I hope you realize that under "G" there are TWO reviews. You really need to have G1 and G2 because accidentally two reviews were placed under G.
A few months ago perfumer Dominique Dubrana of AbdesSalaam Attar gave members of Basenotes the chance to sample and review his fragrance “Tawaf”, (which you can read more about here). We would now like to ask Basenotes readers to vote for which review they think is the best.
The reviewer with the most votes will receive a Tawaf blending kit, and a runner up will win a 33 ml bottle of Tawaf. To thank those of you that vote, one of the voters will also recieve a bottle of the fragrance.
The official presentation copy of Tawaf will be compiled from the best reviews, with the names of the reviewers attached
"I think this whole project amongst these similar projects is just a breath of fresh air in the fusty old perfume world of closed doors. I like the approach. I like the use of only naturals. I like the honesty, the integrity and most of all I like the complete lack of self in front of the creation. It seems to me that the commercial perfume world has lost sight of the true creation of a real artisan perfumer, making perfumes for the love of it.
Here, in Tawaf, we have that in its truest form. I have smelled it and the artist within is evident. It does not follow trend or form. It is an interpretation of the Tawaf. It holds no reserves but delivers the full experience. You almost don't need to go there, just smell this and you are transported to another world. No safe and quiet rule following going on in this. Just the brute force of truism. You can smell the bodies, the silk, the Opoponax, the Jasmine and the hot stone in an almost overwhelming opening. One that is quite startling to begin with for our westernised noses. Wait... be patient.. it settles down like the perfumes of old and caresses your skin in the gentle and changing hot breezes of the perfectly balanced yet strong opposition of the two main ingredients. Certainly a force to be reckoned with, and a challenge to those who believe naturals do not last. You will of course have to try it to see for yourself."
I gratefully received my "Tawaf Custom Blending Kit". Everything that belongs to the kit, including the 15,5 ml of the Tawaf-perfume itself fits in a nice little wooden box. The whole packaging has a refreshingly unprofessional, home-made appearance.
I was particularly interested in the Tawaf-project on the Profumo Friends Club here on Basenotes because I have some kind of a love-hate relationship to the smell of jasmine. When overdosed or pure it can make me feel uncomfortable, sometimes it even gives me headaches because the smell is so stirring. But when the jasmine is nicely embedded, not dominant, especially in resinous perfumes - and Tawaf's second and last accord is resinous (oppoponax) - it can be great and give a cool and metallic sparkle to the scent that evokes in me the image of a priest swaying a shiny censer! So will this be a jasmine-scent that I can enjoy? It all depends on how the both accords, the jasmine-accord and the oppoponax-accord are balanced against each other. By the way that's the reason why I had the idea separating the two accords, so that everybody gets the opportunity to rebuild the perfume to his/her own liking. But first to Profumo's version of "Tawaf" and let's see if this perfume is already a winner or if I have to pimp it a little with the blending kit:
TAWAF - the perfume
After applying on my skin the first thing that I noticed is the superb quality of the (natural) ingredients - absolutely beautiful!
In the beginning the jasmine is very dominant, almost like a soliflore. I can also smell the rose, it's playing a little bit hide and seek, but after a while the rose is almost on par with the jasmine. My nose has trouble detecting the narcissus, maybe it gets lost in the interplay between jasmine and rose. The oppoponax lurks in the background, after a while the scent becomes darker and quieter and the oppoponax tries to fight its way to the front without ever being able to completely unveil itself. There are supposed to be other resins too, but they are equally as shy as the oppoponax. This is something that I will have to correct with the blending kit to make it more suitable for my taste. On my (dry) skin the perfume lasts in full bloom for about two or three hours, when it dries down it leaves a very subdued smell on the skin, but I can't really identify what it is. It may sound strange, but it smells like chocolate mixed together with something animalic, it is very subtle but lasts for hours. I like this part a lot, unfortunately at this stage the scent doesn't project very much and stays very close to the skin. On fabric I can smell the oppoponax and the narcissus more clearly, but they fade away quiet quickly and again the jasmine and the rose become the stars of the show. Longetivity on fabric is much better than on my skin.
"Tawaf" fails to be really my cup of tea due to the dominance of the jasmine. I wish it would be more resinous, more serious and darker. I like the drydown very much though. Even if the perfume doesn't satisfy me 100% I can only admire the beauty of the ingredients. "Tawaf" radiates with such a powerful aura, so positive and full of life! This is only possible with ingredients that have their origin in nature and not in chemical labs - absolutely amazing!
Up next will be a review of the blending kit and we'll see if I can make it more resinous, so that I can see the priest swaying the censer in my mind's eye!
TAWAF - the blending kit
Every "Tawaf Custom Blending Kit" contains, besides the Tawaf-perfume itself, three vials, a small funnel and two 6 ml dropper bottles with the accords "Jasmine" and "Oppoponax". Each accord does of course not only consist of jasmine respectively oppoponax, but is a blend that contains in the case of "Jasmine" other floral components (rose, narcissus) and in the case of "Oppoponax" other resins. The quality of the ingredients is top-notch. There are different techniques to blend the accords and to customise the perfume. You can find a detailed explanation of the methods on Profumo's website profumo.it. I didn't use the vials and the funnel, I applied the scents directly to my skin. My main goal was to tame the jasmine and to enhance the resins. You know, to get this priest-is-swaying-a-shiny-censer-in-my-mind's-eye-effect which I talked about in my review of the Tawaf-perfume!
But before I started blending I tried the accords on their own: In "Jasmine" I can smell all three flowers very clear, I can even smell the narcissus, although I had my problems detecting it in the perfume. The chocolaty-animalic drydown I smelled in the perfume seems to come from this accord because it leaves the same subdued scent on the skin after a while. "Oppoponax" is hard to describe, it smells slightly resinous, a bit sweet (honey) and surprisingly also a little bit flowery (lavender?). It contains myrrh and other resins too, but I can't really detect them, everything is homogeneously blended, but I think the flowery aspect comes from the oppoponax itself. "Oppoponax" is a very quiet accord with a short lifespan on my skin. It's no wonder that it has its problems to resist the jasmine-accord.
Okay, 'nuff said! Let's start blending: First I used the perfume itself as a base. One spritz on my arm and then I added one drop of "Oppoponax", two drops..., but it was quite a task to overcome the supremacy of "Jasmine"! After that I used only the accords and that way it was much easier to achieve what I was looking for. Starting at a ratio of 2 to 1 (Oppoponax to Jasmine) I could already tame the jasmine. The scent became more resinous and the jasmine added the metallic coolness that I was hoping to gain. Well, I didn't really see the priest with the censer, but I think it's because oppoponax is a totally different kind of resin/incense which doesn't remind me of church, and I must admit that I didn't smell oppoponax before, so maybe I was expecting something else! What I generally observerved is that no matter in which ratio you blend the accords the result will always smell good, but there is also a certain dissonance between the two accords, they decline to melt together. What I also observed is that the oppoponax-accord always disappears long before the jasmine-accord. By the way it would be interesting to know in which ratio Profumo's version was exactly blended, because the perfume is really growing on me, from day to day I like it more, but the exact formula is certainly a secret!
The blending kit is really great, you can play with it for hours! This is also a very nice and fun entry in the world of perfume-making. You can't really mess it up because the scent will always smell acceptable, no matter in which ratio you blend the accords. It also gives you the rewarding feeling that you created something on your own and didn't just consume a premade product!
I spent about 12 to 18 hours with Tawaf exclusively and wore no other fragrances while I was testing. I am located in south Florida and this warm, humid climate suits Tawaf. I get an impression of gardenia at first - there is a gardenia bush growing just outside the door here - and there is that earthy "mushroomy" quality of gardenia underlying the sweetness. I also got a slight rubbery impression that I thought might be tuberose, but it turns out to have been oppoponox. There are succeeding impressions of white florals: gardenia, jasmine, and orange blossom, the kind of flowers that emit their magic in a soft breeze on a Florida night. It smells of a summer evening in the south: a whiff of humid soil, the silky breeze, night blooming flowers - you can almost see the moonlight. It also reminded me of some yellow jasmine soaps I once enjoyed and had long forgotten (maybe by Caswell Massey?). It smells clean and pure, the florals are lush but not overripe or dirty. The fragrance was not quite as fleeting as I expected for a natural perfume (although I did enjoy re-spritzing to get the initial effect again). I found that Tawaf lulled my mood into a sense of softness and relaxation, allowing my imagination to wander free and float upward for a while, letting go of earthbound tension. Jasmine is celestial in its effect - it lifts up and up...but this one has a gentle, floating uplifting. This is another lovely aromatherapeutic offering from Profumo, whose creations are interesting as perfumes, but for me they also have a discernible effect on my psyche.
when asked to describe his latest fragrance, Karl Lagerfeld so aptly said that a perfume cannot be described in words. It makes perfect sense otherwise we would never yearn to smell more and more perfumes since we could get good idea from other's reviews.
If i have to describe Tawaf, i will call it semi-oriental-floral. I use the word semi-oriental because Tawaf retains the balmy characteristics of orientals but avoids their spiciness. Oud is a current craze but some people mistakenly think that oud-based fragrances give them some idea of how arab fragrances smell which could not have been farther from the
truth. read oud is totally different thing and as someone who has lived a large part of life in southeast asia, also lived in Middle East, and has been in the US since 2001, i can tell you that oud based fragrances don't give a slight clue into the feel and texture of arab perfumery. Even premium brands like Amouage who have excellent quality products, lack the feel of Arab perfumery because one of their purpose is publicity of Arab culture as well and they dont forget western tastes when creating their products. i will not say whether everyone will like Tawaf because that cant be said forany perfume but i do guarantee smelling Tawaf will give you a good idea of how traditionalarab perfumes really smell like.
One of the first things Tawaf reminded me of was the rose water extract that is often used to give bath to tombs made of limestone in SouthEast Asia and Middleeast. Rose is the most dominant note in Tawaf. jasmin and myrrh are slightly detectable but i could only detect narcissus by paying very close attention..the development of the fragrance is linear..the fragrance smells almost same but after some time, it becomes skin-close like many oil based perfumes do.
the fragrance is not harsh which is understandable given that it comes from a house that practices natural perfumery and doesn't seem to have any synthetic feel. but if someone is looking for sillage, he/she will be disappointed because this fragrance is only to be enjoyed by
those who are within your private space.
Tawaf is gorgeous – let me say that from the start. It has a hothouse richness that one rarely finds in commercial perfumes, and every woman I know that’s tried has loved it. It is, though, I think, very much a woman’s perfume, at least in the form in which Salaam Attar has released it. Perhaps this is different elsewhere in the world, but in America, I don’t believe a man can easily get away with wearing something quite this heavy on the jasmine. And jasmine is the dominant note, especially at the beginning; it’s only after some time that it fades and the oppoponax accord reveals itself. But what a jasmine: it has a humid, indolent air to it, like having a Billie Holiday record playing in the room. It’s saved from being cloying by a bright green edge to it, which I suspect (without having read the ingredients) is violet leaf, but which, in combination with the jasmine, gives it a slight but noticeable note of crushed basil. In time – about an hour, on my skin – the jasmine, as I say, starts to fade a bit, and the warmer notes come through, as if it had been caramelized. Thereafter, it fades quite quickly, for a total time of about 3-4 hours, at least on my skin. The scent becomes somewhat less overtly sultry, more subtle, a little less of a performer. Still, this seems to me to be a diva-ish perfume – not for the office, or for the girl next door, but something to save for a night when you’re dressed to kill.
It's instantly apparent that the two main notes in Tawaf are jasmine sambac and opoponax upon first sniff. These two very different ingredients play together like a symphony. Opoponax (a bitter-sweet smelling resin) lends its balsamic aura, while the fruity, heady jasmine whispers it's sensuality. All other notes in Tawaf (narcissus, peru balsam, etc) act as accessories to the main duo and elegantly mold the perfume from green floral, to spicy balms throughout its evolution.
All in all, Tawaf smells like what it actually is, two different perfumes in one. This notion is made apparent by the blending kit also offered by Profumo, where the end user can make his or her very own version of Tawaf by blending the two main accords to their liking.
Whether you choose to wear Tawaf as is or take advantage of the blending kit, Tawaf is a must try for lovers of floral-oriental perfumes.
About two years ago I asked perfume critic Luca Turin how to get started in perfumery. Without hesitation he sent me to profumo.it with a list of 36 items to order from Abdessalaam Attar's "didactical kit" (profumo.it/perfume/custom_perfumes_new.asp). Around the same time I joined Basenotes and the profumo friends club (www.basenotes.net/group.php?groupid=80). What a wonderful joyful process it has been, including group experiments to learn the powerful qualities of animal scents such as castoreum and civet, then the group critique of various new oud-based fragrances. Now we are reviewing one of profumo's latest creations: Tawaf, the last in his Arabian series.
On first impressions Tawaf is refreshing and light, with a hint of mystery. A citrus note brightens the opening but perhaps that's just an element of the heavy dose of jasmine sambac, one of Tawaf's essential ingredients. It's meant to recall the act of circling the Kaaba in Mecca, where jasmine incense perfumes the air.
The very opening of Tawaf is almost gardenia-like. It's a lovely fresh green smell that feels ilke being outdoors. Tawaf is not as strong as some of the other members of Profumo's Arabian series. At the same time, there's a darker note, that rubbery plastic smell of opoponax--the other traditional resin burned during the Tawaf ceremony. Initially on the skin Tawaf gives a "buzz", an osmic dissonance, but this does not last long. It settles down nicely into a subtle floral green "walk in the woods". What I thought was citrus at first is in fact rose. Tawaf is reminiscent of orange blossoms, Chinese tea, a herb shop in Thailand, and lily of the valley.
After about an hour, the smell becomes more subtle and even more complex with a very strong persistent note of clean green jasmine. To be more critical Tawaf also can smell like a fine commercial product, something you might get at The Body Shop. But this makes it one of Profumo's more accessible fragrances.
The basic idea of Tawaf is simple: an accord of Jasmine and Opoponax, but a few other ingredients round out the scent, including rose absolute, because rose water is used several times a day around the Kaaba for washing the floor. Myrhh, benzoin and narcissus are other key components, and there may be others.
I love the idea that Tawaf will be sold as both a standard blend--the one in this review--but also as a pair of accords--a floral one with jasmine dominant, and a resinous one featuring opoponax. The wearer will have the fun of combining these two, and everyone will do it differently. Think of it as a perfume martini. Instead of gin and vermouth, you will combine jasmine and opoponax. You could have a "dry" tawaf, or a "sweet" one, depending on the proportions.
Perfumery in the 21st Century may now be entering a phase that cooking achieved in the mid 20th Century with the advent of popularizers of Haut Cuisine like Julia Child, who brought what was once considered only the domain of fine chefs into the households of everyday people. "Imagine a world of food and eating where everything is precooked and prepackaged so all you have to do is microwave it and that's your meal," says Salaam. This is perfumery today. True this does exist for many people who microwave all their meals or eat in Macdonalds everyday, but the vast majority prefer the joy and quality of preparing food themselves, and those who excel have taken the time to learn some techniques and to procure the finest raw materials. This is where Salaam is headed with Tawaf. Not only is the fragrance lovely by itself, it also offers the user the simplest first lesson in perfumery: how to blend two main ingredients in different proportions to achieve differing accords.
This idea of a "binary" perfume arose in one of Salaam's profumo group projects on Basenotes. Salaam wanted to develop a perfume by democracy, with many of the fragrance's concepts and components suggested by perfumistas, rather than by corporate experts. The idea of offering two major components that mix well together resulted from the synergy of at least three basenoters in forum discussions.
Perfume-wearing, like visiting the Kaaba for the Tawaf is an emotional experience. Now perfume users can tailor their own emotional experience with Profumo's latest creation. As Hoschti said on the profumo Basenotes forum, "Women could use more jasmine and men more of the opoponax or however they both want. So WE would really become the perfumers this time, but the inspiration would come from Salaam. The inspiration is maybe the only part that a lot of us cannot experience, because non-muslims can't do the Tawaf."
Although this new perfume from Profumo.it was inspired by a visit to the Ka'aba in Mecca, the purpose of the perfume is not to to transport the wearer to another time and place. For that I am grateful because I have yet to visit Mecca and wouldn't know how accurately this perfume represents its inspiration. However, the fact that jasmine sambac is one of the perfumes worn during Tawaf and the stones of the Ka'aba are rubbed with opoponax, the inspiration for the fragrance is profound nonetheless.
Tawaf opens with a very strong jasmine note, which dominates the "jasmine accord" of jasmine sambac, rose, and narcissus. The jasmine here is only subtly indolic with a touch of fresh, green notes, but I also detect a touch of orris and something a bit medicinal. The latter note disappears rather quickly, but the orris endures for about an hour before giving way to a very quiet rose note. Unfortunately, I never really detected the narcissus.
Much as the jasmine note dominates the jasmine accord, the jasmine accord dominates Tawaf entirely. The opoponax accord, which includes myrrh and peru balsam, is noticeable but very discreet, and only really becomes evident after several hours as hints of something "vanillic" begin to emerge. But most interestingly to me is that I will get instances of very oud-like, enough to get my attention but too ephemeral for me to really scrutinize. Behind a strong jasmine note, there is a sweet, woody resinous note that gives this just a hint of something else. Otherwise, this would be a fairly linear jasmine scent - and for all purposes, it mostly is just that - a fairly linear jasmine accord.
My sample, which comes from Surrender to Chance, is a pre-made version of the perfume and I wore this six days straight and in many combinations: on my wrists only, under my shirt only, one spray only, three sprays, and five sprays. My shirts still smelled wonderfully the next morning of sultry jasmine! However, because the custom blending kit comes with additional jasmine and opoponax accords, I would likely give this some additional opoponax for that extra mysticism. I'm a fan of jasmine in general and the jasmine creations from Profumo.it are always fantastic, but for this I was hoping for a better balance between the two accords.
In short, Tawaf offers a lush jasmine-centered fragrance with gentle touches of rose and narcissus and a whisper of balsamic resins that is neither overly green nor overly indolic nor maligned by a heavy hand of base notes. If you like jasmine scents but eschew the candied versions, you're bound to love this. Sillage is fairly close and longevity is outstanding - just the way I like it.
We start with a whispering oppoponax,western, ecclesiastical. Then the jasmine, Arabic, full, alive, repulsive, animalic, civety, meaty? Flesh certainly. Alive. Decay and death, its contrast at the same time vibrant, fleshy, alive jasmine. Bodies in all their honest existence but in the presence of spirit. Tawaf.
Not the soukh, not a spice market, not Morocco (Africa's sweet temptation for Europe), deep middle east this, leather, then the powdered sugar of rose and sand, one moment perfume the next a fragrant tea.
Arabian certainly. The rose is a sweet sand dust and the jasmine is the magical depth, the body and flesh and still sweet. This is deeply eastern.
Spiritual, directed by the few seconds of untenable oppoponax, fleeting, but forbidding with its sincerity any other interpretation of what follows other than spiritual.
Yet this is alive, and not a spirit lost in some desert palace, this walks the streets of New York, London, Paris.
Now horses. Moors. Leather. Serge Lutens Sarrasins springs to mind, but there is more here, this is righteous Moors, holy, austere, incidentally beautiful, terrifying, ancient but fully alive with and without the flesh, in sweet holy fire.
The sillage is good, pervasive but not intrusive. Like a thought, a meditation. The ultimate lingering dry down is the sweet jasmine sambac, ultimately soft and fragrant.
A beautiful fragrance.
This is a very quixotic fragrance that dances around the globe in my mind. At the beginning I get a very lush, dark scent of flowers in a rainstorm and I immediately think of New Orleans on a stormy night with the jasmine smelling lush to the point of being over ripe, one foot on the earth and one foot in the sickly sweet smell of putrification. Almost off-putting but in the nick of time the other actor enters the scene in the rubbery, modeling clay scent of sweet myrrh. Initially it mimics aldehydes by muffling the dying florals and reminds me of grandmothers in sitting rooms of childhood but then the two progress into a harmony and are reborn as something akin to a waft of Japanese incense and tea and a sense of stillness comes over the skin.
The stillness is very clever and deceptive nonetheless. This is a very big scent for an all natural scent. So the stillness is there but at the same time the scent propels the senses like a high speed train barreling through the countryside. In some ways it was too big a scent for me given the ingredients. I could not sip the tea or sit back and enjoy the view. There was lots of beautiful nature in a huge fragrance bubble but the train kept rolling at blinding speed, so it was calming and unnerving at once.
So it was really a battle royale of two big accords against one another and in this sense it did not conjure the notion of Tawaf that the name implied. There was no circularity which is my understanding of the word, but that’s just words. But then again the circularity may lie in the rotation between harmony in the tea leaf phase and anarchy when the two accords collide. This is the first time I have ever reviewed a scent and it is a challenging one to start with. Very powerful, sometimes calming and sometimes confusing, uniquely different from any other scent profile I have encountered in my olfactory journey.
We are somewhere in the South East Mediterranean, maybe Crete, maybe Rhodes.
It is hot, and humid. The Jasmine is heaving with blossoms. They are at
their most redolent. They are heady, narcotic. There are so many. There are
other smells in the air. Your Orange Flower perfume, the smell of the noisy
two stroke motorbikes whining up the hill, you are hot, so hot, the tarmac
is hot, you can still smell and taste the retsina that you drank. The
Jasmine mingles with the smell of the grills from the restaraunts that they
cover, the smoke, the meat, the air is drenched with them. You walk past a
swimming pool, the smell of the chlorine, your skin is hot, it smells hot,
and the Jasmine, the Jasmine is everywhere, and there is a promise of a long
hot night, and it is just too much.
Well friends, it is just too much for me anyway. I feel like a spy with a
guilty conscience. A saboteur with a heart. I really do. If I had known
that I would be reviewing a Jasmine- centric fragrance I would never have
volunteered for this project.
For reasons that I don't understand, I really don't like the smell of
Jasmine. It is as simple as that. I understand the importance of Jasmine,
and the fact that it is integral to the composition on fragrances that I
like, and love. But this Jasmine is the star of the show and I was never
going to like it, so I can't review this objectively. I am sorry.
Tawaf is Jasmine in glorious techinicolour, surround sound, and 3D. It is
fat Jasmine, heady, loud, dense, intoxicating, hyper realistic, huge. There
is a background of fumes and chlorine, and green green sap.
I can think of Basenotes friends, Jasmine lovers, who will be aching to try
this fragrance and I hope that they do, then we can really discover so much
more about it. For me, I will leave you with the smell of my hot Cretan
evening and maybe I have managed to convey something of Tawaf.
I would describe Tawaf as a Religious Jasmine scent; from beginning to end I can detect a very linear and austere jasmine note. It reminds me of jasmine oil that I got from a friend who went to Makah and bought me some Surrati perfumes while he was there.
The jasmine is heady strong and very potent with excellent longevity and sillage; I like it for evening wear and would choose to wear it while outdoors in summer time.
I think that the scent might be better suited to arabic/mediterranean audiences.
Bringing back childhood memories of summer time vendors hawking Jasmine garlands along Alexandria’s seaside thoroughfare. Wearing Tawaf is akin to wearing a garland of Jasmine, the smell of fresh jasmine, green, young and rushing effuses the evening air as couples settle on the breakwater walls, chatting and murmuring in hushed tones. The sweet smell is never cloying or overpowering as it seems to be checked and held back by something deep and resinous. An animalic note and this must be a floral one since the perfume is vegan, but a rare civet like scent provides sensuality and allure to the floral top notes. It is this oscillation between the primordial and the spiritual that constitute this tawaf. The smell of Jasmine is like the custodial, cleaning and clearing the mind of idyllic shatter and providing centering for the soul.
Tawaf, or “going around” as the literal meaning of the word is a story between two elements. The balance between the two is a story of life; someday one element seems to have the upper hand and the other day the other element triumphs yet it is the mixture of the two that reflects one’s own mood. It is difficult to define the smell in terms of male or female because it depends on the level and the balance of the two elements, for example the opening notes I would consider to be feminine, however, as the dry-down gets along the way the scent becomes more resinous and masculine. My only missive about it is the temperate nature of the jasmine, in that it is very temporary and its headiness doesn’t stay or linger for a long time before the darker resinous notes pervades the composition. Maybe if there was a way to mediate the transformation from one level to a lower level. The sample I have received had the combination already fixed but I can see the attractiveness of the idea of being able to mix the two ingredients according to one’s own inclination from the provided Kit.
Could the perfume use a third ingredients or something to occupy the middle ground? I am not sure but this perfume definitely evokes a geographical and spiritual location where memories are alive and well. It’s a sunny and warm arid place with rockiness and ruggedness that you’ll also find most delicate flower sprouting between the rocks in the shade of a boulder.
An opening burst of fizzy sweet jasmine at first seems to belie the sense of sanctity implied by Tawaf's title. The perfume is inspired by the trails of scent that greet visitors to Mecca's sacred Kaaba site of pilgrimage. But, on first impression, we could as easily be traipsing a Western shampoo aisle as circling round that sacred structure.
This is a potent, therapeutic dose of jasmine, and doesn't quite beguile the nose as much as blast it into submission like a spiritual water cannon. A juicy citrus note helps the sparkly clean feeling, lending a slightly retro cologne effect to this thick oriental. Visions of ablutions are hard to escape.
This initial soapy, cosmetic ambiance, however, settles very quickly into a slightly more rustic scenario. A wild and leafy narcissus helps tease out the more agrestic and slightly animalic facets of jasmine sambac, colouring this scent less prettified and more primal.
Yet despite the heady, animalic power of the floral accord, this is not a hedonistic perfume. Testament to the perfumer's resolve, Tawaf never turns into the narcotic reverie that its ingredients could have allowed. The tone remains austere throughout, with a rather grim, sterile opoponax creeping in periodically to keep the more sensuous notes in check. Its ghostly presence mutes the vibrancy of the florals, turning their lush, green nuances just a little grey.
The result is a dualistic perfume; lively and buoyant on the one hand, and yet laden with a sort of mystic melancholy on the other. It is, at its core, an enigmatic duet between jasmine and opoponax, but the natural materials used have an inherent complexity that really does make this a difficult perfume to pin down.
Each wearing seems to present a different aspect of Tawaf. One day it's fruity and exotic, the next it veers towards the ascetic with its cool, dusty resins. The abundant opoponax sometimes gives it a strange thickness and heft that can be as confounding as it is compelling.
It finishes invariably, though, on a clean and simple balsamic, vanillic note which lends itself well to the devotional mood at the heart of this fragrance. The scent closes with the same dignified restraint that carries throughout this very singular offering
Last edited by Grant; 6th October 2012 at 06:08 PM.
I hope you realize that under "G" there are TWO reviews. You really need to have G1 and G2 because accidentally two reviews were placed under G.
Very impressed with the set up Grant! Thank You :-)
Yep, two reviews under G! This should be corrected as soon as possible!
Very interesting, indeed. Coincidentally, I have been looking at Mr. Dubrana's site carefully over the last few weeks, enticed by some of his entirely natural eaux de colognes. I should like to think that he is correct about some of the possibilities he intuits for the future of perfumery; he seems to be have put them to the test with this blending kit. (Incidentally, what does jasmine sambac smell like, in contrast to jasmine? I can find few comparisons of the two on Basenotes.)
Last edited by Profumo; 6th October 2012 at 10:07 AM.
Thanks very much for the free sample Mr profumo :-)
My apologies for the vote option mix up. I have added the Second G review as vote N. I have made a note of how many votes option G currently have and will take this into account in the final count up.
Looks like review G is going strong...well deserved.
Discover my Guest Reviewer Of The Day here
Yes, very well deserved indeed...
I really enjoyed reading all of these reviews. What an interesting exercise.
Very educational indeed...:-)
Interesting but statistically meaningless. There is no way to differentiate votes for two reviews combined in G. We don't know which one was getting what percentage of votes. Sorry, the scientist in me coming out.
There is suspense in the air...
Oh, not bad! Looks like I am runner-up! A big THANK YOU to everybody who voted for me!!!
What a neat idea from start to finish! Congrats to all who entered, I enjoyed all of the reviews.
I'm afraid the idea behind it is not entirely new. The option of layering 2 or more singular accords has been offered by a few fragrance players before though 'blending' option takes it to another level of experience.
Anyway it looks like we have a winning review here. Congrats!
Btw, Hoschti, you might have finished a runner-up but your name was quoted in the winning review!
http://www.basenotes.net/group.php?d...380&do=discuss you can see that the idea of a blending option was actually Hoschti's idea. On April 7, he said: "I have another idea: When I understand your description of the Tawaf correctly the scents are spread separately, but in the air they come together and I assume the place always smells a little bit different due to the different amount of each perfume. So why not splitting the perfume in two bottles, one with the jasmine and the other floral ingredients, and one with the oppoponax and the other resins. So WE could have our own individual "Tawaf-experience" at home."
In truth, Hoschti had the original idea that resulted in the Tawaf blending kit. The genius of Profumo was that he opened up the creative process to perfumistas like Hoschti. Now Profumo has done the same with the review, which will become part of the packaging materials.
It's kind of like open source software. Now all we need is for Profumo to make the exact formula open as well. :-)
Or maybe some other perfumer will start this.
Bshell, congratulations to you for winning this poll - and thanks for quoting me!
The poll ended yesterday Oct 11, but Profumo is not announcing the winner until Oct 26, according to his Tawaf thread on his Basenotes Profumo Group pages. Any idea why? Is he on holiday?
Maybe He is...Thanks again for the sample Profumo; you are a Generous Spirit...:-)
Bshell, that's a different giveaway, has nothing to do with the reviews here.
The 26 october announcement is for an other winner, a winner of a full "Tawaf blending kit", sorted among those who wrote a comment on the Tawaf project page at http://www.basenotes.net/group.php?d...549&do=discuss
All of you are still in time to participate. I have never given away so many perfumes in my life as I did with Tawaf. This fragrance has a strange energy, I have given away more than I have sold of it.
The 26 is the feast of the pilgrimage. millions will make Tawaf on that day.
As for the voter who is the winner, which is of interest to all the voters, my small daughter has chosen the number 17. The 17th Basenoter who voted is the winner of a 33 ml bottle of Tawaf.
Of course only the Supremo knowns who is the member, I have no access to the poll's database, so please Grant, inform us...
Very Generous again...Thank You :-)
Profumo, not that you become bankrupt if you give away so much perfume!
Intentions and actions are more important than that...Thanks Profumo!
Generosity is not giving from your surplus, but giving from what you love and is giving in dire times.
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Last edited by Profumo; 12th October 2012 at 08:00 PM.