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Musings about Perfume and Life
La Via del Profumo Sharif
Suzanne’s Perfume Journal
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A Conversation on Arabie

A Package from Christos: Greek Sandals & Oud Cuir d'Arabie

A Package from Ines

A Package from Lavanya

A More Affordable Olfactionary

A Week of Wearing What I Like

Amouage Dia (pour femme)

Amouage Dia (pour homme)

Amouage Epic Woman

Amouage Gold

Amouage Interlude Man

Amouage Jubilation 25 

Amouage Lyric Woman

Amouage Memoir Woman

Amouage Opus I

Amouage Opus III

Amouage Opus IV

Amouage Opus V

Amouage Opus VI

Amouage Tribute

Amouage Ubar

Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche

Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise

Annick Goutal Petite Cherie

Annick Goutal Sables

Annick Goutal Vanille Charnelle

April Aromatics Calling All Angels

April Aromatics Bohemian Spice

April Aromatics Jasmina 

April Aromatics Nectar of Love

April Aromatics Rose L'Orange

Aroma M Geisha Green

Aroma M Geisha Rouge

Arquiste Anima Dulcis

Arquiste Boutonniere no. 7

At the Moment (Chanel 22 & Marshall Crenshaw)

At the Moment (Contemplating Change & Habit Rouge)

At the Moment (Marron Chic & Paris)

At the Moment (More Midsummer Delights/Epic/Geisha Noire)

At the Moment (Saki & Lubin Idole edt)

At the Moment (Secret de Suzanne /D'Orsay L'Intrigante)

At the Moment (Spring Pretties/Un Air de Samsara)

At the Moment (Summery Things...Love Coconut)

At the Moment (Vera Wang & Fireman's Fair novel)

Ava Luxe Café Noir

Beatnik Emptiness Incense

Best of 2009

Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory

Bond No. 9 Brooklyn

Bond No. 9 Little Italy

Bond No. 9 New Haarlem

Bottega Veneta eau de parfum

Breath of God

Byredo Green

By Kilian Amber Oud

By Kilian Forbidden Games and In the City of Sin

Calyx by Prescriptives

Canturi by Stefano Canturi

Capote, Truman & Evening in Paris

Carner Barcelona D600

Caron Aimez-Moi

Caron French Cancan

Caron Parfum Sacre

Caron Tabac Blond

Caron Tubereuse

Caron Yatagan

Cartier II L'Heure Convoitee

Cartier IV L'Heure Fougueuse

Chanel 31 Rue Cambon

Chanel Bel Respiro

Chanel Chance

Chanel Coco

Chanel Coromandel

Chanel Cuir de Russie

Chanel Egoiste

Chanel No. 5 (vintage)

Chanel No. 22

Chantecaille Petales

Chantilly Dusting Powder

Clive Christian C for Women

Comme des Garcons Daphne

Comme des Garcons LUXE Champaca

Comme des Garcons Series 7 Sweet Nomad Tea

Costes by Costes

Coty Ambre Antique

Coty Chypre

Coty Paris

Creature by Kerosene

Creed Acqua Fiorentina

Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie

Creed Virgin Island Water

DSH Perfumes Bancha Extreme

DSH Perfumes Quinacridone Violet 

DSH Perfumes Vert pour Madame


Devilscent Project

Dior Diorissimo (vintage)

Donna Karan Black Cashmere

EnVoyage Vents Ardents

EnVoyage Zelda

Estee Lauder Private Collection

Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss

Etat Libre d'Orange Rien, Rossy de Palma & Noel au Balcon

Faberge Woodhue Cologne

Favorite Fall Fragrances

Fendi Uomo

Fragrances for Sweden

Frapin 1697 Absolu Parfum

Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous La Pluie

Frederic Malle Bigarade Concentrée

Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

Frederic Malle Dans Tes Bras

Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur

Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese

Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose

Frederic Malle Noir Epices

Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady

Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie

Frederic Malle Une Rose

Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel

Ghosts of Perfumes Past, Present & Future

Gone Fishin'

Gucci Eau de Parfum

Gucci L'Arte di Gucci

Gucci Pour Homme

Guerlain Angelique Noire

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia

Guerlain Aroma Allegoria Exaltant

Guerlain Attrape Coeur

Guerlain Chamade

Guerlain Encens Mythique d'Orient

Guerlain Jicky

Guerlain Mayotte

Guerlain Parure

Guerlain Samsara Parfum

Guerlain Un Air de Samsara

Guerlain Vega

Guerlain Vetiver (vintage)

Guy Laroche J'ai Ose (vintage)

Happy Solstice

Hermes 24, Faubourg

Hermes Caleche (vintage)

Hermes Eau des Merveilles

Hermes Hiris

Hermes Iris Ukiyoe

Hermes Jour d'Hermes

Hermes L'Ambre des Merveilles

Histoires de Parfums 1740

Histoires de Parfums 1828

Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette

Histoires de Parfums Vert Pivoine

Hometown Portrait, State College, PA

Honore des Pres Vamp a NY

House of Matriarch Carmine

How I Store Decants

Il Profumo Cannabis

In Memory (w/mention of Lanvin Arpege)

Jacomo #02

Jacomo #09 (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles

Jean Patou Joy

Jean Patou 1000

Jo Malone Saffron Cologne Intense

Jo Malone Sweet Milk Cologne 

Juliet by Juliet Stewart

Kai Eau de Parfum

Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant

Kenzo Summer

Lancome Magie Noire (vintage) 

Lanvin Via Lanvin (vintage) 

L'Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse

L'Artisan Parfumeur Orchidee Blanche 

L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer

L'Artisan Parfumeur Seville a l'Aube

L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two

L’Artisan Parfumeur Traversee du Bosphore

La Via del Profumo Balsamo Della Mecca

La Via del Profumo Hindu Kush

La Via del Profumo Milano Caffe

La Via del Profumo Oud Caravan Project

La Via del Profumo Sharif

La Via del Profumo Tawaf

Le Labo Gaiac 10

Le Labo Iris 39

Le Labo Patchouli 24

Le Labo Poivre 23

Little Lists

Lorenzo Villoresi Yerbamate

M. Micallef Vanille Orient

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir

Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) eau de parfum

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau des Iles

Message In A Bottle 

Michael Storer Winter Star

Miller Harris L'Air de Rien


Missoni (original) by Missoni

Molinard Habanita

Mona Di Orio Nuit Noire

Mona Di Orio Oud

Mona Di Orio Vanille

Montale Black Aoud

Montale Boise Vanille

Montale Intense Tiare

Montale Patchouli Leaves

Montale Red Aoud

More Roses (rose cookie recipe)

My Heart Has Skipped a Beat (summer smells)

My Perfumes Have Theme Songs

Nasomatto China White

Neila Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling

Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps

Nez a Nez Ambre a Sade

Northern Exposure "A Dash of Chanel No. 5"

Odin 04 Petrana (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline

Omar Sharif Pour Femme

Oriscent Pure Oud Oils

Ormonde Jayne Frangipani

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman

Oscar de la Renta Oscar for Men

O Tannenbaum Joint Blog Project

Parfum d'Empire Azemour

Parfum d'Empire Cuir Ottoman

Parfum d'Empire Equistrius

Parfum d'Empire Musc Tonkin

Parfum d'Empire 3 Fleurs

Parfumerie Generale Aomassai

Parfumerie Generale Bois de Copaiba

Parfumerie Generale Indochine

Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique

Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu

Parfums DelRae Amoureuse

Parfums Karl Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars

Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin

Parfums Retro Grand Cuir

Paris, je t'aime

Pascal Morabito Or Black 

Perfume Quotes - The English Patient

Prada Infusion d'Iris Absolue

Pretty Perfume Bottles 

Prince Matchabelli Aviance Cologne (vintage) 

Profumum Roma Acqua Viva

Profumum Roma D'Ambrosia

Puredistance I

Puredistance Antonia

Puredistance BLACK

Puredistance M

Puredistance Opardu

Puredistance WHITE

Ramon Monegal Cherry Musk

Ramon Monegal Cuirelle

Ramon Monegal Pure Mariposa

Recipe for Socca

Regina Harris Amber Vanilla Perfume Oil

Regina Harris Frankincense-Myrrh-Rose Maroc Perfume Oil

Robert Piguet Fracas

Robert Piguet Visa

Rochas Mystere 

Rome Vacation Photos

Sammarco Perfumes Bond-T

San Francisco Holiday

Sarah Horowitz Parfums' Joy Comes From Within & Beauty Comes From Within

Scented Reading

Scents of the Mediterranean

Scentuous Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Serge Lutens Arabie

Serge Lutens Borneo 1834

Serge Lutens Boxeuses

Serge Lutens Chêne

Serge Lutens Chergui

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles

Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Au Gingembre

Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque

Serge Lutens Miel de Bois

Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan

Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle

Serge Lutens Un Lys

Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental

Slumberhouse Rume

Smell Bent Florist's Fridge

Snow Days

Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure

Sonoma Scent Studio Jour Ensoleille

Sonoma Scent Studio Voile de Violette

Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods (brief mention)

SoOud Ouris Parfum Nectar

S-Perfume 100% Love {More}

Stone Harbor, NJ Vacaton pix (non-perfume related)

Strange Invisible Perfumes Lyric Rain

Sweden Is For Lovers

Swiss Arabian Nouf

T is for Taxes

Tauer Perfumes: Incense Extrême, Incense Rosé, Lonestar Memories, & Reverie au Jardin

Tauer Perfumes Vetiver Dance

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Bechdel Test

The Diary of a Nose, Book Review

The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit

The Intimacy of Scent

Thoughts of a Perfume Collector


Tokyo Milk Ex Libris

Unlocking an Unknown: Webber Parfum 6T

Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery Bed of Roses

Venimus Vidimus Vicimus, or How 3 Perfume Bloggers and a Husband Took Rome

Vero Profumo Kiki, Onda, and Rubj

Vero Profumo Mito

Viktoria Minya Eau de Hongrie

Viktoria Minya Hedonist

Viktor & Rolfe Flowerbomb

What I’m Lovin’ Now

Xerjoff Mamluk

YOSH Perfumes Ginger Ciao

Yves Saint Laurent Nu

 (photo courtesy & copyright of Nathan Branch)

Review and Prize Drawing for...

La Via del Profumo Sharif:
A Noble Concept, Beautifully Executed

Among the descriptors that perfumer Abdes Salaam provided for his latest fragrance, Sharif, were a couple that really caught my attention, that had me thinking about the concept of a sharif—the Arabic word for “noble man”—long before the fragrance arrived at my door. The first was Salaam’s explanation that “among Arabs, nobility is not necessarily associated with lineage: for the fierce people of the desert, nobility is above all a quality of the soul.”

The second was his targeted description of what his fragrance is meant to evoke: “Sharif is the fragrance of a noble sheikh of Arabia who has chosen supreme elegance over loudness, gentleness over arrogance and seduction over overbearingness.”

Elegant, gentle and seductive—that very nicely sums up everything I have ever looked for in a man for most of my life (and have had the great fortune to find more than a few times). In fact, elegant, gentle and seductive is how I prefer my women friends, too. Oh I could add a few more adjectives, but considering that when I hear the word “seductive” I automatically think of someone who is intelligent, creative and playful, then I guess you could say that all of my bases are covered: yes, this is how I, too, define “noble” when I use the word in its adjectival form, when I think of someone who has that magnanimity of spirit that is sooo attractive.

Suffice it to say, I very much liked Sharif as a concept, but you know what got me really excited? The confident feeling I had that this high-brow concept would be thoughtfully realized in the actual perfume. Because that’s the joy of niche and artisanal perfumery, and the reason why perfume blogs exist and perfume lovers are willing to plunk down more of their hard-earned cash on these creations. There are artists working in this olfactory field who actually look at a concept as a theme to explore—as the aim of their creative thrust—rather than as an extension of marketing.

Sharif is a perfume that lives up to its concept in every regard—a perfume which surprised me so much by its inspired choice of a sweet-almond accord at its base, I would have called it a very cleverly-conceived perfume had I no reason to call it beautiful. But, in fact, it goes beyond clever and is indeed beautiful and authentic in the way it alludes not only to Arabian handsomeness but to the legendary hospitality that is considered, by most Arabs, a sacred duty.

Like all of the fragrances in La Via del Profumo’s line, it is an all-natural (no synthetics) perfume, and because I never expect all-natural perfumes to have longevity, I am quite amazed at how unhurriedly Sharif unfolds in three deliberate stages for me. The first stage is highly reminiscent of his fragrance Balsamo della Mecca: resinous with a tar-and-ashes leather bent that is arid, weighty and masculine (though not as weighty as it in Balsamo della Mecca). There is no listing of notes for me to refer to, so these are merely guesses, but at this stage of the scent I smell what I think is labdanum and either birch tar or castoreum with a hint of tobacco, along with a lash of something green and something that provides a bit of lift—bergamot, perhaps? At any rate, here we see in olfactory terms the rugged profile of a man of the desert.

This profile will soften a bit, but the whole of it will remain intact for a good long time—longer than the top notes stage of most conventional perfumes. Not until a good forty minutes to an hour into its wear does Sharif arrive at stage two, which is where I realize that this fragrance story is not about just any handsome man, but a man whose bearing speaks of age and wisdom, announced by the arrival of a weathered-smelling combination that I read as cedar, patchouli and frankincense. For those who love their patchouli to smell more roughed up than refined, you’ll love this stage of the perfume, though this is the stage that is the shortest-lived within the fragrance.

And that’s fine by me, because what most surprised and delighted me about Sharif arrives next and lasts a good long time. Out of the dry and slightly acrid woodiness, the scent begins to climb again, getting sweeter as it goes. The scent of almond emerges, as gently sweet as a smile, as welcoming as a kiss on the cheek. Like a bowl of almonds set before a visiting guest in an Arab home, this facet of the fragrance speaks of generosity—of the largesse of spirit that seduces friends and lovers into our personal spheres, which, as the wise man knows, is the only way we thrive. Stage three of the fragrance smells of tonka bean and maybe even a hint of heliotrope: it’s a dry and almost fluffy almond scent that is about as sweet as an almond biscuit one might be served at a good Chinese restaurant. The fragrance notes that preceed it keep the almondy-accord from being cloying, such that it is like the sweetness one finds at the heart of a noble soul: sweetness that is natural, easy and true.

Prize Drawing!
Thanks to the generosity of Abdes Salaam, the perfumer of Sharif, I’m holding a drawing for a 32-ml bottle of Sharif (as shown in photo). In addition to the bottle, I’ll be drawing four other names who will each receive a dab sample vial of Sharif.

Drawing is available to all readers worldwide. Simply drop an email to me at suz@eiderdownpress.com saying “Put me in the drawing!” by the end of the day on Monday, August 1st (midnight, Eastern Standard Time, U.S.) Your email address will be kept private and will not be used for any other purpose except the drawing. (I have no commenting forum on my site so have to conduct the drawing via email.) NOTE: DRAWING IS NOW CLOSED.

Sharif is otherwise available for purchase from
La Via del Profumo in Italy. Prices are in euros and are currently € 35 for a 10-ml roll-on bottle; € 96 for a 32-ml spray bottle; and € 149 for a 50-ml spray bottle.

Photo of Sharif bottle is courtesy and copyright of Nathan Branch.

Posted by Suzanne Keller, 7/28/2011.


In a Few Days, this Gorgeous Perfume Bottle—


and the equally gorgeous, all-natural perfume housed within it—will be up for grabs on my blog, as part of a drawing that will be open to all my readers anywhere in the World. In addition to the full-bottle drawing, I’ll be selecting four additional names who will each receive a sample of the fragrance, all thanks to the generosity of perfumer Abdes Salaam (aka Dominique Dubrana) of La Via del Profumo, whose creation it is, and who sent me these items so that I could do a giveaway in connection with his latest launch.

Sharif, the Arabic word for “noble man,” is the name of his latest fragrance, a beautiful, unisex perfume that seeks to convey the qualities of a noble soul: for, as Salaam so beautifully points out in the description of this scent on his website, “among Arabs, nobility is not necessarily associated with lineage: for the fierce people of the desert, nobility is above all a quality of the soul, and it is said of a person that he is noble even though not of noble descent.”


Those of you who have been part of the online perfume community over the past few years are likely familiar with Salaam, whose generosity and noble spirit cannot be missed. He is an active member of Basenotes.net and also has an informative blog on his own website, where he provides great insight into Middle Eastern perfumes and customs; he was prominently featured in a New York Times magazine article last summer; on the heels of being featured in the Times, he spent not one, but two days fielding perfume-related questions in his intelligent, honest and straight-forward way at a live chat on Carol Sasich’s blog, WAFT; and he had a highly-successful launch in winter 2010 with his deeply resinous, contemplative tobacco perfume, Balsamo della Mecca (or Mecca Balsam, as it is also known).


If anyone is a sharif, let me tell you, Salaam is one. He may live and work in Italy, but the hospitality of the Arabian desert is very much alive in him. Though my interactions with him have always been brief, I have come away from them feeling that “radiant light of a noble person’s character” that he refers to in his literature on Sharif. Kind and generous beyond measure, he is also someone who answers emails in a prompt and courteous manner—and he’s one of those people who can say a lot in just a few impeccably-chosen words.


(And speaking of impeccable…the amazing photo of the Sharif bottle is by fellow perfume blogger Nathan Branch, who by arrangement with Salaam kindly consented to providing the promotional photos for this launch.  You can read Nathan's review of the fragrance—and drool over his other photos of the botte—here.)


I hope you’ll join me in a few days to read my review of Salaam’s beautiful Sharif fragrance and to partake of his generosity by entering my drawing. (On or about Thursday of this week.) If his last launch was any indication, there will be a number of opportunities across the blogosphere to try Sharif in the weeks ahead—and I’m just delighted to take part in it!  

Photo courtesy (and copyright) of Nathan Branch.

Posted by Suzanne Keller, 7/25/2011.

All I Am - A Redhead

A Perfume Blog (Blacknall Allen)

Another Perfume Blog (Natalie)

Ars Aromatica

Australian Perfume Junkies

Beauty on the Outside

Bloody Frida

Bois de Jasmin

Bonkers About Perfume

Ca Fleure Bon

ChickenFreak's Obsessions


Eyeliner on a Cat

Fragrance Bouquet

From Top to Bottom - Perfume Patter

Giovanni Sammarco (artisanal perfumer) blog

Grain de Musc

I Smell Therefore I Am


Katie Puckrik Smells

L'eter - Blog of Olfactive Experience

Memory of Scent

Muse in Wooden Shoes 

Nathan Branch

Natural Perfumery by Salaam

Notes on Shoes, Cake & Perfume

Notes From Josephine

Notes From the Ledge

Now Smell This

Oh, True Apothecary! 


Olfactoria's Travels 

Parfumistans blogg


Perfume Posse

Perfume Shrine

Perfume-Smellin' Things

Purple Paper Planes

Redolent of Spices

Riktig Parfym: Ramblings of a Fragrant Fanatic

Scented Salamander

Scents of Place

Scents of Self

Smelly Blog

Sorcery of Scent 

Sweet Diva

The Alembicated Genie 

The Cow Jumped Over the Moon

The Fragrant Man

The French Exit

The Non-Blonde 

The Perfumed Maze

The Perfume Magpie

The Scented Hound

The Sounds of Scent

The Vintage Perfume Vault

This Blog Really Stinks 

Undina's Looking Glass 

WAFT by Carol 

Yesterday's Perfume

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