Tawaf – La Via Del Profumo + free 15ml giveaway! (and minis!)

Having recently been captivated by the niche, natural perfumer’s of our fragrant world, I have been exploring the La Via Del Profumo line – previously AbdesSalaam Attar.
Tawaf is the latest (and last I believe) release in his Arabian line, it is quite something!

Sweet earthy fungal notes of rich mushroom, and fluorescent indolic jasmine burst into the opening of Tawaf. It’s raw and primal, the jasmine taking on a no holds barred animalic role.
The green twang underneath, paired with the sodden mushrooms create the dense, damp soil in which the heady jasmine bush is growing from. To compare to another fragrance, at first it almost brings to mind what Un Matin D’Orage is to gardenia (in the opening at least) – an accurate representation of a single flower, up close at first, that begins to distance itself incorporating all the aromas surrounding it. A huge difference however is that the Goutal smells hugely synthetic – piling on bunches of aromachemicals to create this effect. Here however, the naturals create a far more organic, even unrefined initial portrait with far more corners to explore.

Bizarrely Tawaf’s translucency becomes apparent quickly, and within minutes an ethereal almost aquatic layer coats it. A pure water note brings out the clarity of the jasmine, as though the rain has just fallen onto the dense, stuffiness of the opening.  The fungal notes of earth disappearing, they filter out the harsh edges of the jasmine.

This water note pulls with it the most delicate, clean rose – almost a tea rose in its modesty but with the most subtle floral spice that throws me a little off track. If I heat the scent with my breathing, the warm throwback is that of pure rose, overpowering the jasmine – so true to life it’s like burying your nose deep into the petals – traditional yes, but lovely none the less.

The ever so slight, resinous base has an almost honeyed tobacco like smoke – although extremely subtle underneath the florals.  But even the florals are quiet now, they are a tranquil aura – which is surprising – what started out as a loud jasmine portrait quickly transitions into a landscape, well, not quite a landscape – but Tawaf has a large sense of space, like it’s aroma is simply a smell around you.

Opoponax? I don’t quite get that – the resinous quality is tame, with the honey sweetness more prominent to my nose. I’d even have thought there was a little smidge of labdanum in there, with the smoke mentioned earlier still the merest whisper.

Tawaf is loud, manic and intense on the outside, with all the elements’ characteristics at full volume and hugely expressive of personality; on the inside is the quiet clarity and harmonious balance, peaceful, clean, and secluded – just like the Kaaba it was based upon.  Composed with simplicity, but what a lovely perfume.


(GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED) 15ml Tawaf – La Via Del Profumo
AND 3 x 5.5ml minis of Tawaf!!

Dominique Dubrana the nose behind La Via Del Profumo has generously gifted me a 15ml bottle of this gorgeous jasmine rich juice to send to one of my lucky readers! So, if anyone is interested, please comment and mention that you would like to be included in the draw – and a lovely bottle of Tawaf could be yours :D For three runner’s up there are 5.5ml mini’s of Tawaf, so lots of opportunities to try this fragrance!

The winners will obviously be picked completely at random, but it would be lovely to include some of your thoughts and discoveries in the world of natural perfumery, or even your favourite jasmine fragrances (for my pleasure alone!) :D

A huge thanks to Mr.Dubrana for this opportunity and for supporting my writing :) (and of course for his lovely work!)

DRAW IS NOW CLOSED. Head over to http://smellythoughts.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/tawaf-giveaway-winners/ to see if you are one of the 4 lucky winners! :D


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86 thoughts on “Tawaf – La Via Del Profumo + free 15ml giveaway! (and minis!)

  1. Oooh! I have always wanted to smell one of his perfumes, but never had the chance to. I would love to be entered into the draw!

  2. lucasai says:

    Now I’m curious after your review. Do count me into the game :)

  3. Rachael Payton says:

    Ive Always Wanted To Smell And Have This My Best Friend Had It Before She Passed Away Last Week :) Can I Be In The Game Please It Will Reconnect Mee To Her And It Will Be Like She Is Here Wiv Mee

  4. Lynn Maria Minervini says:

    jasmine is one of my favorite scents – recalls summer evenings and nightingales. Please include me in the draw.

  5. Anouk says:

    I love this parfums!!! The way they are made is unique. I wish one =)

  6. Ana says:

    Hi, Freddie!
    You make this sound very nice indeed and I would love to try it, so please count me in the draw!

    • Hi Ana!
      Thank you, “earthy” and “fungal” are things I can’t resist in a fragrance! The transition from the beast at the beginning to the tranquility in the heart is quite something :D
      You’re in the draw, good luck!

  7. poodle says:

    This sounds very interesting. I don’t think I’ve tried too many natural fragrances. I’d love to see how it develops on my scent eating skin. Thanks for the draw.

    • Natural’s may be hard on scent eating skin. Having said that, they often open more pungent than any aromachemical laden fragrance possible – they are IN-TENSE.
      The great thing about them though is just when they appear to have vanished, you can smell it linger around you for hours after.
      No problemo – good luck and thanks for following! :D Speak again soon.

  8. F – I always wondered if it was tacky for bloggers to allow themselves to be part of another bloggers draw. Where is Ms. Manners when I need her? Your lyrical description of course wants me to be added to the draw. If not in good taste, please let me know. Maybe I too can experience your love of the mushroom note :)

    • I have always felt uneasy doing this too – but of course it’s not! Don’t be silly :)
      The mushroom note is definitely big in the opening of this. I have a gorgeous indoor gardenia plant in my conservatory and the aroma is sooooo similar to this jasmine, it’s very bizarre.
      Good luck my lovely Steve! :D

      • I love, love, love Gardenia. I planted this exquisite gardenia bush outside my family room in Atlanta and I could open this window and it would just drift into the house. Of course we moved and since then I have tried and have never been able to keep a gardenia living. They are a finicky and hard to grow plant!

      • Mmm sounds lovely!
        Well, I got this gardenia plant at my local garden centre – it is Cape Jasmine – an indoor gardenia plant with dark, shiny leaves, within a week I’ve had three full blooms on it and the smell is intense!! Rich mushroom and indolic white floral, can’t get over it.
        I’ve become obsessed with fragrant flowers recently – buying two glorious rose bushes for my parents garden. One being Wollerton Old Hall roses – which have a “myrrh” like scent – apparantly, whatever they smell of – it is mindblowing!

  9. Aleksandr Sitnikov says:

    I would love to try his parfume. Thanks.

  10. Mark Evans says:

    An amazing chance to try Tawaf – from your description, it sounds like it has a bit of everything in there!

  11. David Bradley says:

    Please include me in the drawing! After buying a sampler of various Via Del Profumo, I really would like to smell all of them! I picked an assortment, including Mecca Balsam, which i love The review sounds interesting. I love jasmine, which may be a bit unusual for a man, or so I have been told. Thanks… Dave

    • Of course David!
      Sounds great, I have some more samples on the way to me which I can’t wait to try including Mecca Balsam.
      Jasmine is a hard ingredient to get along with for many – but if anyone doubts it’s a great masculine note, one sniff of this would set them straight!

  12. Leslie Robinson says:

    I haven’t ventured much into the world of natural perfumery, but Tawaf sounds incredible- not least because I am a committed lover of jasmine in all it’s forms- probably Le Labo Jasmine 17 is my favorite as it seems to fully bloom the hotter it gets outside and actually makes these torrid Virginia summers a little easier for me to bear!

    • That Le Labo offering sounds beautiful – one of the many I haven’t tried in that line, I’ll be sure to hunt it out!
      A Virginia Summer sounds glorious! Very envious.
      Good luck Leslie :)

  13. Khadijah Elgaili says:

    A nice crown for the Arabian series Bravisimo I would like to try this one~ sounds provocative! Thank You

  14. kastehelmi says:

    I would love to try Tawaf, so much! Abdes Salaam Attar perfumes are some of the best perfumes I’ve ever tried–holy grails that make me step back and look at my obsessive love for Serge Lutens and my favorites of the Montale range. I have always loved natural perfumes, but have held a preference for lighter citrus perfumes among the naturals, since many woodsy and floral perfumes that are strictly natural seem to be limited in a way that feels like essential oils losing their identity–some aromatherapy of confusion, and sometimes a murky one at that. Abdes Salaam Attars (as well as some other natural perfumes I’ve tried, like Lovender by Ayala Moriel; Cepes and Tuberose by Aftelier) are outstanding because they are great perfumes–not just “great natural perfumes”–I am utterly in love with Night Blossom, Hindu Kush, Tasneem, and almost everything I’ve tried so far of the incredible sensual artworks of Dominique Dubrana–thanks for reviewing Tawaf–I love jasmine, and all of the notes within so much that I will painstakingly try to imagine it again and again til the fine day I smell it–and will resort to some not-as-fascinating juices to tide me over until I can afford some luschious non-aromachemical laden perfume–I do love my Goutals as well as some other perfumes that make themselves known to be anything but natural, but I have to consciously block my awareness of the synthetic “flashing beams” of notes that make me feel such relief when I wear a non-synthetic perfume that melts into my skin!

    • A fascinating reply thank you.
      That’s a really interesting point you made about the florals losing their identitiy – I don’t quite get that, but can understand how sometimes they can come across as too intense and blur together in openings. Unless you also meant like how in Cepes and Tuberose – well like, I could hardly pick up any tuberose in that fragrance – or mushroom for that matter, it really threw me off track, I thought I had the wrong sample for a long time. It’s a completely different style of perfumery, and whilst it is a shame it always comes with the tagline “natural” rather than just “a great perfume” – sometimes it helps build a mental picture for others.
      The thing is, many natural perfumes, are great perfumes on their own, compared with any others.
      Personally I have no preference, and I love Comme Des Garcons EDP 2011 just as much as a glorious Aftelier.
      Good luck in the draw and thanks for your insight :D

  15. scott says:

    I would love to be entered in the draw-

    I first heard about the line through this article, if you haven’t seen it:


    It certainly induced my curiosity. And a great photo!

    Also: I enjoy your blog and the fact that your learning curve is increasing as mine does (although it’s a far slower process for me, as I have had the opportunity to try far fewer fragrances!). It’s a (too rare) pleasure that you write from the perspective of student rather than that of authority. And we share some tastes…So, thanks for the work you do here. It’s appreciated.

    • Lovely reply thank you scott I highly appreciate that. Yes I’d read that article before, it is a fantastic picture ey!
      Well, keep in touch and I’m sure I’ll be able to learn a thing or two of you from our similar tastes :D
      Good luck in the draw

  16. Irina says:

    would love to try this one
    Mr. Dubrana’s “Mecca Balsam” is one of my all times fav

  17. Kini says:

    I would love to try this perfume. I babied my night blooming Jasmine cuttings until they were rooting and then took hold into the earth. The wafting scent of this now 4 foot plant is an evening delight that indescribably delights me.

    • That sounds divine! I’m sharing the same passion with my currently blooming cape jasmine gardenia plant – it’s beginning to scent out my conservatory! Amazing scent :D

  18. Teri Bramah says:

    Oh this sounds stunning.. I have Sharif which I adore.. And your review above is mouthwatering. Thank you.

  19. Alexander Gruschka says:

    Very nice review of a very nice perfume – but almost all of his perfumes are very nice! I can’t smell synthetic perfumes anymore, they give me headaches, but natural perfumes are a real pleasure to the soul!

    Please be so kind and include me in the draw.

    • Of course you’re included.
      I don’t fall into any preference, although my nose is beginning to detect the vast differences now that I wouldn’t have been able to before – smelling this kind of perfumery really opens your eyes to the power of botanicals in fragrance.

  20. Imtiaz says:

    Nice name, interesting description. I’d love to try a sample. I’m feeling lucky….. :)

  21. Undina says:

    My problem with entering into draws is that I do not like doing it on blogs where I’m not a follower. But since with your blog I do not have that problem, PLEASE ENTER ME INTO THE DRAW! :)

    Most natural perfumes aren’t “my thing” but I came across at least several (from different brands) that were great for me – so I keep trying.

    • :D
      You’re in Undina good luck!
      I didn’t think natural’s would be my thing AT ALL until I started trying them. Now I’m utterly smitten with so many. I expected safe, subtle, simplified – what I often got was almost avante-garde unbearably rich decadanet fragrances :D

  22. Lindaloo says:

    If postage to Canada isn’t too exorbitant, then please include me in this draw. I’ve been fortunate enough to sample Via del Profumo Sharif (intense resinous, leathery opening that softens and sweetens as it heads toward the drydown), and it lasts a decent amount of time.

    Love Mr Dubrana’s website — lots of fascinating info.

    I generally lean to green or woody scents, rather than highly floral, but I do have and enjoy the very jasmine-forward Guerlain Samsara. Indeed, I find it very restorative and the purse spray has an ideal secondary use: for carrying to simply sniff the nozzle when public transit smells get overwhelming.

    The most common frustration I have with many natural perfumes is that they can disappear very quickly. That said, I really enjoyed sampling Mandy Aftel’s Haute Claire — a gorgeous green opening heading to a beautiful soft drydown (a touch too sweet for me for a full bottle — I just wanted to keep experiencing that blast of green opening). Speaking of Mandy, as you may know she has a jasmine solid and one that comes with Jasmine in one-half and Muse in the other.

    My local (Vancouver) perfumer, Ayala Moriel has some gorgeous scents; one of my favourites is the deep, smoky Espionage. And her upcoming tuberose, Treazon, is turning me into a Big White Floral lover — spicy, wintergreen opening, gorgeous tuberose absolute and it lasts, too into a drydown of not too sweet benzoin, vanilla and massoia bark.

    • Hi there!
      Great reply thank you. Of course that’s not too much :) You’re included!

      See I’m quite the opposite leaning towards florals, leathers and avant-garde only occasionally exploring green and woody (but am learning to appreciate them more these days).

      I understand that completely – but I only have that problem with a few of the naturals I have tried, some last for as long as any other fragrance, they may just be quieter but I always catch whiffs of them.
      Yes I recently have a sample of Haute Claire – it’s impressed me very much and I’ll be sure to review it soon.
      That’s the thing, just like Mandy said – naturals don’t last as long, but they are exceptionally beautiful whilst they last. Have you tried Shiso and Lumiere from here line? I’ve been exploring them recently, both hugely unique – Shiso unwearable for me, but a fascinating green fragrance.

      Ayala sounds fantastic, you’re lucky to have her so nearby! Treazon Criminelle? :P

  23. mhek says:

    I wish to be included in the draw

  24. Melis says:

    I too live in Canada and would like to be entered into the draw. I have never experienced any of Mr. Dubrana’s work but your review has piqued my interest. I had the pleasure of visiting Ayala Moriel’s studio last month. A few of my favorites are Palace Atena, Immortelle l’Amour, Film Noir and Fetish. I am eagerly awaiting Treazon, love tuberose! I have also sampled Aftelier, Providence Perfume and The Scented Djinn. I have a real appreciation for natural perfumes and have studied the subject myself. But I am not a purist by any means and appreciate perfumes composed with synthetics as well. My newest love is Tubereuse Criminelle.

    • Another commentor mentioned Ayala’s work – Treazon sounded very similar to Tubereuse Criminelle! :D I love that too.
      I’ll have to check out this line, it sounds fantastic :)
      Thanks for reading, good luck!

  25. Sandi L says:

    Just have to say how much I admire his work. Great read! Thanks for the opportunity.

  26. Do count me in as well! I got one of your fragrances and I LOVED IT!

  27. Flora says:

    I would love to try this! I am familiar with some of the perfumes in this line and they are wonderful! Mr. Dubrana is one of the most talented natural perfumers around, and his Hindu Kush, Tcharas, Tasneem and African Night are some of my favorite fragrances. I would love to experience his rake on a floral of this style.

    I adore jasmine in almost anything, and I am always looking for one with a natural aroma – I dislike cheap chemical white florals as much as I love the good ones!

    • Well, this is about as raw and natural as it gets. In fact to me, the opening is very very similar to natural Cape Jasmine – a gardenia species, very mushroomy and indolic, wonderful.
      You’re in! Thanks for reading.

  28. Bellatrix says:

    Jasmine is very interesting material. Alone doesn’t attracts me, but blended with others, it is amazing! One of my fav perfumes (Alien) is made out of jasmine although I know only how natural jasmine smells and I can’t see it inside of Alien. :)

  29. Jana Cerny says:

    Sounds positively enticing. Please include me in the draw. I have been loving ur writing!!!! and found u via a Mandy aftel review. I love pink jasmine, star, night & Egyptian all the actual flowers caught in the moment thru wind, humidity, chance…. They seem difficult as perfume fragrance to match although I keep searching…maybe annick goutals gardenia perhaps has some element for me? Also pink lotus by Mandy somehow gets me there a bit…

    • Brilliant! Mandy’s work is utter genius – have you checked out her Fig and Secret Garden? Both outstanding jasmine fragrances.
      Good luck in the draw! And thanks for the kind words about my writing, I really appreciate that :)

  30. Jenna Pilkington says:

    I bought 6 of his perfumes for my mother for Christmas(which is also her birthday) and she loved loved every single one. I love his scents myself and would love to be entered into the drawing.

  31. Tina Stanković says:

    I love jasmin very much (I’m big fan of oriental perfumes) and would be so happy to try this jasmine. So please include me in to the draw for Tawaf.

  32. Tracy says:

    I am an avid and adoring fan of Dominique Dubrana’s gift. My dressing table is dotted with his work, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more and after your lovely description, if someone else is fortunate enough to benefit from this give away, I think I’ll have to add Tawaf to my collection myself.!

  33. Janice says:

    This sounds gorgeous, and I am always intrigued by the mushroom note used in perfume. I own Sharif and Tasneem and have tried several others from this line, and this sounds like another must-have.

  34. Alityke says:

    Wow! Freddie these sound ahmaazzing! Please include me in the draw. I really have no experience with natural perfumery other than the aromatherapy course I attended 20+ years ago. Many of the oils gave me a headache so I dropped out. I would love to find out what an expert can do with high quality products.

    Loving the blog as much as your BN threads

  35. Peter MacNeil says:

    TAWAF. Yes, please enter me. My Tawaf will no doubt be empty when you draw.
    Still prefer Mecca Balsam in the Arabian Series, but Tawaf is lovely.

  36. Jennifer Gunderson says:

    Very generous of you to share such a treasure. Jasmine is so lovely and intense! I would love to be a winner of this treasured scent. Please enter me. Thank you!

  37. Karen says:

    I love an earthy, jasmine. Especially, during warmer, dry weather which occurs in Sept and Oct, in my area. Perfect time to sample this perfume! ;)

  38. isabella says:

    Will you disqualify me for being greedy if I admit I am wearing Tawaf right now? I recently decided to only wear natural perfumes, and I like everything I have tried from Profumo. It would be wonderful to win more Tawaf.


    • Don’t be silly it’s great that you’re enjoying it so much :)
      You’re in Isabella – and I’d love to hear more of your thoughts on Tawaf

      • isabella says:

        My thoughts right now: I should have bought a bigger bottle :)

        I went back and looked at my diary for this because I had so many samples, and I had picked up on the earthiness but not the mushrooms (am not a perfume expert). I live in Alaska and when our jasmine blooms here, it is mixed with that same earthiness from being grown in a humid greenhouse in the middle of our cold dark winters. Tawaf is like burying my nose in a blooming plant. Heaven!

      • Yep I now have a 33ml bottle – it is the mushroom fragrance I have been after for so long.
        I find it so true to life of a rich gardenia too. I’ve mentioned in a previous comment – I have a Cape Jasmine plant – an indoor gardenia which smells of rich mushrooms and Tawaf is identical to the smell. Beautiful, rich, indolic. Glad to see more love for the challenging earthy notes. Do you get the mushroom note now I’ve mentioned it? It’s fantastic :D

  39. salaamattar says:

    ANNOUNCEMENT TO FREDDIE’S READERS: you can also enter the draw on my friends club atBasenotes for a full TAWAF CUSTOM BLENDING KIT. I hope that you will also enter Freddie, it is a really worthy product. http://www.basenotes.net/group.php?discussionid=1549&s=7ebb5077c03e292c52bd5f0ae21ff343&do=discuss

  40. Nushechka says:

    I love jasmin!Amazing giveaway!

  41. Michael says:

    The jasmines are vast and varied. I have dealt most with sambac and grandiflorum. The contract of sweet and skank. I was also quite amazed at the geographic changes, the egyptian grandi smells so differently than the indian one. The enfleurange project was with a different species all together and that really captured the true scent on the jasmine in the pommage. I am still seeing how it will extract from the pommage. I would love to see how La Via Del Profumo has paired the lovely jasmine with the strong resinous chords.

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