TAMBORINE MOUNTAIN STORIES give you an insight into many of the local businesses and characters you will find when you Escape to Tamborine Mountain.



Tamborine Mountain might be a smaller community than something you might find in Brisbane or the Gold Coast, but it’s no less a melting pot of the various cultures that reside there to produce something even more beautiful than the sum of its parts — even in ways you might not expect. Take the Mt. Tamborine Bazaar, owned and operated by Mostafa Abdelghany, providing perfumed perfection in vessels of your choice. Mostafa’s more than happy to take a deep dive with us on the fascinating history of his trade.

by Kyle Hitchmough

How long have you owned Mt. Tamborine Bazaar?

In Tamborine, since 2015, but I owned my business in Surfers Paradise before this since 2004. It will be 19 years in May.

What was your inspiration to open this business?

I came here from Egypt in 2004 with some bottles and perfumes from Egypt to see how I’d go. I started in the Carrara Markets on weekends a few weeks after I came and found it was going well. Two months later I opened the store in Surfers Paradise. I came here in 2014. I had a friend who used to work in Surfers Paradise but he closed down and he opened a shop here on Gallery Walk. He told me he was doing well. I thought to myself if he had closed down even where I found business to be good, then if he’s doing well on Tamborine Mountain it must be even better for me. I’ve been very successful!

For those who might not be familiar, what is it you offer here?

We sell handmade Egyptian perfume bottles, and we offer free perfume with any bottle the customer selects. People choose their own bottles in whatever colour and design they like, and afterwards I put the scent in it. All products are highly concentrated, natural and last longer on your skin, and we offer enough for a six-month supply if applied every day. They smell beautiful because they’re extracted from flowers like lily of the valley, wild rose, peach flower, and bergamot. Some customers like sweet fruit scents, some prefer earthier perfumes, some might want flowery, or something like Chanel No. 5. The ancient Egyptians created fragrance before 1500 BC, in the time of Queen Hatshepsut. That’s a fact!

How did you come into the perfume business?

I wanted to open something a bit different, something that would impress people, especially tourists.

What’s your most popular or bestselling perfume?

Lily of the valley is our number one selling scent. It’s amazingly successful. A blend of wild rose and peach flower comes very closely after.

Where do you source your stock from?

I get both the perfumes and the bottles imported from Egypt, where they’re all handmade.

What goes into the average day here for you?

Sometimes it’s quiet, sometimes it’s busy. It depends on the season, as well. Here on Tamborine Mountain, it’s always busier in winter. Summer is quite quiet here. July and August are the busiest two months of the year for tourists. It gets packed!

Have you noticed any particular trends in you clientele?

I have regular customers who come in. They’re usually after something they don’t see very often, that you wouldn’t find in a shopping center. They’ve never seen anything like this in their life, and that’s why I’ve been open for 19 years.

Are you a local? What’s your opinion on the Tamborine Mountain area and community?

I live on the Gold Coast. Tamborine Mountain is an amazing place. I love it, it’s beautiful. It’s cooler in the summer and nice and quiet. The people here have good character, and our customers are good quality. I wish it was more convenient for people to come here by public transport, maybe a shuttle bus. It would bring more visitors from the Gold Coast. More advertising too, to get more people to come to this amazing place.

Do you have anything you personally like to do in the area?

I go to the botanical gardens sometimes, or the lookout. There’s nice cafés, and I love experimenting with the foods. I like the Vineyard and the Coffee Plantation. The one close to the post office is great as well. There’s plenty of places to go if I want something to eat!

What do you think Mt. Tamborine Bazaar really provides to the area?

I hear a lot from the customers that they like my shop because it’s different, something they don’t see anywhere else. It’s unique.

What do you enjoy most about doing this?

I enjoy it because it’s something that belongs to me. It’s from my background. I came from Egypt a long time ago and I sell things that come from Egypt too. You meet a lot of people, and that’s fun. I work every day but it never feels like work, because it’s so fun.

What’s been your most memorable moment in your time here?

I had a lady who came walking by and said “I hope you are the one who I bought perfume from before! It was a long time ago, before I even had my daughter!” Her daughter was there and was nearly her height! She said she had bought some beautiful perfume from me and couldn’t remember the name of it. She said she was a paramedic and had come with a group of her friends to my Surfers Paradise location, and they’d all bought the same one. I remembered back in 2007 or 2008 I had sold Gucci Rush to a group of paramedics who all bought it. I gave that to her, and she said that was it! She bought two more bottles.

Is there anything else you’d like to go on the record?

We welcome anybody to come, tourists or locals!

Mt. Tamborine Bazaar