I was lucky while in Vienna to catch up with one a the scentbloggospheres most loved bloggers, Birgit from Olfactoria’sTravels. Sitting pretty at breakfast with the gorgeous Sandra they both plied me with samples and Birgit handed me the most fabulous bottle ever. I wish I had known that gift giving was a traditional perfumistas handshake, so embarrassed, but the girls are so wonderful that they didn’t even bat an eyelid at my gaucherie, for which I will be forever grateful.
Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Labdanum, tonka bean, Arabic frankincense, raw tobacco, Indian tuberose, damask rose, incense, agarwood, benzoin
From the AbdesSalaam’s blog: In Mecca, the scents of Labdanum resin, of Benzoin, frankincense and of the precious Agar wood invade the streets together with the 4 million pilgrims who pour to the streets 5 times every day, walking to the great mosque like river. The trail of a million scents in the wake of the pilgrims at Mecca raptures the nose of the visitor and make this travel an unforgettable experience for a westerner little used to such a profusion of olfactory stimulus.
AbdesSalaam Attar is the name that perfumer Dominique Dubrana goes under to create his all natural, astounding fragrances. I have a little sample set of them on my desktop that I’ve almost used entirely and one of my favourites has always been the Mecca Balsam. The bottle Birgit gave me had the name Balsamo della Mecca on the base, in our excitement I did not put 2 and 2 together and realise that these two names could be one and the same. Oh joyous rapture, oh bliss eternal!! They are the same and I now have this extraordinary bottle on my desk.
Straight out of the atomiser and onto skin it is resinous and sweetly balsamic, bitter, herbal, dark and still light. Tobacco notes both sweet and burnt, burning, smoky. Oudh adding its cow poo/medicinal/acrid/beautiful voice and the whole is so complex and happening at once and big, brash, shouty. It picks you up by the hair and shakes you till your teeth clack like castanets, then it throws you to the ground a laughs at your incapacity. OK it doesn’t really do that but this is certainly experiential perfumery of a class that you will never find in department stores. This is the real thing and I love it. Loving it SICK!!
After an hour or so it calms to a dull roar, the size is considerable less but the fragrance is pretty linear, at this stage though there’s enough air between the notes that it’s not the bombardment of before. Now you have time and the ability to savour the resins and the flowers make a very quiet and pretty descant over the base notes of everything else. It softens and softens till gone, hours into the dry down.
Photo Stolen ABC
Have you seen the website and do you have favourite names? They are all so evocative for me. Maybe you tried these fragrant masterpieces? What were your impressions?
Till tomorrow, take care of yourself and those in your orbit,