Pheromones! AbdesSalaam Attar for La Via del Profumo


Post by FeralJasmine


APJ, I Believe in Pheromones!
In my remote youth there was a perfume called Pheromone. It was sold through little ads near the back of the Sunday paper magazine section, and it promised to make the wearer irresistible. It played heavily on the fact that most people had vaguely heard of pheromones but knew nothing about how they worked or even what they actually were. Some of the ad copy, as nearly as I can remember, indicated that the opposite sex would swarm around you without knowing why, and you would not be able to smell this elixir on yourself but you would know it was working because of the reactions of those around you. At first this sounded terribly appealing to a 13-year-old prone to a bit of puppy fat, but fortunately I had no checking account at the time, and when I eventually got one I had long since forgotten about Pheromone, which was probably distilled water and a little alcohol anyway.

Feromone pour Femme by La Via Del Profumo

Feromone pour Femme La Via del Profumo FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica Gives these featured accords in one line:
Amber(gris), tuberose, civet, jasmine, vanilla

All those memories came back when I was browsing the website of La Via Del Profumo and came across Dubrana’s creation Feromone pour Femme. The website copy suggests that pheromones from animals may ” have been used by man since dawn of time for pharmaceutical purposes and to enhance one’s appeal and sexual energy.” Well, I don’t know about you, but my appeal can generally use a little enhancement these days, so I ordered a sample from Surrender to Chance.

The stated notes are genuine ambergris and civet, “perfected with a sensual accord of the perfumes of jasmine, tuberose, and vanilla.” I doubt that I have ever worn anything with authentic ambergris in it, so I put it on with happy anticipation.

Feromone pour Femme by La Via Del Profumo Lorando Labbe FlickrjpgPhoto Stolen Lorando Labbe Flickr

At first it seemed like a charming white floral, rounded out with some vanilla. The ingredients were clearly top-notch. I could detect the civet but it was subtle. I wasn’t able to detect ambergris as an individual note. I just noted that the florals seemed a little rounder and plusher than I had expected. After half an hour it was fading, which is short-lived even for an all-natural perfume, and I thought my curiosity about it had been satisfied. Nice, no big deal.

Then for the next ninety minutes or so, the scent played with me. It would reappear unexpectedly, then seem to be gone again. It would waft past my nose on a light breeze but seem absent from the wrist where I applied it. It would seem lean, then lush and even a little fatty. It was a will-o-the-wisp, leading me out into the unknown where I would drift around gradually losing my reason until I plunked down 212 American dollars for a 50ml bottle. If you think I would do that in my right mind, you don’t know how cheap I really am.

Feromone pour Femme by La Via Del Profumo Dove DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

Cautiously, I bought a tiny decant and sprayed it about a bit. Same experience. Now you smell it, now you don’t, and each time you catch a whiff it seems a tiny bit different. I’m fascinated. I don’t know if this is the effect of true ambergris. If I ever had a chance to talk to Dominique Dubrana, the perfumer/magician who made it, the only questions I would want answered are “Did I imagine all that? And if not, how the hell did you do it?”

I still don’t know if I will spring for a full bottle, but a larger decant is in my immediate future. This perfume perplexes me. I can’t figure it out. I want to keep trying. And please, somebody, tell me how sniffing solidified whale vomit (Ed: sorry FeralJasmine it comes from the other end) can pull me toward financial lunacy. It seems as blind and unreasoning as…well…love, I guess.

Feromone pour Femme by La Via Del Profumo Ambergris FragranticaPhoto & Following Info Fragrantica

WHITE/GREY Ambergris  
- Product which has a white or partly white coating and a light interior color. Normally pieces of this type are smaller in size (they have been in the ocean longer). The fragrance will have at least some sweetness
STANDARD Ambergris 
- This product is normally brown/grey or ash in color. It will have a good fragrance but still a little strong. Pieces can be larger. You can often notice some layers in the material.
LOW QUALITY Black Ambergris – This type can be very hard, firm or soft.

I couldn’t find any other reviews sadly
La Via Del Profumo has €59/16ml and €161/50ml
I’ve ordered a tiny precious vial of pure ambergris tincture to investigate the ingredient on its own. I will keep thinking about it. Monsieur Dubrana, this thing isn’t over between us.

FeralJasmine x

26 thoughts on “Pheromones! AbdesSalaam Attar for La Via del Profumo

  1. Oops, Portia, my bad. I find in further reading that the largest chunks are sometimes vomited, but the vast majority passes in poop. Whichever end it comes out, I seem to be in love with whale digestive waste, which is a sobering thought.


  2. AbdesSalaam attar sounds fascinating. I can use some enhancement too and may try a decant.
    Regarding ambergris: A light ambergris tincture with not too much “seaweed” or “salty ocean” is better for me. Ambergris and rose combinations can also be lovely.
    Azar xx


    • I have never experienced a sillage like real ambergris. There is nothing to compare to it (nor, I have to add, is there anything so expensive.) it isn’t a scent trail, it is scent breezes that do the most unexpected things.
      To be fair, I obtained pure chemical Ambrox DL, which is supposed to be chemically identical to ambergris, and made a light tincture of that. There is just no comparison.


  3. Ooooo! I’ve been looking for a review of this one! And now I’ve finally gotten it! Looks like quite a tease. If you ask me, the pheromone effect would happen because of its teasing! Such intrigue would certainly lean towards the wearer of such a scent…


  4. The notes in this one speak to me. I love the idea of a perfume that plays with me! I also thought ambergris was whale vomit. Eeew on the other end, but if it smells good wear it. 🙂


    • I wish I could figure that one out, Poodle. There are many very expensive perfumes that I dislike intensely, but there are no cheap perfumes that I love with the same passion I devote to my pricey favorites.


  5. Thank you for sharing!! I admit, I stopped paying attention after that first half hour, in which it certainly was unusually plush. What a rookie mistake! I will smell this again and in earnest, with more time on my hands, and wrists, and so on.


  6. I usually stay away from anything containing ambergris because the ingredient is just so disgusting. (Although, I found your note stating that since it floats around in the ocean it must be cleaner hilarious!) However, I’m now….intrigued. This is probably a very bad thing given the cost, so now I don’t know whether to thank you or not for this review 🙂 I have, however, wanted to test out some of the fragrances from this house for a long time so thank you for reminding me of that!


    • I know, not fun to think about, and in retrospect I can’t say why I thought whale vomit was less icky than whale poop. But I am trying to think of sperm whales as alchemists, transmuting squid bits into something rich and strange. And you may want to hold onto your disgust, because when you give in and wear it, it is strangely addictive and you develop quite a taste for it. Financially, this taste won’t do you a bit of good.
      There are lots of good things from this perfumer, and his website is great reading.


    • Heya AbdesSalaam, it IS for me? You are the BEST EVER!!! When I meet you there will be big smoochy hugs.
      Thanks buddy. It’s going to be a race to review I think,
      Portia xx


    • You will love it. Playing with this one, I realized that I had never smelled real ambergris before, just synthetic substitutes. He has a lot of men’s fragrances in his line that sound good. I’m looking forward to trying some for my husband.


  7. Oh… FeralJasmin – that sounds so gorgeous. Love the description that you “…would drift around gradually losing my reason…” Totally intriguing.

    I’ve always been kinda curious to know what ambergris smells like. I really thought it was regurgitated – looks like a bit more reading required for me. But a lovely article! thanks.



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