Friday, October 10, 2014

Ask AbdesSalaam Day 2


Thank you for the lively and wonderful conversation yesterday !

If you didn't get a chance to ask your question , AbdesSalaam is with us again today and ready to answer .
Good Day AbdesSalaam and welcome back !
I got so many e-mails thanking you for answering our questions yesterday .
We left off our discussion with olfactory psychology . I have a serious aversion to vetiver , and though I do not know the reason , is it possible to " de-sensitize " , that is reprogram a response to certain aromas ? ( similar to behavior modification )

56 comments:

Ines said...

Yesterday's discussion was more informative than I could have hoped for.

AbdesSalaam, I got the feeling that what you do is not only something you are obviously very good at, but more that this seems to be your life's calling. Do you feel that you grow as a person through the work you do (or with each new perfume you make)?

I guess we should all be doing work that would make us grow as people.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

""I have a serious aversion to vetiver , and though I do not know the reason , is it possible to " de-sensitize " , that is reprogram a response to certain aromas ? ( similar to behavior modification )""

Yes it is possible. My small 12 years old daughter had developed a strong aversion to peppermint smell. My wife had cured her nausea with an excess of this essence and now the smell itself, instead of curing nausea as it usually does, actually gave her nausea.
It was a problem because one of my most useful aromatherapy products contains peppermint, and it is of almost daily use for children.
She loved learning horse riding so I told her: “OK, I shall pay your horse riding lessons, but at one condition, when you have seated on the horse, you use this bottle of peppermint and put some on your chest”
She now has no more aversion for peppermint.
The principle is to associate the smell to most positive, joyful or gratifying moments or events. The olfactory memory will replace the negative association with a positive one.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

“”AbdesSalaam, I got the feeling that what you do is not only something you are obviously very good at, but more that this seems to be your life's calling. Do you feel that you grow as a person through the work you do (or with each new perfume you make)?””

No. These are just perfumes and this is just a profession. I am lucky to work with what I love and to do a work where I am fully independent, but the meaning of life is about something else.
I am not here to speak about myself but about perfumery. Forgive me, how could I be “The most elusive of perfumers” if I were to talk about myself.

waftbyCarol said...

LOL
Yes , Merlin the magician of perfumery must remain a mystery...!

After spending quite a bit of time with your perfumes Gipsy Queen and Arabia , I find they have alot in common . Would it be correct to say Arabia was first , and then you embellished it to create Gipsy Queen ?

Ines said...

:) I wasn't aware that you were “The most elusive of perfumers” - so, I won't ask any similar questions. I can see however how that phrase could have come about.
Thank you for replying to my question though.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

“”Would it be correct to say Arabia was first , and then you embellished it to create Gipsy Queen ?””

You are right in this that Arabìa was first, but these 2 perfumes spring from 2 completely different stories.
The story of Gipsy Queen is documented in “birth of a perfume”.
http://www.profumo.it/perfume/carmen_perfume.htm
The story of Arabìa is that of my search for Muskdeer in the furthest spots of the Hindu kush. I had failed in my search and composed Arab’a in these mountains, without even dropper bottles, in order to console myself, with the best and most precious raw materials I had.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

""I wasn't aware that you were “The most elusive of perfumers” -""

This is how Jim Lewis titled his article on the NY Times. He saw straight through me.

waftbyCarol said...

That explains the feelings Arab'a elicits , feelings I have done something wrong but don't know what...it seriously made me feel , well , sad , bereft , ....!

Ines said...

I have to find that article, I am now very interested to read it.
Do you perhaps have a link to it?

waftbyCarol said...

Scroll back to Saturday's announcement and the link is there to the article .

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

“”That explains the feelings Arab'a elicits , feelings I have done something wrong but don't know what...it seriously made me feel , well , sad , bereft , ....!””

This is because of your situation. Arabìa is a perfume to wear in a period of transition, of travel and of changing life or even house.
This energy is described in the text:
“Arabia is a concentrate of energy and will appeal to who already owns the interior force that will enable him to wear it.
That is the reason why it is a perfume to choose for a journey, when the energy that brings us to travel enables us to wear it.
In fact, the relative stillness to which the traveller is forced (bound as he is to stay on his means of transport), pushes him, to mentally interiorize the energy of his physical movement, projecting himself by thought beyond the limits of the body.
Arabia fosters this process up to the point that the traveler who is wearing it will feel uplifted by the force of the thought as by a sea wave.
Arabia may be used also in periods of transition or to support states of elevated energy, like the Sufis: 'The Sufi is in this world without being of this world'.”
When you want to understand one of my perfumes and the effect it has on you, read the text. These are perfumes with a meaning, not just smells.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

""I have to find that article, I am now very interested to read it.
Do you perhaps have a link to it?""

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/t-magazine/22face-scent-t.html

Austin said...

Greetings everyone from NY. I am also very interested in the olfactory psychology discussion. Do you feel that the availability of certain ingredients in regions determines what people tend to like or dislike? Or are people continually adapting to different tastes due to a global marketplace?

Personally, some smells I continue to associate with deep memories that I can't change, whereas others I have slowly learned to re-associate with different imagery and words, for good or bad. For example, I used to hate the smell of smoke but now I love it. I used to love gourmand scents like almond but now prefer earthy scents.

waftbyCarol said...

Welcome to the discussion Austin !

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

“”Do you feel that the availability of certain ingredients in regions determines what people tend to like or dislike? Or are people continually adapting to different tastes due to a global marketplace?””

Austin, both things are true. We walk in life with 3 types of olfactory memories, personal, cultural and genetic. The most difficult ones to change or reprogram are the oldest ones, childhood, mostly cultural and ancestor’s heritage which are genetic.
You are alluding to the personal memories below:

“”whereas others I have slowly learned to re-associate with different imagery and words, for good or bad. For example, I used to hate the smell of smoke but now I love it. I used to love gourmand scents like almond but now prefer earthy scents.””

waftbyCarol said...

AbdesSalaam , is there anything you would like to discuss with us while we wait for more questions ?

I wanted to add my agreement to your statements about Corporate Giants and their motivations .
I find it a cruel joke that oak moss and comfrey root are illegal , while iso-e-super can be used in excess ( iso-e-super makes me physically ill )
I also believe that no one really has power over these things , the only true power comes from within !
And thank you for continuing to make all natural perfumes , against all odds !

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Hello friends, I have to go away for one hour and half, I am sorry. Please do not accumulate more demands, chat between each others and keep your demands in mind for the appoointment in 90 minutes.

waftbyCarol said...

Thank you , AbdesSalaam . We will be here when you return at 10:45AM EST !!

Mandy Aftel said...

Hi to you Carol and to you AbdesSalaam,

I just wanted to stop by and say hello to you. I read the wonderful article about you in the New York Times and I am so appreciative of your work in perfume.
Mandy Aftel

waftbyCarol said...

Hi Dear Lady who makes my HG perfume , Pink Lotus !!
Thank you for dropping by !

Lisa BTB said...

Good morning Carol, AbdesSalaam, Ines, Austin & Mandy. I hope all is well with each of you today.

Carol, your comment about vetyver reminded me of my dislike of fresh cut grass. As a child I had allgeries/hay fever often that put a damper on my summers lol. They seemed to be triggered by freshly cut grass. Although I'm not bothered by either today I still tend to not like the smell of cut grass.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

I am back. Good morning

waftbyCarol said...

Welcome back AbdesSalaam !
When a person comes to you and asks you to create a scent for them , what is the first thing you consider ( besides the scent notes they ask for ) ?

Kathryn said...

Carol and AbdesSalaam, thank you both so much for this fascinating conversation. AbdesSalaam, today I am wearing your Cuore di Rosa, a scent that always gives me a feeling of satisfaction and harmony. I thank you for that, too.

I wonder, AbdesSalaam, what fragrance notes you would recommend for maintaining harmony yet generating some additional energy for peaceful change?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

“When a person comes to you and asks you to create a scent for them , what is the first thing you consider ( besides the scent notes they ask for ) ?”

Carol, I am sorry, this does not happen anymore. I do not receive any more people for custom fragrances. I compose them online with the ingredients they ask for.
In any case, when I meet a person I understand straight away his tastes.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

""I wonder, AbdesSalaam, what fragrance notes you would recommend for maintaining harmony yet generating some additional energy for peaceful change?""

For you, Kathryn, Holy Water.

waftbyCarol said...

Kathryn , I will send you some Holy Water with our next swap , so you can try it !

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

""As a child I had allgeries/hay fever often that put a damper on my summers lol. They seemed to be triggered by freshly cut grass. Although I'm not bothered by either today I still tend to not like the smell of cut grass.""

You could consider reprogramming yourself but it would be a bit more complicated than my daughter's case because you would have to live some events particularly positive emotionally in a place that has the fresh cut grass smell.
Mybe a barbecue party on the lawn?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

""I just wanted to stop by and say hello to you.""

Hello Mandy, it is very kind of you to visit our chat here.
I hope that we shall meet someday in the material world.
I had a stryke of luck with an article, but you are the person that has inspired the passion for composing natural perfumes in a lot of people.
You have a throne for this, "Queen of the green" as you are called by the medias.

Anonymous said...

Hello. Do you use genuine animal ingredients in your fragrances (ambergris, musk(deer), civet...)? If yes, do you plan to switch to botanical alternatives which do not harm animals and don't encourage illegal trade of these ingredients, whale hunting and animal torture? I would also like to know if your products are tested on animals. Did the company ever perform animal testing in the past?

Thanks.

mandy aftel said...

thank you for your kind words. i would love to meet one day and talk about making perfumes.
and thank you to you carol for hosting this wonderful way to get to know salaam's perfumery better.

waftbyCarol said...

Anonymous , perhaps you could spend some time at AbdesSalaam's website , so that you might better understand his philosophy .
www.profumo.it

Kathryn said...

Thank you both, Carol and AbdesSalaam.

I am smiling because my godmother sprinkled some holy water on my head the day I was born (She was Roman Catholic, I am not). That was a long time ago and I am sure it needs some renewal by now.

Hello to Mandy, too. I was recently very fortunate to sample some of your custom perfume for Nathan. It is remarkably refined, complex, interesting and very nice, much like the person for whom you made it!

Lisa BTB said...

You could consider reprogramming yourself but it would be a bit more complicated than my daughter's case because you would have to live some events particularly positive emotionally in a place that has the fresh cut grass smell.
Mybe a barbecue party on the lawn?


Thank you. I will actively work on this.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Anonymous is not a name.
Animal scents are wonderful products for perfumery as well as for aromatherapy and traditional medicine.
Torturing animals is not worthy of human beings. Still men do it and do much worse than that, torturing human beings and entire nations. The ethic of a person will make him renounce to profits if they are derive from injustice done to any creature, animal or man.
Still profit today is made exclusively from injustice done to animals, men and whole nations.
If I believed that civet were tortured or ill-treated for their substance I would not use it, but civet farmers in Ethiopia have interest to treat their animals as well as American farmers have interest to treat their cows.
If I believed that the hunting of beavers would threaten their survival as a specie I would not use Castoreum. But beavers are hunted in Canada by quotas which leave an animal population that their environment can sustain.
About muskdeer and the sad fate of these mythical animals, read my report on Kashmiri Muskdeer.
http://www.profumo.it/cashmir/english/13_kashmiri_muskdeer_report_moschus.htm
I do not trade in musk deer although I know very well where I can purchase it and many people are asking to buy it from me.

As for testing my products, it seems strange that I am asked if I test them on animals while I am using them to cure people with success, as you can see in my Timbuktu pages.
http://www.profumo.it/Blog/index.php

waftbyCarol said...

AbdesSalaam , you are very patient and kind to answer a rather impolite question , thank you !

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Askers have a right to an answer, Carol.
I came here just for that. The question was not impolite.
It would have been polite to give me a name to answer to.

Anna said...

Thank you very much for answering in detail. I certainly did not mean to be impolite, my question was sincere, (I love animals!). I never tested your perfumes before and know nothing about the company, but I do know that some fragrance companies still perform animal testing so I always ask before purchasing. So I used this opportunity to ask you directly. Please don't feel offended. I picked "anonymous" because I completely missed the "name" option. I am not used to this blog format. /Anna

waftbyCarol said...

Thank you for coming back and giving us a name !
Welcome , and thanks for joining the conversation . I hope you will visit his website now !!
*HUGS*

Anna said...

Thanks for welcoming me waftbyCarol. I honestly didn't mean to be impolite.

Have a nice day!

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Ciao Anna. Love of creatures is from a merciful heart.
Because we are living in the world that I have described, caution is natural and apropriate.
I hope that you will check the pages that I have indicated to you. You will find them very instructive. I am here ready to answer more of your demands. Do not hesitate.

Ines said...

I see someone asked for a recommendation, so I would like to ask for some. Could you suggest something for self-doubt and for my boyfriend, something for a peaceful and clear mind? Thank yo

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

I would need much more details to understand what is your self doubt and what you need. Maybe also some personal questions. It would be better over mail.
The same for your boy friend. I could not counsel something without understanding the problem.
You can also trust your nose and let hin chose what is best for you.
This would be perfumetherapy, your nose is your medic.

Ines said...

Thank you.
It seems perfume has become my anti-stress therapy as it brings me a lot of joy. I'll have to try and see if I can transfer the joy of discovery onto my boyfriend.

tarleisio said...

AbdesSalaam, thank you so much for answering all these questions - it has been a truly illuminating experience. My olfactory horizons are now very much larger than before, and for that, I'm more grateful than you know!

i was struck by your previous comment about your nose being the medic. Do you think that we subconsciously gravitate towards certain scents/scent families at different times in our lives to reflect and/or heal certain issues at different times in our lives? For instance, for most of my own life, I've gravitated towards very green, bitter, galbanum-rich, vetiver-heavy scents, and now, that is no longer the case. (Now, it's the heady, indolic sort of orange blossom!)

So maybe our noses know something we don't realize ourselves?

waftbyCarol said...

tarlesio , I agree our noses probably know something we don't . To trust our own instincts....so important .

Thank you so much everyone for making this a wonderful learning opportunity for all of us . And thank you AbdesSalaam ! You have been at it for hours , and I'm sure you are ready for a break !
Any last words of wisdom would be most appreciated , please come back anytime .

The winners of the three bottles of Mecca Balsam will be announced soon , so stay tuned .

akiba said...

Dear Carol, I missed todays conversation coz had a busy day at work. Just signed in and have enjoyed reading the discussion. Is it all over now?

akiba said...

Hello Qwame, sorry I could not join todays discussion. I saw an article on you site about a perfumed wedding. It was in Italian so I did not understand it. What was the perfumed wedding like?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

""Thank you.
It seems perfume has become my anti-stress therapy as it brings me a lot of joy. I'll have to try and see if I can transfer the joy of discovery onto my boyfriend""

love of perfumes comes from a quality of the soul, and being able to feel joy from scents instead of material things also. It is not given to all.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

""For instance, for most of my own life, I've gravitated towards very green, bitter, galbanum-rich, vetiver-heavy scents, and now, that is no longer the case. (Now, it's the heady, indolic sort of orange blossom!)

So maybe our noses know something we don't realize ourselves?""

Smells are psychoactive. Different types of scents activate specific glands of the endocrin system stimulating them to produce their neurochemicals.
The glands are pituitary, hypocampus ecc… The neurochemicals are adrenalin, endorphin ecc..
This is fron Dr Tisserand research on psycho-aromatherapy.
For instance Patchouli and Clary sage activate the pituitary that produces endorphin while neroli and lavender stimulate the Raphe nucleus that produce serotonin.
The first one is Afrodisiac and good against emotional and physical frigidity and impotence while the second are sedative and work against anxiety, hypertension and irritability.

When your nose likes a type of smell it is because this smell is activating your endocrine system to produce the substances that favour your equilibrium.

It is as if the smell would give to your nose the order to your own pharmaceutical laboratory to produce your personal medicines.

Tartesio, you were liking equilibrating smells you now prefer sedative ones.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

""AbdesSalaam ! You have been at it for hours , and I'm sure you are ready for a break !
Any last words of wisdom would be most appreciated , please come back anytime .""

In fact I had a nap, but I am back now.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

“”I saw an article on you site about a perfumed wedding. It was in Italian so I did not understand it. What was the perfumed wedding like?””

Ciao Akiba. In Italy people will spend a fortune on the wedding day. They want something special.
Sometimes I have been called for making a perfume that every guest will receive as a gift and to perfume the place.

Austin said...

Thank you for sharing so warmly your insights on psychoactive smells and the ethical treatment of animals for use in perfumes. Like the movement for going green, I hope the use of all-natural ingredients and treating the effects of smell as a legitimate science becomes more popular. Carol, AbdesSalaam, fellow enthusiasts, enjoy your day.

akiba said...

Thanks Qwame. I would like to be able to create a perfumed wedding some day! in february this year I made a couple of solid perfumes to be given as favors at my friends wedding. It has been a pleasure and honor to participate in this conversatn with you. Thanks for sharing with us all. Hope you visit Ghana again someday!

waftbyCarol said...

Thank you so much to everyone !!
Hopefully we can do this again .

akiba said...

Thank you Carol!