sources.
However, no trace of these ingredients were apparently found in the product in Qatar.
And at the end of December, the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP/Baladiya) withdrew a popular brand of pasta sauce from the UK over concerns that it contained red wine.
The Loyd Grossman Bolognese sauce was recalled from supermarkets, pending the results from laboratory testing.
There are FAR more important things to worry about than these inconsequential issues, people…
And that goes both to the people who banned this and to the comments here
who knew that the most offensive item in Victoria’s secret would be a perfume
Do you think I’ll be able to buy it in QDC?
Yesy, 24 pcs. pack :)))
What’s in a name! Something smells fishy here.
Yes, it is the latest eau de toilette called “Essence of Haddock”.
Nicely done. We who are about to perfume salute you.
Brilliant. Spat my coffee out all over my cat.
No really a cat.
well before going to market with that, can you spot anything wrong with the name? Seems tame enough
Seems fishy to me
This is so ridiculous, it’s funny. If only these ‘inspectors’ spent their time monitoring the overcharging and frankly, daylight robbery, that goes on in some of the supermarkets and pharmacies in Doha.
I would suggest all offensive names of products be aptly renamed using local names!
Yea…any fruit except Dates…since it conjures up images of dating which is a western concept..
Melons? Especially two together could be offensive.
Bananas? Might make some men feel inferior or worse give women ideas. Then you would have to ban cucumbers and carrots too.
Whatever. You are talking about them like if they are so stupid as to drink a perfume to get drunk. Don’t worry, if they want to drink they can, just like everybody else even people with low salary. And who cares anyway!
how can a region of France, Champagne be offensive? I guess they were very bad students (not to say something else) in geography. Check the map http://about-france.com/regions/champagne.htm
From this point forward, consider the references to France to be offensive and therefor banned.
right! Maybe those offended should be banned from traveling into France…
Surely they would never want to travel to France or anywhere else where they would be surrounded by all these offensive things
Lol. What about the region in Iran named after a famous grape ‘Shiraz’. Does that mean all Muslims are banned from holidaying there. Come to think of it does anyone actually live there?
Shiraz used to produce wine! Now alla the Shiraz roots are in Europe, however even if not mentioned now, wine production in this part of the world was often mentioned in old scripts. But with time they made it sound “demoniac”
I’m going to stock up on cider vinegar before they notice that. And ginger beer.
I’m offended you like ginger beer, nasty drink really
Alcohol is prohibited but sold in qdc. Don’t they have the guts to close qdc. Can i know why with a very valid reason. Talking about religion, tradition etc what is awqaf doing about women in burqa with half open showing or wearing tight dresses. Religion is not given importance in such situation. Simply very very strange. Nothing more like just a drama.
Too much money to be made from QDC, Sir.
I give a solution to the ministry. Better shift these offensive names perfumes to qdc.
What is offensive about the word ‘champagne’?
Maybe they don’t like the French?
Next barbie and fulla will be removed from toys r us. :p
Indeed, Barbie’s outfit is outrageous 🙂
Don’t worry. You can still buy them in C4.
It is offensive out of qdc area but not offensive within qdc area
so you mean body creams are offensive out of Qdc?
Don’t be ridiculous. It is a word on a bottle of hand lotion.
wow it’s not the word that’s offensive it’s what the word suggests, Champagne is haram, Get over it….
To drink champagne is haram, yes. But to see the word champagne on a bottle of body lotion is haram? Really? What does it suggest, exactly? That you should drink the body lotion? Honestly, listen to yourself. How ridiculous.
Champagne is haram in general, We want nothing to do with it, Why does it bother you so much
Nobody is asking you to have anything to do with it. It’s a bottle of body lotion on a shelf in a shop. Avert your gaze and don’t buy it but allow for the fact that there are others who don’t share your opinion and might like to buy it.
In my country, It’s something that we don’t like and so therefor we will ban it, Weather you like it or not, You want it so badly? Go order it online, The mass market don’t care.
Mmm. It seems tolerance is also on the haram list.
Nice to know you and a few others speak for all Qataris :D. I liked that lotion, smelt very pretty, never thought anything of it being offensive. Hmmm oh well. it’s kind of odd, I went to Georgetown university here in QF and they taught us to think outside the box and have flexible minds. There were a lot of Qataris with me in the uni. Don’t believe any of them would have been offended by such nonsensical things. Maybe they should ban those universities 😀 they taught us a lot of things that other Qataris may not be fond of.
I’m glad you learned to think outside the box, I don’t even study in Qatar, and i find this ban stupid but when it comes down to it, It is offensive to some of us and conflicts our traditions so we remove it.
Better ban dictionaries. Now there is a book filled with numerous offensive words AND their definitions!
welcome to 21st century, in case you haven’t noticed. You are offended by lexicon….hat off
Maybe they should sell it in QDC then?
Shhh. Stop talking about QDC. I’m sure the ministry have forgotten all about that place.
You should not be staring at women in tight dresses
Sorry sir. I can control everything but not my eyeball movement.
You have to and you can. Islam tells you to lower your gaze.
Believing men lower their gaze, that is.
If not low enough it could still be haram.
What about men who have foot fetishes? Where should they cast their gaze?
Then you should undergo some surgery!
You shouldn’t be looking in the first place. Naughty boy.
Here we go again.. Be prepared for the flood of comments over perfume names
The usual, anything related to Alcohol, Pork , Driving, Qataris, guarantees the ad income of DohaNews…
But it is a bit silly for these to be the things focused on. I am not quite sure how it is offensive…I don’t sit there and think while I put on a lotion “Oh gee! I need me some champagne”. Rubbing some lotion on isn’t going to make me drink alcohol. They must really think we are weak willed peoples that a lotion name will tempt us astray. I am a Qatari and really I don’t see the point in this. We should worry about fixing our roads, using better quality materials to build our buildings, etc. than the name of some damn strawberry lotion. I also don’t mind when foreigners release their complaints 🙂 It is ok for people to vent and there is no need for us to become defensive all the time. There is truth in some of their words and yet we do not listen and would rather throw our hands in the air in dismay that people would criticize us.
Plus, they are just as much a part of our community as we are in my opinion. They have helped to build our country dramatically and will be here for the long haul; whether some like to admit it or not. It is not a bad thing to listen to their complaints or should we prevent them from venting their woes.
Very well said, Sprinkles!
in this case it guarantees total ignorance, sorry! And ignorance is offensive!
Can they get rid of this offensively named product too?
It is lux and not lust
Haha this was completley lost on you wasn’t it
Says something about the people it wasn’t lost on!
Hahahahah point missed completely!!!
Gold you are very funny….or hang on…you don’t get it do you…even funnier.
Nut & Cream… lol
Zing, over the head!
I don’t think they are talking about the brand rather then the name for this particular product
Urban dictionary is your friend
i don’t get it
That’s my point. Some products don’t raise an eyebrow to some consumers, and are offensive or offputting to other consumers.
Personally I would never buy a product with such a stupid (and somewhat creepy name) but I would never demand that it be banned.
Vegetarians don’t demand that shops stop selling meat, do they? They simply make a personal choice not to buy a product that conflicts with their own beliefs.
yeah i 100% agree
Exactly, Im a vego but never bang on about it, I just walk past the morgue in the supermarket.
Very intricate use of words 😉
Here all this time we thought you just needed to get laid.. Eat a steak buddy
Ok, this is funny, but I have to delete it for being crude, as per our comment policy.
Come on, it was hilarious
I missed it, put it back pls.
Please don’t say that you really don’t understand.
im sorry i really dont get whats offensive about the word lux
Hint:you’re looking at the wrong words
Hahahahahhahahahahahahha, I see it now
I don’t…Nut and Cream?….what’s the problem?
That is way more offensive than Strawberries and Champagne! LOL
LMAO IM LAUGHING SO HARD AT THIS
hahahaha this made my day!!!
It has champagne in the name, but no alcohol content. Big deal….. So should “Saudi Champagne” (obviously with no alcohol content) also be removed from menus? Wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea about what they might be drinking.
Yet another (albeit small) example of the complete lack of rule of law in Qatar. These products were legal the day they were imported, and legal yesterday, but not today. So now the merchant loses whatever money it paid for them. And not for violating any explicitly written law, but rather for violating “customs, traditions,” etc. This is deliberately vague, so as not to constitute a standard at all. (I can sort of understand the ban on perfume that contains alcohol; youths in other countries have been known to desperately try to drink it, but this risk does not apply at all to Champagne-scented lotion.)
And the Playboy bunny? Just because a symbol is sometimes associated with something illegal in some other contexts? So, no barbecue sauce allowed because in some countries the main use of this is to put on pork? No maraschino cherries, because they were mainly created to go with alcohol? No Showtime on cable, because in some countries, the same Showtime brand exhibits shows produced by itself that feature nudity?
Stop giving them ideas!
how about grapes?
Whats this about the alcohol and the champagne. If its illegal then it has to be just illegal for everybody. Making it selectively available to some and not to others just smacks of discrimination, injustice and in a way leading them towards other substances to quench their thirst after a hard and tough week at work.
discrimination? injustice? in Qatar? surely you jest Mr Wang?
You could see it that way. But it also stops people on small incomes wasting their money and not sending it home like they originally planned. I could well imagine wanting to drown my sorrows every weekend if I lived in one of those labour camps.
Plus you have greater instances of aggression and all that goes with alcohol in a very confined area.
Then think of the bathroom problems after all those beers. 100 labourers queueing up for one bathroom.
Either that or the ministry just likes to keep a lid on all the fun they have on those labour camps. Add in alcohol and it could get quite raucous.
When will they start regulating the price of accommodations? Since most residents are now living in the streets. This is also considered as consumers protection.
This is great! Thanks!
There are a lot more offensive things around than a perfume named after a region in France, perhaps Saudi Authorities might consider those too. Flogging cheap perfume is the least of our worries
Saudi is too busy flogging bloggers
Remove the Mitsubishi ‘Pajero’ from the streets and showrooms. The name translated from Spanish means ‘Wanker’. I can only guess that the authorities don’t speak Spanish. Or – they have a stake in Mitsibishi.
they don’t but I find it really really offensive OMG!!! ahahah 😉
I am gonna repaint mine as Montero before its too late :))
I drive one of these and I resemble your comment.
I pajero hardcore to you
For some reason my comment was removed by Doha news, I don’t know why, I asked for an explanation about the point of choice and self control in demonstrating faith, rather than just removing everything.
Maybe you can explain Althani? If something is haram, isn’t the point of that to not do/eat/look at it? The world is surely full of things which Muslims say are haram. Is the aim to obliterate them all?
Champagne is haram and we don’t want it in our soaps, Is that so hard to grasp, Honestly what other response do you want
But you wouldn’t eat soap would you? I’m pretty sure anyway that there isn’t a trace of champagne in said soap. As for alcohol in foods, the alcohol is removed when the food is heated, its just the taste which is there contributing to the flavours. So no different at all to non alcoholic wines and beers.
Does that mean it’s still edible and halal for Muslims??
What I find humorous are all the non-alcoholic beers in the cooler section of the grocery stores trying really hard to look like beer. Isn’t that worse? What about grape juice that come in wine bottles?
Just ban the Barbican ads for being offensive to people who hate crap ads.
Actually. Ban Barbican for being offensive to alcoholics. Why on earth would you drink beer with no alcohol. That’s like smoking but not inhaling.
Someone already did that.
Totally agree. Barbican ads and ads for similar products look strikingly like copies of some beer ads back home….. Get as close as you can to the line without going over? That’s not the reason for the line though.
How about skin whitening cream? Doesn’t that go against culture and tradition ?
and against health!
“Playboy is an American men’s lifestyle magazine that features photographs of nude women.”
most unnecessary sentence ever, you really think anyone reading doha news doesn’t know what playboy is?
This from the guy who didn’t get the joke about Lux soap? 🙂
Wow you really do read all the comments don’t you :P. Ps: I have bad eye sight didn’t see the rest until I enlarged the image
great article! You guys made my day. Very entertaining! This for me it is real satire!!!
AHAHAHAHHAHA Shabina goes hard
There are magazines with pixs of naked women ??
The Internet generation…
In all their travels in malls I can’t believe the ban guys haven’t stumbled into that kinky, almost S&M shop in one of the malls here. Oh well…what to do yanni? I was quite glad to find a bit of kink especially here 🙂
The one hidden away in city centre that has whips in the window? I stumbled by that last week!
Nope I was referring to landmark…was happy to find out it’s not just outdoor flogging going on in this area 😛 Considering most expats have no idea of these places I’m happy to assume that there are some freaky guys and gals here that like to spice things up. Ban soaps but leave the leather collars and whips alone!
DN can you please remove the image of the offensive skin lotion bottle from you website… its I making me want to drink at least ten gallons of champagne just looking at it…
Can they not just put a black pen through the offensive bits like they do in the magazines
Change it to dates and coffee to appeal to local taste..
This is dumb… Some very very bored housewife wrote an angry tweet and an even more bored employee at MEC took it upon his rightious self to take action ..
Yet every pharmacy in Doha proudly displays it’s “hand vibrating massagers” right by the cashier …
I remember Al meera selling Durex “male reproductive system” rings..
No sure what word to use on dn
Good examples of the double standards. I remember Spinney’s having a large display of Durex products at the checkout. In full view of all the children passing through the checkout with their parents. Totally inappropriate and would never be allowed in the UK.
The Pharmacy at The Centre Mall used to sell penis enlargement kits right by the check out. I thought it was so funny I took pictures. Completely forgot to be outraged.
I prefer Prosecco !
If my name was Johnny Walker would I be allowed entry into Qatar?
Only if you were with your mates Jack Daniels, Jim Bean and Gordon Gin.
Would it help if I bring my wife Brandy along with me?
Only if her sister Tequila is with her
My Auntie proudly tells a story of how she took Whiskey into Saudi past immigration back in the 90s. So she lands at customs and they go thru their regular schpeal and round of with “do you have anything to declare?” and she announces in her loudest indoor voice possible, “yes, Whiskey?”.
Heads turn and she get’s asked to repeat what she said and she does and just when they’re about to lose it she puts an animal crate infront of the customs officer and goes, “my cat, Whiskey”. they ask her to verify the name of the animal, which she does.
And then get’s her papers stamped allowed her to take “Whiskey” into Saudi. #truestory.
I don’t know if that’s funny or not
hahahahaha very very funny my friend. lol….it’s a very good story with lesson.
This a good step forward for the country and I hope they continue to regulate the inflow of goods with offensive labeling.
Can I suggest they also look into car plates and phone numbers that have the number “6” followed by a “9”? As this combination can conjure up images in the minds of the youth more vivid and corrupting than the playboy bunny, in fact all books and magazines with a page between 68 and 70 need to be ripped out.
Additionally, they need to look into banning toolkit sets that refer to a “screwdriver”, because on the one hand it may encourage some to get out the orange juice and mix it with the “cologne”, on the other it may encourage some to sodomize their driver, and god forbid should some choose to do both acts simultaneously.
I really don’t want to comment it’s just so absurb. What next a ban on phallus shaped vegetables at lulu?
They had ‘virgin’soap for sale in C4 and Geant a while back. Not sure if it’s still there. Couldn’t make out if it was for use only for virgins or if it promised things that Trade and Standards would have a field day in court over. Lol
The sellers of virgin olive oil must be panicking.
Haha. Damn I didnt think of that one. Chapeau.
how do we report such products?
You pray to God and he takes action. Don’t hold your breath
Funny, I read this story just after “Culture Minister : Vocal Critics Welcome in Qatar.”
But a lotion with “champagne” in the name threatens the very way of life!
Hahaha they should check out the Lush bath fizz store at Landmark. Every time I go there to buy presents for my teenage daughters I’m deterred by most of the names they give their products.
The Virgin soap always makes me giggle!!
This is just getting ridiculous now. How can anyone be offended by a perfume called strawberries and champagne? Unless there is actually champagne in it there is no need to get all upset about it.
More absurdity. Perhaps if somebody complained that the poor treatment of migrant workers “contravened the ‘customs, traditions and religious values’ of the nation” then change would come within days instead of years and years and years….
Ok, it’s time for assumptions:
1) Someone bought a crate of the thing and drank it.
2) Someone saw the bottle in the bathroom and had a fit against his wife.
3) Someone tried to shake it and smash it against a boat.
4) Someone tried to sell it 4 times the price.
5) QDC felt threatened. First the noodles and now this?
Feel free to add your thoughts 🙂
I put my money on 5.
Al Bakar has got to be behind this somewhere.
this is very funny as hell…jump 100 years backward.. goodluck..
Oh my comment went missing? Shabina the agent of Qatars image again…fair dinkum…it had about 20 up votes until the Emirs censor saw it…shame on free speech Shabina.
There you go. Fixed it
So a guy from the ministry happened to find something offensive in victoria’s secret… I wonder how many weeks of investigation it took him to find that….