Friday, May 09, 2008

Scents of the Soul - Reflections on the Art of AbdesSalaam Attar of Italy

Helg of the Perfume Shrine approached me several weeks ago with the proposal that we write a "Double Dubrana" today to pay our separate homages to the wonderful perfumer I know as Salaam of AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo di Dominique Dubrana of Italy.

I was eager to participate in this joint effort, noting to Helg I would not be reviewing his beautiful perfumes as she is doing - instead I will reminisce about the man, the perfumer I know and how his stature has developed and spread as an esteemed natural perfumer.

Salaam joined my online natural perfumery group on Yahoo a few years ago and became an active participant, sharing his knowledge and spiritual philosophy about the pure and natural aromatics we use to create our all-natural perfumes. I was honored when Salaam joined the Natural Perfumers Guild as a Professional Perfumer last year because I had sampled many of his perfumes over the years and found them to have an elegance and quality that set them apart, in a league of their own. Self-taught, Salaam moved from his native France to Italy years ago and set up an atelier where his family and artistic life combine to give ambiance to a fully-rounded lifestyle of aromatic community work.

I remember the first time I read about his public aromatic events that involved engaging the public in the beauty of natural fragrance such as "The Perfumed City." I particularly love this quote from Salaam "In effect over 120 000 doses were sprayed during the 10 days of the show. Enough to make of Riccione the most perfumed city of the word for that period." It can safely be said he does not do anything half way - he is totally involved in, and gives his time and energy to, educating the public as to the beauty of aromatherapy, perfumery, natural aromatics and may I say "living the good life." The reader may use the translation link on this page to read about the little "trenino del profumo" that is part of the Perfumed City event. Quite lovely and a lot of fun!

Salaam is unabashedly straightforward in his belief that animal essences are crucial to the perfume blend. They connect us at the most basic pheromonal level to our past, they are directly linked to our souls, our engrammes and our appreciation of the entire natural world. Over the years I have received as gifts, or purchased from him, some of the highest-quality animal extracts for use in perfumery. Diluted way down, they smooth, exalt and transform a perfume into a beautiful smelling direct link to our innermost soul. His standards in source natural aromatics are relentless, he will not accept anything but the finest osmanthus, the smoothest organic bergamot, the loveliest orris root.

Scents of the Soul - a beautiful soul, an incredibly talented perfumer, a man of true spiritual devotion and conviction, a man I am honored to call my friend and have as a member of the Guild. Saluto, Salaam.

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