Amina and Aslama Malik, Jannah Perfumes
- Year Invented: 2018
28 Station Road has been run by the Malik’s for several years although it has only recently become Jannah Perfumes. Prior to this, it was the Amina Malik Gallery. Amina is an artist, and originally worked from the studio behind what was to become her own gallery. The gallery served a diverse clientele and Amina offered refreshments which she freshly made and served herself. The gallery also ran a series of workshops to encourage more local people to get into art, offering something for everyone. But then in early 2022 Amina decided to take on a new venture with her father, Aslama, and the pair opened up the perfume shop.
Aslama worked as a mechanic for almost 40 years before he has passed his business on to his son in 2021. He has always loved perfumes and Amina says since she remembers him always smelling fantastic when she was a child. Aslama says that perfume brings out character in a person and what people choose to wear says a lot about them as a person. Shifting to the perfume shop has been an opportunity for them to spend more time together and they both enjoy bringing something unique to the area.
Amina loves the diversity of South Norwood, seeing both such a range of people and the fact that area has so much to offer. In the future she would like to see more places to eat in South Norwood and naturally more creative spaces. Meanwhile, Aslama would like to see more support for smaller shops like theirs, rather than people buying online. He notes that even the centre of Croydon is much quieter than it used to be and would love to see a bustling high street in South Norwood.
Words by Elizabeth Walters
Interview with Amina and Aslama Malik, Owner of Jannah Perfumes, April 2022
This project was part of the South Drawood exhibition in 2022 by artist Jonny Kemp. A community art project celebrating the people of South Norwood, SE25.
From autumn of 2021 to summer 2022, Jonny drew 40 portraits of independent business owners, volunteers, and other movers and shakers from South Norwood, his local area. His partner Lizzie interviewed them.
South Norwood is regenerating yet doesn’t want to gentrify: it wants to keep its character and support people who already live in the area to prosper. This was Jonny and Lizzie’s way of ‘giving South Norwood a hug’: by representing the diverse people of SE25 through portraits in fine liner pen, and their own stories.
The portraits were displayed in Stanley Arts, a beautiful Edwardian arts venue on South Norwood Hill. Over 150 people attended the opening night: Friday 29th July 2022.