Consolamini - AbdesSalaam Attar
by AbdesSalaam Attar
for The Perfume Chronicles
The bell rings the midnight hour on the Aventine. Night spreads her mantle over the purple ruins of the Eternal City and you keep walking past them as if amidst a row of wraiths. The day is far spent and far from nocturnal terrors, you pilgrimed from church to church, from a concert to another, walking beneath the royal arches of the Pantheon, down under Trajan’s Column.
Heavy lies the night bound to be sleepless.
Suitcase in hand, you walked up the streets quiet looking for a coffee-shop, a bit of light and some human warmth. The roads empty, inert trenches burrowing through fountains and palaces aslept. You are walking up, suit in hand, towards the station – insouciant. The squares are greyer, the alleys darker and the number of tourists has vanished. You are alone. Alone and shelterless, exposed to the invisible swell of Roman winds carrying aught but the cold scent of asphalt at night.
The station. She is calling you through the alleys, she whispers your name. She appears like a haven; she will be a trap. For as you strolled up the blind street, there appeared two lofty men and menacing. You feigned to ignore them and kept walking and looking at a starless sky but they… they followed and called upon you in a voice that seemed to say : Get out before it is too late. But the day was already far spent and from the bottom of thine heart there sprang a word, a surge of love which said : Do judge them not. And shackle them not. But open your heart…
You turned back. They came closer until they were standing next to you. You spoke a few words and followed them to a coffee-shop. You walked, surrounded and the lightless streets now turned to hopeless ones. You understood. You did nothing but rather hoped until you felt the tip of a knife kissing your flank – you tilted your head and read in their eyes the distress of death. Your heart raced, your pupils expanded and you felt a shiver down your spine, a moan down your soul, a cry for help to your guardian angel. You mumbled, helplessly and hopeful :
“I have nothing. Just enough to buy you a coffee.”
Time stood still, suspended to the minds of two hopeless thugs. In their eyes you could see a pool of hatred and boredom and dolour. The blade pressed against you felt burning, what lasted a second seemed to have lasted a full life of man – he jiggled his arm, you closed your eyes…he sheathed his blade.
Stand vigil, oh my angel, o’er your careless children. Thus dawned a night which only Rome can birth, drinking coffee with bandits, idle men and women who spent their time robbing lost passerbys. Who were they ? Who, their mothers ? What, their lives ? While they seduced each other, you asked them whence they came. She was from Naples and he from Venice and they were all coming from all corners of Italy. Life brought them here together – this life unfathomable and its number of trials uncomprehensible. You realised these younglings hadn’t passed their ordeal and has dawn drew nigh, one another, they confided in you. They confided in me.
Do judge them not.
They have a heart, just like yours and it suffers, just like yours and it dreams of love, just like yours. If ever it can dream. It was toward morning and you readied to leave them when all as one they stood up to escort you – kindfully this time – to the summit of Trinita dei Monti where you would catch the sunrise. An ochre sun over Roman roofs, the red flag of Malta in the winds and a horizon filled with belltowers rising up like a forest of masts. The air was fresh, it rose from the Villa unfar and carried with it the chill of morning dew.
Consolamini, an exclusive work by Abdessalaam Attar for The Perfume Chronicles was created from this memory – and a good dose of chance. The legendary mastery of its creator is yet again revealed through the utmost simplicity of an castoreum, frankincense and tonka bean accord. It is a perfume where the heat of castoreum joins the roundedness of coumarine and where the leather of a tonka bean burnishes the animalic bitterness of mastic.
Half Pegasus, half Seraphim, Consolamini is an ever-changing creature. It is a stained-glass window through which pierces the light of a Sun showing new colours. It hides the fire of Judea’s earth and the heat of its caravanseries ; it is the cloud of incense wrapping Isaiah whilst his lips were covered in embers.
Exquisite balance between round and dry hues, between the sour and the gourmand without ever falling into any, Consolamini is this verse of Isaiah in a bottle : “Comfort my people”. Its old resins to a ray of divine light akin, go through one’s soul to cleanse it : ‘tis the fire which refines silver but always that of love which warms up our hearts.
For such is Consolamini’s purpose : a spiritual perfume allowing us to see beyond appearances, to open up our hearts to those in need so they may shed their tears. Consolamini is the keystone of our inner cloistre, the key to our heart’s secret chambers.
Abdessalaam Attar proves us once more his profound knowledge of raw materials and his ability to let them shine and speak. Consolamini is a gem, a perfume that only those willing to open their hearts can wear.