Monday, March 03, 2008

Natural Perfumers Guild Perfumer Dominique Dubrana Lauded by Luca Turin

Luca Turin, perfume critic, author of the soon-to-be-released The Perfume Guide just wrote about a custom perfume he had made by Dominique Dubrana of Italy. We in the Guild know him as a Professional Perfumer who prefers to be called Salaam, a longtime member of my Yahoo Natural Perfumery group and Guild member. His keen insights and helpful comments offered in our private group always have a ring of experience and clarity, and he gets to the soul of the matter with ease. Turin found it refreshing that Salaam did not require a questionnaire about astrological sign, personality traits, or other psychological items that are so often the tool of the custom perfumer. Instead Turin got to choose the raw materials from a list. The resultant perfume has increased the openly-skeptical Turin's opinion of what a perfume made only with natural ingredients can be - and we must thank Salaam for that.

Additionally, Salaam is the only natural perfumer included in Turin's new book, another great accomplishment. For all the debate that often goes on in internet forums over whether natural perfumes can or cannot "equal" the mostly-synthetic mainstream perfumes on the market today, this recognition goes a long way towards validating our subtle art. Salaam has decades of experience working with the beautiful raw natural aromatics, and his restrained, elegant style of perfumery does allow him to take a place at the pinnacle of natural perfumery. Please don't forget, however, that the new art of natural perfumery is just that - new. There are many natural perfumers that are working towards perfecting their art and many are self-taught, as is Salaam. No school in Grasse offers a course in natural perfumery, no corporate school does either. We're all artisans seeking recognition and acceptance for our hand-crafted perfumes, and his beautiful perfumes are paving the way for this.

At the end of the day, Salaam has conquered the Mount Everest of skeptics, and thus makes the trek to the top of the mountain easier for all of us.

If everyone dashes to Salaam's website they may find perhaps no timely replies. Currently, at least for the next week or two, Salaam is doing his yearly charity mission. This year he is in Timbuktu. Yes, that Timbuktu. He's helping dig and install wells for fresh water. He travels to war-torn or ravaged parts of the world for a few months every winter helping others.

I can think of no member of the Guild to be more proud of, and no member more deserving of such recognition. He's a Muslim, but I hope he understands when I call him a maven and a mensch. And a master perfumer.

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