Tawaf by La Via Del Profumo 2012


Post by FeralJasmine



If there’s a class of perfumes that I want to love and generally can’t, it’s the all-naturals. I love the basic ingredients. Few things make me happier than dabbling with essential oils, admiring how each drop is not a note but a chord progression. I adore the pungency of resins and the unbelievable richness of attars. Open a little vial and a garden of roses blooms! it’s an extraordinary conjuring trick. Recently I have learned to love the pure CO2 extracts, especially vanilla, so hard to handle, so perfect a rendition of the lovely fermented bean.

But go beyond the single ingredients and pitfalls await. If it sounds as though combining them into lovely perfumes would be easy, I can only suggest that you give it a try. The vibrant beauties, each so perfect alone, can add up to something distinctly less than the sum of its parts. Not that the result is bad, by any means, but it can be pretty ordinary, not the totally-unique-and-wonderful thing you were hoping for. Then when you do get a combination that you like, you dab it on and revel in it luxuriously, loll back in the cloud of beauty that you’ve created, and within half an hour reality is tugging at your sleeve again because natural perfumes are a fleeting pleasure. The gospel on many natural-perfume websites is that their perfumes should last two hours. My experience is more like one good hour at most, often less, although of course those rich in resins can last a lot longer. Part of this may be that I have dry skin and live in a desert climate, but what I hear online indicates that it’s common to have to reapply frequently. Generally I am running from the time I hit the office door until I leave, so this is not a viable option.But sometimes reapplication is worth the trouble.

Tawaf by La Via Del Profumo 2012

Tawaf La Via Del ProfumoPhoto Stolen La Via Del Profumo

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Jasmine sambac, rose, opoponax, narcissus, myrrh

I have become deeply enamored of the all-natural creations of Dominique Dubrana at La Via de Profumo.  I took my screenname from his Tawaf, a delicious and perfect combination of dark Jasmine sambac, rose, and opoponax. This is no bridal jasmine. This one is a wolf, but a groomed and elegant wolf that just might walk by your side for a while. Jasmine sambac is a wild, dense,  and even somewhat masculine jasmine, and I would bet that there’s a hefty dose of it in Tawaf. The rose isn’t very noticeable to me but serves to flesh out the floral cascade. The opoponax provides a caressing base. Mmmmm. Can’t get enough. Within an hour it’s pretty much gone, and on Tawaf days I have to carry my little bottle with me. It’s worth it. I long to have my hair aranged in India someday so that I can get strings of jasmine wound through it, and I may or may not ever get there, but a little Tawaf at the hairline gives the effect without the airfare.

Tawaf La Via Del Profumo Ka’abah Turki Al-Fassam  FlickrPhoto Stolen Turki Al-Fassam Flickr

From La Via Del Profumo site: Tawaf is the name of the ritual consisting in circumambulations around the Ka’abah, the cube shaped building in Mecca, adorned with black silk. The Ka’abah is the geographic center of the Arabian soul, of it’s spirituality, culture and civilisation. The Tawaf fragrance is the aromatic “melody” of the scents that surround those performing the Tawaf.

Rumor has it that the perfumer is as interesting as his creations. You can read about him here http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/t-magazine/22face-scent-t.html?_r=0 and it’s quite a read. His website is one of my favorite browsing places. Will I ever buy 2ml of concentrated tincture of genuine ambergris for 80 Euros? Probably not, but we can all dream.

Tawaf La Via Del Profumo AbdesSalaam Attar NYTimesPhoto Stolen NYTimes

Further reading: Perfume Posse SmellyThoughts and Perfume Shrine
La Via Del Profumo has from €17.85/5.5ml to €148/50ml
Surrender To Chance starts at $9/ml

Next time I hope to discuss another favorite from this line.

FJ x


19 thoughts on “Tawaf by La Via Del Profumo 2012

  1. Great opening paragraphs Feral Jasmine. Too true. It sounds like you are time poor. I enjoy naturals by knowing I have to constantly reapply them as part of the day’s journey. I also alternate between naturals and fine fragrance because some synthetics induce headaches if I smell them too often.
    As for Tawaf, I am wearing this right now on my beard line. Definitely a jasmine that men can enjoy. I can just smell the rose on a very close sniff on a pulse point.


  2. Wonderful review Jasmine! I so want to try this line despite the obvious abundance of Arabic choices here in Dubai. He really sounds like a wonderful soul with a very interesting story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Tawaf. As a jasmine lover I am sure I would adore it!


    • I think you would love it. Those of his scents that I’ve experienced don’t seem particulary Arabic or Western-trying-to-be-arabic. They are pure, lovely, and their own thing. But I do envy you the array that you have available to you, too,no doubt including some remarkable jasmines. What’s your favorite so far?


  3. Hey there FeralJasmine,
    La Via del Profumo transcends his Natural Perfumer title. His work is boundless to me.
    Thanks for reminding me to grab my 5.5ml sample.
    Portia x


    • Portia,you have gotten me to realize what ai was trying to say in the first place, which is that Dubrana is not a “natural perfumer,” just a great perfumer who happens to work in natural materials. And oh, how I covet a lovely little wooden chest filled with those mignon samples.


  4. Thank you for this review. I have just become aware of Arabic fragrances but I know nothing, so this adds a lot to my learning process. And this is also added to my list as one to try – I love white florals so much and adore resinous notes, it sounds perfectly lovely.


  5. I love jasmine. Those natural scents are just so fleeting though. I get so happy when I find one I like that actually lingers a bit. You do make this one sound like its worth carrying the bottle around with you.


  6. Wonderful review! I went and checked out the La Via Del Perfumo website and now blame you for wanting to try Tawaf and a few others! 🙂


  7. Mmmmmmmm! I love Jasmine sambac! But I don’t see how it’s a masculine jasmine. To me, it’s an earthier jasmine. Not a fan of floral scents, but this looks like it could convert me!


    • I love it too, and can’t say why it seems a little on the masculine side to me because I adore it and wear it a lot. Your term “earthy” is probably more fitting. I have heard it referred to as “sweaty,” a very unattractive term that nonetheless conveys some of its punch. I love every aspect of jasmine, from the most virginal to the most indolic, but J. Sambac absolute reigns supreme in my jasmine pantheon. And I think you might like this one!


  8. Tawaf is my favorite of mine. I finally bought a full bottle! I, too, have to carry a little decant of it with me if I leave the house. It only lasts a short time, but what a blissful short time it is. Milano Caffe, his latest, is really nice too!


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