Trends & Inspiration

Explore: Scent From Marrakesh

ssalamū ‘lekum and mrehba (hello and welcome!) to the first of our Scent From Series: Scent From Marrakesh!

The four historical capital cities of Morocco are Fes, Meknes, Rabat and Marrakesh. Founded over one thousand years ago, the last city of this list – also spelt Marrakech, from French – is colloquially known as Marrakush al-Hamra (Marrakesh the Red), after the distinctive hue of its sandstone walls. And, the Berbers, whose culture is over 4,000 years old, are thought to have lived in the region since the Neolithic Era.

morocco markets at duskPhoto source: Luc Viatour via Wikimedia Commons

Which languages are spoken in Marrakesh?

The most spoken language in Marrakesh is Moroccan Arabic. Berber, French and Classical Arabic are also spoken in the streets, as is, less commonly, English.

How hot is Marrakesh?

In the summer, June through August, the average daytime temperature in Marrakesh is around 36°C in the daytime and 20°C in the evening; through the winter, December through February, daytime highs hover around a very comfortable 19°C and will drop to around 7°C at night. Locals typically wear long sleeves and trousers, and you should too, both to shelter from the harsh sun and cold and also to show deference to a tolerant and hospitable and sometimes quite conservative people.

colourful shoes lined up in rows, taken in marrakeshPhoto source: Alurín via Wikimedia Commons

What’s the most popular food in Marrakesh?

Popular foods in Marrakesh include: snails, oranges and a type of layered pastry stuffed with pigeon meat, eggs and almonds known as b’stilla; as well as harira soup (tomatoes, lentils, noodles and chickpeas), sheep heads(!) and chebakia, a devilishly sweet, flower-shaped, sesame cookie.

man leaning to reach Fruits stall in Marrakesh souk, Morocco.Photo source: Alurín via Wikimedia Commons

Music in Marrakesh

Gnawa is the music of Marrakesh, and Morocco as a whole. It is an amalgamam of repetitive percussion and chants, dance and spoken word. A few vocal lines are typically repeated over and over again, so that, like a techno music set to the uninitiated, a gnawa song is seemingly unchanging for sometimes hours on end. Click here for a thorough walkthrough of the history of the gnawa genre.

Video source: YouTube

With each episode of this, the first Scent From series, we aim to bring you a blog accompaniment to each month’s theme to give you a complimentary sense of each destination! Next, we look into Scent From Stockholm…

Marrakesh by Number

  • Coordinates: 31.6295°N; 7.9811°W
  • Currency: Dirhams (DH)
  • Language: Moroccan Arabic
  • Popular music: Gnawa/Gnaoua
  • Religion: Islam
  • Temperature: highs of 36°C in the summer; lows of 7°C in the winter

From fact or fiction, where would you like to go next? Let us know on social @iwoot with #scentfrom!

What was in Scent From Marrakesh?

scent from candles arranged on a wooden desk

  • Soy Wax Tin Candle – Amber Scent
  • Copper Pyramid Tea Light Holder
  • Shearer Candle Tin – Amber Noir
  • Shearer Candle Scented Tea Lights – Frankincense & Myrrh

Click here to find out more on the Scent From project.

Banner photo source: Alurín via Wikimedia Commons

Jack Mann

Jack Mann


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