Italy in summertime! High above Rimini on the Adriatic coast, the hills are alive with the sound of perfume vials clinking, fragrance essences being blended in beakers, and the teachings of AbdesSalaam Attar (Dominique Dubrana) of La Via del Profumo. That is the essence of a press release that I thought I would share with you, as it’s a great opportunity to learn from one of the masters of natural perfumery. Plus, did I mention Italy in summertime?
For those of you unfamiliar with the name, AbdesSalaam Attar is an Italian and a Sufi convert whose all-natural creations are some of Luca Turin‘s favorites, several of which have received Five Star reviews. The New York Times calls him “a genius of sorts” and “a Saracen Willy Wonka” in an article that also talks briefly about his “wonderful olfactorium.”
That is what you can experience, if you take his mini perfume course over a six-day period this June. It will take place in Monte Colombo, which seems to be the hillside or more countryside part of the ancient Roman town of Rimini, located in the gorgeous Emilia-Romagna region of Italy on the Adriatic coast.
Here are the full details from the press release:
After 6 years, I am returning to teaching with a summer seminar in the hills of Rimini, Italy in June 2015. There will be 6 days of daily classes and workshops [starting on June 10th and going through to the 15th] to teach 12 students both my philosophy of perfumery and my method of making fragrances.
The classes will cover a range of issues. One key point will be natural raw materials, including animal scents and rare essences, several of which can be smelled only with me. I will explain the crucial issue of how to understand and evaluate the quality of natural raw materials.
Every day, there will be blending workshops of different methods and approaches. I will teach students how to custom blend fragrances to benefit those who may wish to expand into perfume creation for private clients, customers, or friends. I will also explain how to approach concept blending for companies. In addition, I will discuss where to source the best essences, so that those who have learned how to make perfumes with me can carry on as a perfumer.
Other topics will include perfume descriptive language, olfactory psychology, philosophy and the ethics of natural perfumery. These are fundamentally important because the nose is only secondary to the mind in making perfumes, which is before all a mental attitude.
Rimini dates back to Roman times and is located in the Emilia-Romagna region on Italy’s Adriatic coast. It is famous for its beaches, but we will be in the nearby hills of Monte Colombo where I live. In June, the lavender will be full bloom, so there might also be a distillation course on one of the days.
All of this will be covered by an accommodation package that includes hotel stay, workshop materials, a kit of value 400 euros and raw essences.
Our accommodation is the same location of the course, it has a beautiful swimming pool, and an eagle’s view on the Adriatic sea and the coast. Breakfast and lunch are included. Dinner can be ordered at a nearby reputed restaurant.
There are 12 places available.
Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or for further information
It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? The Emilia-Romagna region is famous for its food (among other things), and the Germano Reale is a 700 year-old farmhouse that looks lovely on the website. For those of you who want to make a proper summer holiday of it after the course is done, you should check out Rimini‘s famous sandy beaches, the nearby wine-country of Verrucchio, and the elegant Palazzo Viviani Castello di Montegridolfo hotel in the medieval hamlet of Montegridolfo.
Of course, the biggest draw is the rare opportunity to learn from Abdes Salaam Attar himself on a wide range of issues. How cool would it be to try your hand at distillation?! Personally, I would prefer something other than lavender, given my deep-seated issues about the plant, but I would still love to learn the process and methodology. (I have to admit, the thought of endless hillsides blooming with lavender as far as the eye can see rather makes me shiver. I hope it’s not quite as I visualise.) On a happier note, Abdes Salaam has some great essences and tinctures, including unusual things like hyraceum or really aged materials. I hear his various ambergris oils are wonderful, rich, and multi-faceted. And I know from personal experience that some of his floral essences are superb. Think of the fragrances you could create with those! [UPDATED TO ADD: Right now, the dates in question are June 10-15th. That comes to 6 days, with the distillation occurring on the last day if events (and the lavender) go as planned.]
In short, if you’re interested in a different sort of European getaway or summer holiday, write to La Via del Profumo for pricing and further details.