Vanilla Don Corleone
Palermo don corleone
by Dominique Dubrana aka AbdesSalaam Attar
for La Via del Profumo
We have never seen Palermo. We haven’t had the chance to wander through its streets. We haven’t sung under the golden domes of its palatine chapel. We haven’t watched the horizon as the sea goes back. We haven’t suffered the heat of its brazen sun nor have we tasted the sweetness of its gifts. We didn’t brave the shadows of its narrow streets and haven’t smelled its suave fragrance.
No wait…that we did.
Thanks to the much talented AbdesSalaam Attar, a man hiding his many talents behind a veil of humility. A few years back, he created for a friend of his, an outstandingly ravishing fragrance. Very personal and untamable as the rest of his creations are, Palermo Don Corleone seduced us as soon as we opened the phial. Let us just say that we’ve seldom met a perfumer driven with such passion and love for his ingredients and his art ; with such innate ability to express the unspeakable ; with such utter talent to extract the very soul of raw, noble materials. There are no two AbdesSalaam, in talent or in integrity. A man of trust, a man honest, a man who does not lie about his creations - they’re crystal clear when it comes to smelling the many ingredients he uses. Sheer luxury indeed, not in a gold-foil manner, but in that of an Arab prince of old. AbdesSalaam is a man who understands the psychology behind each perfume and each perfume-wearer ; who understands the deepest struggles of the soul and brings light in and from any darkness.
The idea was simple : distillate the very soul of Sicily. What better way to do so, he thought, than by daring a vanilla overdose ? A hot-headed one, a player one, an outrageous one, both sensual and excessive ; both wild and meek.
All in all, a Sicilian vanilla.
A vanilla, again ? We’d rather say : a vanilla, at last !
Fleshy, fleshly, its leathery facet and its severity made sublime by a tobacco in all virility. This vanilla is not gourmand, she doesn’t lay down with sugar or honey or baklawas and milky accords. She’s proud and fiery like the Etna. She is black, tanned by the Sun. She is the buxom vanilla one finds in the jungle.
Wearing Palermo Don Corleone brought us back memories from our childhood. One memory in particular, one which leads us to another isle.
The day was hot, humid was the air. The summer in this isle plunges humanity in a torpor fit for contemplation. We did not contemplate a thing, that day. Instead, we kept walking. Around us, there was nothing but a vast and verdurous canopy. Multicoloured birds were hanging onto the branches of flamboyants, bees were foraging in the corollas of hibiscuses and droplets dripping along the trunk and leaves of mossy trees. Nature breathed and perspired in broad daylight. She was hot on the slopes of the furnace. And there were we, hiking in the jungle. Everything, ground and sky, shied away from us, to the point we started to think it might had been a bad idea to come this far and that we should probably head back home when suddenly…a new horizon opened before our eyes.
Just behind the branches : an open clearing bathed in sunlight. The dry grass had yellowed, the boughs, older than our civilisations, gave way to tiny bushes covered with all kinds of flowers... and a tiny house amidmost, wooden, whitewashed. It was a bustling day. We were still far away but we could see dozens of women buzzing in and out and around the house doing God only knew what.
A gentle breeze whispered her answer.
Atop our whopping 4,5ft we found ourselves uplifted by a heady perfume of vanilla, sweat and flowers. It felt like a real shock. We broke through the wall of scent and entered a sphere where vanilla, freshly cut grass and dry woods, lilies and frangipani were squabbling with the smell of roses and sweat and the coolness of the jungle that kept us walled in.
We had never met a vanilla so wild since that day. So true, so powerless. There she was, spreading out her kilos of maroon gold over sheets of jute, on the ground, without any artifice, abashing our senses with her devilishly pure scent. She is an independant woman, the Bourbon. Very much like the Sicilian, she warbles and dances and laughs. She is a princess indeed, but one of the isles. She dons not diamonds, she has nature for a crown, and flowers instead of jewellery.
Palermo don Corleone is insular too, which might explain why she’s so different from all others. She shaped herself alone and apart, in her own time, keeping afar the influence of a continent constantly evolving. Vanilla, to us, became the synonym of sweetness and indulgence : it is the treasure of our crème brulées, of our DIY ice creams, of our madeleines and buttercream frostings. She becomes ever so subtle to flatter our palate, ever so docile to soothe our senses.
But she was the jewel of volcanoes, aforetime, from Tahiti to la Réunion. She thrived in the shadow of their fury, swilling down their fiery temperament. She was boiling and dangerous, the vanilla of yore, a reward only for the most tenacious explorers. The inviolate princess of a fallen nature, the gentleness of a choleric jungle, still hurting from Eden’s departure. But she kept the relics of the Love that forged the stars and shaped the skies. Under her shell of shiny leather, she preserved, unsullied, the taste of her mother’s, Eve, felicity – and the perfume of her hair.
Palermo Don Corleone is the vanilla of an island, the one of a myth. The epic, antic vanilla. The vanilla as it was intended, the vanilla as it was forsaken.
To the hints of tobacco she joins those of the tuberose that adorned its head. A royal vanilla, a sinner vanilla. A vanilla humane, whose heart still beats,
Palermo don Corleone - La Via del Profumo
47€ / 95€ / 136€ - 15,5ml / 30ml / 50ml
For more informations, visit their website : www.attarperfumes.net