Our second fragrance in the Kerongsang Line is called 'Mahsuri'. Her story is as sad as it is enduring. the crux of her story was her death so inspired by the Malay ritual of death, our perfumer Fazzillah picked all the elements of scents used to wash the dead before burying them, and combined it into a single scent. We use kaffir lime water, camphor on the cloth, benzoin and sandalwood as incense while family members gather around, jasmine oil dabbed on the brow of the deceased. Our Mahsuri creation, as a whole, is dark in character, morbid but sensual. The delivery is perfectly captured in a single spray of our Eau de Parfum.
Mahsuri binti Pandak Mayah (Mahsuri, daughter of Pandak Mayah) was a girl born in Langkawi Island (previously in the Malay Lands, now Malaysia). She was born to her father Pandak Mayah and mother Mak Andam at the end of 18th century in Ulu Melaka Village, Langkawi. According to estimation, Mahsuri's early days was when Langkawi was under the rule of Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah III (1778-1797) and Sultan Ziyauddin Mukarram Shah II ibni al-Marhum Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Azilin Muadzam Shah (1797-1803), around the time Pandak Mayah first migrated to Langkawi.
Pandak Mayah and Cik Alang (Mak Andam's maiden name) were originally from Kemala Village, Bukit (present-day Phuket, Thailand). Initially, both of them were farmers and sold cane they found in the jungles. Soon, they began to save money and were able to buy land from the locals. His income grew even larger when Pandak Mayah began selling benzoin and birds nest (both were highly valued goods) that he became one of the richest people in Langkawi.
Then, the couple was further blessed with a baby girl whom they named Mahsuri. Mahsuri grew up to be a cultured and refined young lady of her time. Ever since her childhood, Mahsuri was unlike other children. She loved to wear black clothing, her favourite colour. She was kind-hearted, and her physical beauty, second only to her gentle way of speaking and feminine features became the talk of the village. Mahsuri was well-mannered and genteel even as a child, and as she grew into a maiden her beautiful looks and cultured manners came to the attention of the Sultan's viceroy in Langkawi, Wan Yahya Dato Pekermajaya. Dato Pekermajaya was enraptured by Mahsuri's beauty and applied for her hand in marriage to Pandak Mayah. However, Pandak Mayah turned down the offer. Wan Mahura, Dato Pekermajaya's wife heard of his intent and the first seeds of jealousy were sown. Eventually, Mahsuri married Dato Pekermajaya's brother, Wan Derus, a young man who was the local warrior.
During the reign of Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Halim Shah II ibni al-Marhum Sultan Ziyauddin Mukarram Shah (1803-1843), the relations between Kedah (where Langkawi is situated) and Siam were worsening. Mahsuri was pregnant when Wan Derus left Langkawi on state and official matters. During the time her husband was away, Mahsuri stayed with her parents. Around the same time, Deramang, a travelling poet stopped by Langkawi for a spell. His ability to touch the hearts of the Langkawi folk opened Pandak Mayah's door to him, and so Deramang stayed with them to teach poetry and song.
The brilliance of Deramang in the poetic arts raised the name of Mahsuri as the host and fanned the flames of jealousy of Wan Mahura, now her sister-in-law who was the 'first lady' of Langkawi island. The birth of Mahsuri's son, Wan Hakim, triggered slander when Wan Mahura made false claims that Mahsuri had an affair with Deramang.
Mahsuri and Deramang were then captured and sentenced to death by her own brother-in-law, Dato Pekermajaya who had fallen for his wife's slanderous claims. Without waiting for her husband, Wan Derus to return, Mahsuri and Deramang were brought to Padang Matsirat for the death sentence. The claims that Mahsuri was an adulterer spread like wildfire across the island and many people came to Padang Matsirat to witness her sentencing. Mahsuri was tied to a tree and stabbed with her own heirloom keris in spite of her pleas of innocence, and for one final look at the face of her baby boy. In her dying breath, Mahsuri's last words were a curse that she did not permit her blood to spill the earth as she was a victim of slander and that Langkawi will not have peace and prosperity for seven generations.
Although Mahsuri's parents begged for her innocence, the sentencing still went on and Mahsuri died. Deramang was also killed in the same event. Mahsuri was then buried by her parents next to all the wealth they had brought with them as a means to spare her life. She was said to have died in 1819.
One week after Mahsuri was killed, Wan Derus came home after Kedah failed to defeat Siam. When he found out about his late wife, in his sadness he took his son, Wan Hakim and left Langkawi. Several days later, Siamese army overran and sacked the island of Langkawi. Dato Pekermajaya managed to save himself and his bodyguard, Panglima Hitam. Unfortunately, the Siamese army caught up with him at Langkanah River where he was tortured and cruelly killed. Wan Mahura also suffered her fate as she was raped and tortured by the Siamese army. Before they left Langkawi, the Siamese army ravaged and burned the entire island of Langkawi. Langkawi was now scorched and destroyed, the remnants of charred fields visible up until the 1990s and the lingering sadness of having wronged a woman of virtue stamped in local memories forever.
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