Friday, October 10, 2014

Ask AbdesSalaamAttar - La Via del Profumo


image via Basenotes
Good Morning Everybody ! This is an interview/Q & A session I had with D. Dubrana of La Via Del Profumo in 2010 . I am reprinting it here today for his benefit .

The day has arrived , the appointed hour is here . Dominique Dubrana aka AbdesSalaamAttar is here with us and waiting to answer your questions !!
Good Day AbdesSalaam and Welcome to WAFT . I am beginning to understand the role aromatherapy/healing/psychology plays in your creations and I know our readers would love to hear more about the process of creating personalized fragrances . But first , maybe just a little background or history .

Can you remember the first fragrance you ever created , and why ?

( Remember readers : refresh your page frequently to keep up with the comments )

139 comments:

waftbyCarol said...

Can you remember how many essences you worked with then , compared to how many essences you have in your perfume palette now ?

Ines said...

Hi Carol and Mr. Dubrana!
You know, I do feel lucky that your 6 AM is noon here. :)
After Carol's portrayal of several of your fragrances, I browsed your site and your blog and I saw you have several essential oil mixes that you used very successfully in treating some illnesses. Did your road into perfumery start through aromatherapy or was it vice versa?

I am very interested in learning more about essential oils and how to include them more in my everyday life.

waftbyCarol said...

Welcome Ines...I am an early riser any way so 6AM is normal for me ! Great question .
One of my readers , Dixie also has a question for AbdesSalaam, she wants to know where you get your essential oils ?

waftbyCarol said...

Are you with us AbdesSalaam ?
Isabel lives in Spain and she is unable to join us today . She has a question for you too...
" If you were to re-create the scent of Spain , what would it smell like ? "

waftbyCarol said...

I apologize for the delay , I'm sure AbdesSalaam will be joining us shortly....

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Hello Carol, I am the one to apologise. I am now here and will stay with you.

waftbyCarol said...

Ahhh , welcome !
So glad you could join us today !

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

The first perfume I composed was Oak Moss. At that time I was a street seller and was selling just my essential oils in small bottles. I liked to use the pure pase on my wrists and people remarked about the goodness of the scent. I decided to mix it with other essences in order to render it usable as a perfume because the raw absolute is sticky and stains the skin. I composed it in a way that it would retain as much as possible the oak moss smell that people were complimenting me for. I could not reasonably propose it to customers. This is how my first perfume came.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Carol, how shall I answer to a demand that is up the line? shall I have to quote?

waftbyCarol said...

Can you remember how many essences you worked with then , compared to how many essences you have in your perfume palette now ?

waftbyCarol said...

I can re-post each question for you , will that work ?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Can you remember how many essences you worked with then , compared to how many essences you have in your perfume palette now ?

I am not a counting type. I may have 200 different raw materials, some of which I have not yet used for composing a fragrance. I am just waiting for the occasion to use them.

waftbyCarol said...

Ines asked
After Carol's portrayal of several of your fragrances, I browsed your site and your blog and I saw you have several essential oil mixes that you used very successfully in treating some illnesses. Did your road into perfumery start through aromatherapy or was it vice versa?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Did your road into perfumery start through aromatherapy or was it vice versa?

They started together. When I started into perfumes in 86 I went to Grasse in order to buy my first supply. I visited a Grasse library and discovered that one could cure diseases with the essences I was buying. It was the book of Valnet. I bought it and started to experiment. I have not ceased since then.

Ines said...

Does it seem to you that aromatherapy still has secrets left to be discovered?
And is it possible then that perfumes using essential oils can really lift one's spirit, it's not just a saying since we all here love perfumes and enjoy them?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

she wants to know where you get your essential oils ?

My suppliers are some of the biggest traders of Grasse, and also producers and traders all around the world who search internet and contact me as a potential buyer of their products. This is how I have access to raw materials that are not available on the raw material market.

waftbyCarol said...

Isabel lives in Spain and she is unable to join us today . She has a question for you too...
" If you were to re-create the scent of Spain , what would it smell like ? "

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Does it seem to you that aromatherapy still has secrets left to be discovered?

Of course it has, it is a science at its beginning. Even patients of mine find new properties to essences and blends of mine that they use. I myself discover new applications and properties for essences and blends, like the earache product in Timbukto, whose story you can read on the blog.

http://www.profumo.it/perfume/home_english.htm

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

" If you were to re-create the scent of Spain , what would it smell like ? "

I have to think about it.

waftbyCarol said...

It is interesting to think about the scent of a place , yes . And which part , the mountains , the sea , the kitchen , the city , the countryside....
How fortunate you are French and have access to so many texts unavailable to those of us who are not fluent in French .
The Valnet text sounds so interesting . Have you considered translating some of this information ?

Ines said...

I am not familiar with the Valnet text. What exactly is it about?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Valnet has been a pioneer, but since then most research and books written have been done by English speaking people. I would even say; by English speaking WOMEN.
Tisserand is an other pioneer who opened the field of psycho aromatherapy. The best and more generous author to my mind is Valerie Ann Worwood for Aromatherapy.
The most important book on essences is the Enciclopedy of essential oils by Julia Lawless.
you find more in my bibliography.
http://www.profumo.it/perfume/bibliography1.htm
Natural perfumery and Aromatherapy must go together in the life of a natural perfumer or else he is incomplete.

waftbyCarol said...

Are you working on a fragrance now that you can talk about ?

Ines said...

Thank you very much for these names. I want to learn more about essential oils and aromatherapy and since I love to read, this will be great.

waftbyCarol said...

Available on Amazon : http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Essential-Oils-Aromatherapy-Herbalism/dp/0007145187

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

I am "working" on the ultimate musk fragrance. There is not much to say about it, except maybe that it will be very expensive, in regard to the nobilty of the ingredeients I use.

waftbyCarol said...

LOL
you know we don't care about cost !!
I have been working on a fragrance with coffee flower , blue lotus , clementine , patchouli...I have a name for it too , TRISHNA ( which means craving in Sanskrit . )
How would you construct this fragrance , and will you ?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

I do not know coffe flower and I do not know blu lotus.

waftbyCarol said...

Well I will send you a little of each ! Blue lotus is intensely fruity ( almost decaying fruit .) Coffee flower is fabulous and appropriate because we own a coffee roastery .

Come on all you lurkers , now is your chance to ask a question ...

Ines said...

Do you have any essences that you just cannot work with? Or some that give you constant inspiration?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

At this hour, many are just waking up. we have many hours ahead.

Lisa BTB said...

Good morning all!

Thank you Mr Dubrana for taking time to chat. And thank you Carol for putting this together.

I have two questions. Do you produce any of the materials used in your perfumes? And my second question, is there an essence that you absolutely refuse to use?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Do you produce any of the materials used in your perfumes? And my second question, is there an essence that you absolutely refuse to use?

I produce some tinctures that I use in some of my perfumes, such as the tincture of Ambergris in my Pheromone for men and for women perfumes.
I refuse to work only with chemical essences. I cannot stand them, they put my nose in crisis. I sometimes tell my wife, if you put on this cream, I don't come to bed.

waftbyCarol said...

There are so many bad smells out there
" put my nose in crisis "
is soooo acurate . When I ride my bike , the fabric softener people use in the dryer spreads around for blocks in my neighborhood , and it turns my nose off for hours !
Macrocyclic musk should be banned !

Ines said...

Carol, I tried the new Kenzo the other day and I thought I caught a cold. My throat actually ached from the smell on my wrist and it wouldn't wash off. It was horrible. :( I still can't understand how can people wear stuff like that.

tarleisio said...

Some of WAFT's readers are relative newcomers to the world of perfumeoholism (let's call it!), and even more to the point, to your own creations. (although I'd die to try them all!)

I could of course order samples from your website, but have you ever considered creating different kinds of 'sample packs' - to introduce newcomers to your abilities as a perfumer, to take us on olfactory journeys and perhaps lead us on to new discoveries and new perceptions?

The problem is - you spoil your customers for choice, and I have not a clue where to start, simply because I'd stick to what I already love.

Would that be worth considering?

waftbyCarol said...

Welcome Tarlesio !
I originally e-mailed AbdesSalaam with the very same question
" I want to try them all !! "
That's how this project got started .
Master sample pack please ?

Ines said...

Tha would indeed be wonderful. :)

waftbyCarol said...

Of course , I could fly over to Italy and become his professional sample vial filler...

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

I could of course order samples from your website, but have you ever considered creating different kinds of 'sample packs' - to introduce newcomers to your abilities as a perfumer, to take us on olfactory journeys and perhaps lead us on to new discoveries and new perceptions?

The problem is - you spoil your customers for choice, and I have not a clue where to start, simply because I'd stick to what I already love.

Everyone purcasing from our site receives free sample vials in proportion to his purchase, so that he can try new fragrances, which I chose myself in regard to the perfumes he has chosen to order.
The small sample vials are such a proiduct that I would be ashame to sell. small, unatractive and inadequate to a real taste of a fragrance. But luckyly, Lisa at the perfumed court is doing the decanting and she is very good at it. I notice that her customers are very satisfied.
The choice of the scents of the soul is large, but every of this scents has a story and a meaning. Getting to the right choice is simple, get attracted by the name, read the text that explains it, and try a small mignon bottle, or order a vial at Lisa's Perfumed court.
I feel that I am lucky to have her by my side, doing for me what I cannot do.

Isa said...

Hello everybody :)

It is being a really interesting discussion.

I would love a sample pack for newcomers too, but I undertand that it must be difficult for a perfumer to choose among his creations.

Lisa BTB said...

What are your thoughts on the use of natural isolates in perfume?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

If you chose my perfumes by the order at http://www.profumo.it/perfume/index_anima.asp, in that page they are by chronological order. This might be a way to explore the evolution of my scents over 20 years.

Ines said...

What are your thoughts on the IFRA regulations so far? Do you try to fight some of their future regulations?
And if you could answer my question that got lost up there - is there any essence/ingredient that you consider a constant inspiration?

Suzanne said...

Hi - first I want to say thank you to Carol and to Mr Dubrana for hosting this Q & A. My first question is, I smell a lovely herbal note in the opening stages of Mecca Balsam, and I was wondering what it is? Is there any Clary Sage in the formulation?

My next question is, which of your fragrances does your wife like to wear? (She must be delightfully spoiled for choice,so I'm curious as to which ones are her absolute favorites.)

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

What are your thoughts on the use of natural isolates in perfume?

I have not done and I am not tempted.
It would make sense only if I concieved perfumes as smells. In this case I would build them with smells.
This is not my appproach. I build perfumes as stories in the olfactory language, every ingredient has a natural meaning to us, personally or culturally or genetically. But for that the ingredients must be from the nature. For example, rose essence or absolute is real rose. Natural isolate geranium is not roese and not even geranium.
If I would base my making pewrfumes on an aesthetic research I would be tempted, but I am not interested in aeetetics per se. I am attracted by meaning and I want everything to be true.

waftbyCarol said...

Welcome Isa *from Spain* and Suzanne !
I was wondering too if his family wears his creations .

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Hi - first I want to say thank you to Carol and to Mr Dubrana for hosting this Q & A. My first question is, I smell a lovely herbal note in the opening stages of Mecca Balsam, and I was wondering what it is? Is there any Clary Sage in the formulation?

There is indeed Clary sage and also rose Ess. Oil. Good nose. My compliments.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Welcome Isa *from Spain* and Suzanne !
I was wondering too if his family wears his creations .

My family does not wear any perfumes, they use essential oils for aromatherapy almast every day and it is enough for them. The same about me. I live in the midst of fragrances and usually do not use perfumes. I am already full of them and leave in my wake a sillage like a river.
I do always have with me a bottle of Ud though, and this is about the only perfume that I care to wear now. A perfume for kings.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

And if you could answer my question that got lost up there - is there any essence/ingredient that you consider a constant inspiration?

Inspiration rarely comes from an ingredient. This happens only when you are discovering a new one. Inspiration also raely is the starting point of a perfume. An idea is the starting point. Then inspiration has to come, as a sustain to a logic and a dicipline.

waftbyCarol said...

If I understand correctly , oud can be sourced from different countries and has subtly different scent nuances . Which one do you carry with you ?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

I do not remember. I went to Al Quraish shop in Mecca, he is the provider of the kings. I smelled what he had best to propose and he ripped me off a lot of rials. But the joy and energy that Ud gives is worth more than money.

Isa said...

I would like to ask if perfumes really change their smell depending on the skin of the person who is wearing them.
I know that we all feel that some fragrances smell different on different people, but I don't know really why that happens.

Thank you!

waftbyCarol said...

Where would I begin to educate my nose about oud .
Montale Steam Oud
By Kilian Pure Oud
L'Artisan Al Oudh
Have you smelled any of them ?

I have decants of all three of these. Not to ask you to criticize other fragrances , but where do these fall as far as the true scent of oud ?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

different smells together produce an accord, which is a different smell in itself. Every person has its own smell and this accounts in some way for a perfume smelling different on different persons. But in greatest part this is due to the grade of skin absorption from different people. Specially with commercial perfumes which are build as an illusion. we use perfumes on the skin, this is wrong. we should use them on our hair, beard, dress, scarf and gloves. They would last longer, wholer, and our body would not absorb all the chemicals that the industry is dealing us as safer than natural. Do you trust corporations? do you believe corporations? do you think corporations care about your health?
Have a watch at Michael Moore "Corporation"

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Montale Steam Oud
By Kilian Pure Oud
L'Artisan Al Oudh
Have you smelled any of them ?

I have never smelled these. If you want real Ud see with Trydge or Oriscent.

waftbyCarol said...

Trygve Harris , owner of Enfleurage in NYC...I would love to meet her . I have been to her shop before and I will definitely go in there when I am in NYC in October ... must get a few mils of real oud !!
Can you suggest something for inflammation of the joints/arthritis ? My shoulder joints are very painful for the last few months and I refuse to take ibuprofin or antibiotics for it . Glucosamine/Condroitin does not seem to work for me .

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

cAROL, For Arthritis you can use pine needle and cedar wood (any of them) by 50% each, but my advice to get immediate and complete healing is to go for acupuncture (see my Timbuktu pages). Results are miraculous.

Lisa BTB said...

we use perfumes on the skin, this is wrong. we should use them on our hair, beard, dress, scarf and gloves.

I use perfume on my skin which is a practice that could easily be changed. But prior to getting to the use of a finished product what should I be doing to correctly evaluate my blends if not testing on skin?

waftbyCarol said...

Thank you , I will try accupuncture if I can find an accupuncturist around here .

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Thank you , I will try accupuncture if I can find an accupuncturist around here .

If you have chinese people around you, then you have an acupuncturist.

waftbyCarol said...

I have noticed a few references to " the psychology of scent "
around the blog-o-sphere lately . Can you breifly describe to us your philosophy of the use of scent for the psyche ?

deeHowe said...

Greetings AbdesSalaam,

The US market tends to like anemic popular fragrance, and those of us who are "perfumistas" aren't always fans of all natural perfume. Are you surprised by the level of interest your fragrances have achieved with the American audience?

Regards,
Dee

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

"I have noticed a few references to " the psychology of scent "
around the blog-o-sphere lately"

Carol, rather tell me yourself, what do you make out of it?

waftbyCarol said...

LOL
It struck me as a sort of *buzzword* and that those mentioning it didn't know the meaning themselves .
In fact , most people are not in touch with themselves enough to feel the effects that scent has on their psyche .
I live in an inner fantasy world most of the time
*oops , did I say that out loud ?*
and would prefer to "speak to perfume" than people .
I realize that is not "normal"...

liam j said...

What advice would you give to a serious individual wishing to step into the world of perfume creating and learning?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

-The US market tends to like anemic popular fragrance, and those of us who are "perfumistas" aren't always fans of all natural perfume. Are you surprised by the level of interest your fragrances have achieved with the American audience?-
The US market, like all markets is manipulated into buying some products and has no alternative.
Brainwash, disinformation, persuasion are the means by which people are made to chose the smells they wear.
Natural perfumery is above all American. Mandy Aftel and the NP guild are the most prominent actors on the scene. The interest towards Natural perfumery is caused by the search of an alternative to mostly sickening chemicals sold as fine perfumery. It is a natural outcome of a process in which neither perfume nor public count, they are only parameters to adjust for unlimited profit increase.
I only benefited from this situation which the industry itself caused, and because of my good luck. My perfumes were liked by a nice man who happened to write for the NY Times.

Jim Lewis said...

Good morning, my friend: I have so many questions for you, some practical and some philosophical. But I will try not to be overbearing....

Let me ask you one practical question first: many of the scents that I like most are very dark in color -- labdanum, benzoin, hay absolute -- all dark brown, even when they've been diluted quite a bit. Saffron is of course very red, and all of them stain both my clothes and my skin. Whereas your perfumes, which often carry the same notes, don't. Do I need to dilute them still further? Already, I have to wait a few moments before the alcohol note, however 'odorless' it's supposed to be, disappears.

Best,

Jim

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

What advice would you give to a serious individual wishing to step into the world of perfume creating and learning?
o Buy natural essential oils and absolutes
o Wear them and enjoy them until they become familiar to you and you know their effect on your emotions and on those of others
o Study about them, their origin, their healing properties and whatever else you can
o Use them For perfuming yourself and others, to heal yourself and others
o Then start to blend them

Jim Lewis said...

NB: I am that "nice man" who writes for the Times (though I'm not always so nice). And the luck was mine, not his: of all the stories I've written, my profile of him has proven to be one of the most beloved. (Not to mention how much I learned along the way.)

My experience is, if you are very, very good at what you do, as ASA is, eventually people notice.

queen_cupcake said...

Carol, you clearly have a heightened sensibility for fragrance. I always enjoy reading your blog, especially today! Thanks to all who have participated for their thoughtful comments and questions. Many thanks to Mr.Dubrana for his generosity in responding to your readers!

I take special note of this response: "Do you think corporations care about your health"? A good reminder to yes, enjoy the senses but be wise and use our intelligence also.

Warmest wishes!

waftbyCarol said...

Welcome Jim , and hello again queen Cupcake ! Thanks for joining us !

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

--Let me ask you one practical question first: many of the scents that I like most are very dark in color -- labdanum, benzoin, hay absolute -- all dark brown, even when they've been diluted quite a bit. Saffron is of course very red, and all of them stain both my clothes and my skin. Whereas your perfumes, which often carry the same notes, don't. Do I need to dilute them still further? Already, I have to wait a few moments before the alcohol note, however 'odorless' it's supposed to be, disappears.--

Welcome Jim! What a pleasure to have you here. So I understand that you are starting composing perfumes. Your visit to Italy has really impressed you.
You are right it is only a question of dilution, but not only of alcohol. The proportion of Hay or Oak moss with the other ingredients will determine the staining power.
As for Saffron, try to make your own tincture buying the stems online from trustworthy producers, most of what is around is only synthetic saffrol coloured with carotene.
Your alcohol will be odourless only if it is NOT denatured (with an additive)

liam j said...

Thank you Mr Attar. I especially like the importance of your last piece of advice, "Then start to blend them." I have a few oils but haven't begun to mix them, your advice is highly apt now as I need to understand each oil before I can consider mixing. Thank you.

akiba said...

Hi All My name is Aba and I live in Ghana. Just joining in on this conversation. Hope I am not too late.

Greetings from Accra Mr Dubrana, I discovered your site through the Natural Perfumers Guild and have been visiting your site every now and then. I have not had the pleasure of trying any of your perfumes as yet but look forward to doing so sometime soon

Musette said...

Carol,

Sorry to get on here so late - business issues. I have a question M. Dubrana: what are the smells, perfume or otherwise that you most associate with the US?

thanks!

xoAnita

akiba said...

I was excited to learn about your perfumery classes but dismayed to learn that there would not be a class this year. Do you have plans to hold classess again sometime in the future?

Jim Lewis said...

The saffron I'm using I bought in Qatar, in pistil form, and I'm making my own tincture from it. The smell is gorgeous, but the color...I'm afraid to use it on anything for fear it'll stain permanently.

waftbyCarol said...

Liam-
yes his words are like medicine aren't they ? Thanks for the great question !
Welcome musette and Akiba . You are right on time !

akiba said...

I read your article about your trip to Mali. It was amazing to see the how the swelling on the young child's face went down with the application of essential oils

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

It struck me as a sort of *buzzword* and that those mentioning it didn't know the meaning themselves .

You are right, very few know a little about olfactory psychology. I send you to one of my text on the subject, waiting for a more scepific and less generic demand.
http://www.profumo.it/perfume/olfactory_communication/olfactory_psychology.htm

Jim Lewis said...

And for alcohol, I'm using Everlclear, which is 95% ethanol, not denatured, and the rest distilled water -- technically scentless, but it does blast one's nostrils a bit when it first goes on.

I'm also using some DPG, though I know natural perfumers frown on it...It does seem to make the scent last longer, which is another problem I've been having -- how quickly all-naturals can fade.

Yours don't fade, though: I'd love to know how you manage that, too.

liam j said...

Hi waftbyCarol, his words are hardly Snake Oil, rather, Elixir. I'm appreciative also for the fact that he took the time to answer questions like this. My experience with some perfumers is standoffish, unhelpful and off-putting. It's a nice change to have someone in the business offer advice to someone so new yet so passionate. It's encouragement so few and far between. Heartfelt moment over, time to get learning which is as much fun as the sniffing part :)

waftbyCarol said...

A less generic question....hmmm...
what scent is the best antidote for this " disconnectedness" in our world ( besides turning off the television )?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

---I read your article about your trip to Mali. It was amazing to see the how the swelling on the young child's face went down with the application of essential oils---

Essences work miracles, often where hospitals and conventional medicine have failed. What profits do you think that pharmaceutical corporations could make on a product that REALLY heals you and that cannot be patented?

Profits come from medicines that suppress your symptom without ever curing you, making you a dependent person and a buyer for all your life. If it provokes negative side effect, it is even better: a new medicine for that is ready for you to buy, all your life.

queen_cupcake said...

Excuse me, Jim Lewis, but what is DPG? Thanks.

akiba said...

A question for Mr Dubrana - Do pheromones really work? I have been trying my hand at solid perfumes and the other day a friend asked about fragrances that would make one attractive to others. I told her I head heard about pheromones and that they were supposed to have that effect. She was so exicted and asked me to make one with pheromones for her. Hence my question - do they work?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

--And for alcohol, I'm using Everlclear, which is 95% ethanol, not denatured, and the rest distilled water -- technically scentless, but it does blast one's nostrils a bit when it first goes on. I'm also using some DPG, though I know natural perfumers frown on it...It does seem to make the scent last longer, which is another problem I've been having -- how quickly all-naturals can fade. Yours don't fade, though: I'd love to know how you manage that, too.---

Jim, I use 95à alcohol just like you. If mine does not have the blast effect of yours, then your quality is not right and the seller is lying about its naturalness.
I do not use water and I use DPG only for you in your special pure Labdanum in order to make it liquid and non sticky.
Naturals do not necessarily fade quickly, it depends on the quality. The long lasting molecules are le last to evaporate in the distillation process. For instance a distiller will get 90% of the essence in one hour, in order to get the remaining 10% he will have to distillate 3 more hours. When time is short because of limited distillation capacity and because the raw material arrives all at once in the season, a quick distillation makes economic sense. And so the heavy molecules that give body and longevity to the essence are left out.

Tracy said...

I am happy to be here and enjoying the chat so far, just arrived! I work primarily with oils only as carrier for my perfumes and find it a huge challenge. I love a great challenge!
:)

Jim Lewis said...

Hi, QC:

It's dipropylene glycol, a kind of glycerine, basically, that's also a solvent, and that mixes perfectly with both water and alcohol. It's transparent and odorless, and non-toxic: commercial perfumers use it a lot because it can be infused with scent readily, but doesn't evaporate as quickly as alcohol -- or dry the skin as alcohol can. It also helps keep ingredients from separating in the bottle.

It's extremely easy to work with (and cheap), but it's not a 'natural' oil like, say, jojoba.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

---akiba said...
A question for Mr Dubrana - Do pheromones really work? I have been trying my hand at solid perfumes and the other day a friend asked about fragrances that would make one attractive to others. I told her I head heard about pheromones and that they were supposed to have that effect. She was so exicted and asked me to make one with pheromones for her. Hence my question - do they work?---
Dear Akiba from Ghana, I became muslim in Takoradi, I have spent one year in Ghana and you can imagine how I am happy of your visit here. It was in 75.
You can call me by my Ghanaian name Qwamena, only you. For all the friends here, please you can call me AbdesSalaam or Salaam.
The pheromones are working yes, but the best perfume is a nice character and a noble comportment.
An old lady will not become attractive to men because of a perfume. It would be black magic like in Kumasi.
They do work in subliminal doses, which means that they do need to me smelled consciously. You may use bee’s wax, civet, Hyraceum, Ambergris or Castoreum.

Ines said...

This has turned into a real wealth of information. I found quite a lot of useful hints to
start implementing in my life. :-) Thank you Mr. Durbana and Carol. I can't wait to see what else comes up in the discussion.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

__ I have a question M. Dubrana: what are the smells, perfume or otherwise that you most associate with the US?__
Musette, I am sorry, I never went to the US. If you see my picture in the NY Times you will understand why

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

--I was excited to learn about your perfumery classes but dismayed to learn that there would not be a class this year. Do you have plans to hold classess again sometime in the future?—
Akiba, I would have loved to have you for learning with me. I have quit teaching but some of my students are in the US. They may take up teaching.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

--The saffron I'm using I bought in Qatar, in pistil form, and I'm making my own tincture from it. The smell is gorgeous, but the color...I'm afraid to use it on anything for fear it'll stain permanently__
Jim, Saffron stains, there is no doubt, it could be uncoloured though with the help of a chemist friend

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

""In fact , most people are not in touch with themselves enough to feel the effects that scent has on their psyche .
I live in an inner fantasy world most of the time
*oops , did I say that out loud ?*
A less generic question....hmmm...
what scent is the best antidote for this " disconnectedness" in our world ( besides turning off the television )?""

Carol. Do you have difficulty to approach strangers? Do you over react emotionally to the people?

waftbyCarol said...

Musette- after sailing in the Bahamas for over a year , when we sailed back into the Intra-Coastal Waterway.... the first thing I could smell ?
French Fries !

waftbyCarol said...

I ran an espresso bar for 20 years , 12 hours a day , 7 days a week with very few breaks . I knew everyone and what their favorite coffee drink was . I was very social , a " pied-piper" of caffeine .
Now , I'm burned out ! But I do react emotionally , that is I know too much just by looking at their faces I can tell about their lives .

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

""They do work in subliminal doses, which means that they do need to me smelled consciously. You may use bee’s wax, civet, Hyraceum, Ambergris or Castoreum.""

sorry, subliminal means the contrary, they do NOT need to be smelled conciously.

Anonymous said...

Hi.Does it make a difference in how a perfume would ultimately smell, if I make accords of different fragrant materials first and then mix them together and if I just add all ingredients randomly one by one, without making accords? Thanks.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

""I ran an espresso bar for 20 years , 12 hours a day , 7 days a week with very few breaks . I knew everyone and what their favorite coffee drink was . I was very social , a " pied-piper" of caffeine .
Now , I'm burned out ! But I do react emotionally , that is I know too much just by looking at their faces I can tell about their lives .""


Dear Carol, you need to find a good quality of Narciss absolute, see with Thrydge for instance. Your therapy is to open the bottle, put your nose close to it,close your eyes, take a very slow and very long smell untill you feel that you are falling into the bottle. When you open your eyes the world will danse in your heart.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Hi.Does it make a difference in how a perfume would ultimately smell, if I make accords of different fragrant materials first and then mix them together and if I just add all ingredients randomly one by one, without making accords? Thanks.

It makes no difference. the sum of the ingredients make the smell, not the order in which they are added to each others.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Carol, is it possible to edit the comments?

waftbyCarol said...

" the world will dance in your heart "
Thank you , so very much !! I will get the Narcissus Absolute .

Lisa BTB said...

One of my questions above was missed. I'm just reposting.

You said: we use perfumes on the skin, this is wrong. we should use them on our hair, beard, dress, scarf and gloves.

I use perfume on my skin which is a practice that could easily be changed. But prior to getting to the use of a finished product what should I be doing to correctly evaluate my blends if not testing on skin?

waftbyCarol said...

I can delete them , but edit certain words I'm not sure . What do you need ?

akiba said...

Many thanks Mr Dubrana for the response on your perfume classes and pheromones. I plan to purchase your pheromone kit. How does one use them? how many drops per ml of perfume would be appropriate?

waftbyCarol said...

Akiba - I am going to guess only about one drop per 30 ml...
AbdesSalaam ?

akiba said...

Dear Qwamena, wow you were in Ghana? What a small world! You must have been born on a Saturday then. I am called Aba because I was born on Thursday.
Well Ghana has changed very much since 75 but the people are as friendly as ever.

akiba said...

Thanks Carol for the tip and even bigger thanks for arranging this conversation!

waftbyCarol said...

You are most welcome . I too am benefitting very much !!

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

"" I plan to purchase your pheromone kit. How does one use them? how many drops per ml of perfume would be appropriate?""....

We shall discuss this over mail, being a comercial matter

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

""Dear Qwamena, wow you were in Ghana? What a small world! You must have been born on a Saturday then. I am called Aba because I was born on Thursday.""


I don't know if I was born on saturday but my Ghanaian friends in Osu decided so. The Takoradi muslims then gave me the name "Ilias" which I still use sometimes when I want to confuse the tax people.

akiba said...

Thanks Qwamena!I have to step out for a couple of hours, hope to catch up with this conversation later

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Lisa BTB said...
One of my questions above was missed. I'm just reposting.


Lisa I have posted the answer twice but it does not show up, probably because too long. I shall divide it into 2 parts.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

“But prior to getting to the use of a finished product what should I be doing to correctly evaluate my blends if not testing on skin?”
This is a technical demand that you are asking as a perfumer. I shall answer but we should limit perfumers questions because this interview is intended for the general public rather than for the insiders of the perfume world.
Exeption done for Jim to whom I can refuse nothing.

The case for natural perfumes is different. You should avoid to use it on the skin ONLY if you want it to last longer.
Otherwise, If the smell of their molecules pleases your nose you SHOULD use it on the skin, giving them the opportunity to penetrate through your skin and to diffuse into your body changing structure, acetifying, oxidizing, passing through your body until eliminated by different organs in a different form as they entered, leaving behind themselves a trail of beneficial events. This is because the principle of perfumetherapy is true, your nose is your doctor.
continue..... next post

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

You SHOULD also test your perfumes on the skin in order to evaluate them because your customers will use them in this way themselves. Skin test is something I always do during the process of blending. Applying an minute quantity of the blend on the skin will give you a clear idea in a matter of minutes of the heart and of the bottom parts of the fragrance. This gives you a chance to equilibrate the end smell and to adjust it in having a better longevity.
In my opinion you SHOULD NOT use commercial perfumes made with IFRA certified molecules on the skin UNLESS you trust corporations to be honest, to be truthful and to care about your health
I myself avoid just smelling them.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Carol, please check your mail I have send you a message.

waftbyCarol said...

Answered...

Lisa BTB said...

Ahh, my apologies. I didn't realize the parameters of the discussion. Thank you for making an exception. I understand better what you mean about applying perfume. I must have missed the distinction between natural and commercial earlier.

waftbyCarol said...

We are all eager to learn , so no apologies necessary !

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

If you apologyse I also apologyse.
it was nowhere said untill now that demands were better not technical and of perfumer's interest. we could organize such a debate for perfumers on the NP guild blog maybe.

Amanda said...

Salaam,

Thank you so much for taking your day to answer all these questions!

I stumbled on your site at the beginning of the year, when I was doing research online about Natural Perfumery. I have very much enjoyed the materials that I have bought from you, in the perfumes I make.

I wanted to touch on this thought that you posted earlier:

"Inspiration rarely comes from an ingredient. This happens only when you are discovering a new one. Inspiration also raely is the starting point of a perfume. An idea is the starting point. Then inspiration has to come, as a sustain to a logic and a dicipline."

I myself have found that to be true. I get an idea, and only when inspiration strikes can I start working on it. Many other artisans probably feel the same way.

Best Regards,
Amanda

waftbyCarol said...

Welcome Amanda , and thank you for repeating that statement . It really gave me pause and made me think .
But it is true , the first sniff does give inspiration but for what ?
I see how the idea must take shape first !

liam j said...

When creating a fragrance, do you always follow a theme and purpose or do you experiment. I imagine it's a little of both but should you follow your head or your heart?

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

“”I have noticed a few references to " the psychology of scent "
around the blog-o-sphere lately . Can you breifly describe to us your philosophy of the use of scent for the psyche ?””…..

Psychology of perfume is based on primitive olfactory psychology which makes us memorize smells in connection with the emotions that are lived in a situation where and when they are smelled.
The smelling of an odour stored in our memory provokes the recording of this emotion as a mean to identify its value for our survival.
This is the most primitive system of perception of all living organisms (chemical perception), it is initiates in the most primitive part of the brain and the connections with the intellective part of it are not direct, they have to be constructed like bridges in order to apprehend smells as concept to use instead of being used by impulses generated by smells.

Anya said...

Hello Salaam
I see your comment about the NP Guild blog and yes, I will volunteer it for that purposes.

Many of the Guild and NP Yahoo group members are reading this today, as I posted the link. Also on Facebook and the Guild blog. It is a good forum that Carol has presented, and many will benefit from the conversation.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

""When creating a fragrance, do you always follow a theme and purpose or do you experiment. I imagine it's a little of both but should you follow your head or your heart?""

Every perfume is different from the other one, if you are composing perfumes. Playing with perfumes has always been out of my mind because of the cost of the materials.
The nearest thing to a perfume's story is probably the story of how a song comes into existence. Every one is different.
The fact remains that if you are not just playing with perfumes, every one of your perfumes has a story, and has a meaning.

waftbyCarol said...

Greetings Anya , and thank you for stopping by !

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

“”I have noticed a few references to " the psychology of scent "
around the blog-o-sphere lately . Can you breifly describe to us your philosophy of the use of scent for the psyche ?””…..


Because smell is so important in the process of learning the value that the outside world has for our survival, such as food and dangers, this knowledge which is stored in our olfactory memory is transmitted genetically to the next generation.
This heritage is able to condition behavioural answers to different smells that have an archetypal dimension. The smell of fire, of pine forest, of sea, of rain, of cut grass ecc…
This is the basic of a language of scents.
The progressive globalisation of the human specie has added to this language a huge number of archetypes such as spices, fruits, and other smells that have no more geographic frontiers.
The language of smells is originally made of “Types” , trees, grasses, spices, animals, flowers ec..
Today it has become a language of “archetypes”, rose as the archetype of flowers, cinnamon as the archetype of spices, pine as the archetype of trees.
The olfactory psychology is based on this language.

waftbyCarol said...

"The progressive globalisation of the human specie has added to this language a huge number of archetypes such as spices, fruits, and other smells that have no more geographic frontiers."

can you explain this a little more...

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

"The progressive globalisation of the human specie has added to this language a huge number of archetypes such as spices, fruits, and other smells that have no more geographic frontiers."

Just a few hundred years ago, the smells of lemon, cinnamon, cloves, coffe or rose where archetypes of the olfactory language only in a limited geographical area. They were cultural archetypes.
The spreading of commerce between all the people of earth has allowed a Lapon child to enjoy the same delight of a child in Italy with lemon toffes of orange fanta or chocolate ice cream.
This is how these scents have the same edonistic value for most human beings around the world.

waftbyCarol said...

Thank you !

waftbyCarol said...

We will be taking a break now until tomorrow at 6AM , so if you still have questions , we will see you tomorrow !
Thank you , and good night AbdesSallam !

Lisa BTB said...

Excellent discussions. Thank you very much!

deeHowe said...

What a pleasure it has been to read the great Q&A, and to participate! Thank you Carol, for hosting this awesome opportunity for us : )

Isa said...

Good afternoon or good night to all :)
I have enjoyed a lot this discussion.

AbdesSalaam Attar said...

Good morning

Anonymous said...

I wish I could have been present for the actual interview. I am a clinical psychologist and am very interested in the work of AbdesSalaam.

I enjoyed learning how to change a negative association to a scent into a positive one by associating the scent with something you love or enjoy, like his daughter's love of horseback riding! I was also very interested in how he handled personal questions in general, and in particular, how he wanted more information from the woman who asked about scents for herself and her boyfriend. I am impressed with his sense of responsibility.

I also loved learning that the love of perfume comes from a quality of soul and has to do with joy. What an absolutely beautiful, spiritual, and poetic idea!!

Marlene