Luca Turin’s blog
I remember years ago the classical pianist Earl Wild coming through London and being asked by a BBC interviewer why he so clearly favored “Romantic” music. Wild replied “All good music is Romantic”. In some ways, the same could be said of the term “Oriental” in natural perfumery. Perfumes come from the East, most natural perfumery uses materials that have been around for centuries, there is not that much new under the sun, hence all natural fragrances are probably “Oriental” in some measure. Even their famed land of origin, Punt, now exists again as a near-independent country.
Last July Anya recommended that I check out the work of a French-born perfumer, Mr Dubrana, who runs a firm in Italy (near Rimini) called Profumo. I spoke to him, and found parallels with Andy Tauer: all-natural, inspired by classical fragrances of the Arab world and intended as a form of spiritual aromatherapy (Mr Dubrana is a Sufi). He sent me a wonderful “Bauletto dei Profumi dell’Anima” which roughly translates as Small Box of Soul Perfumes and serves as a good introduction to his art. My favourites are Arabia (Damascus rose-castoreum), Muschio di Quercia, a dry, uncompromising oakmoss and Legno di Nave, a very nice woody fragrance. All are very skilful, none heavy, trite or overegged. Indeed, many feel surprisingly modern, showing that there may be more life left than I thought in the pre-chemistry tradition.
October 17, 2005