The personal collection of the perfumist.
An ultimate question that we are consistently asked.
The man who made hundreds of distillations experienced some of the most exotic and rare oils besides making the bespoke perfumes for many royalties and well-known people around the world. So, what is the perfumist’s favorite perfume for himself?
What is the personal collection of The Perfumist?
The answer may come shocking or unexpected to many of you but trust me. I was shocked when I first heard it. I had a few good friends (mainly perfumist and perfume enthusiasts) asking me time over time, and this is the answer:
The Perfumist always keeps four different kinds of oils in his personal collection, always four.
Keep in mind this is not our storage or house collection vault as we have hundreds of oils in it. This reply is just about his own personal collection for personal use. I know it may sound very strange that such a person keeps only four oils!
When I asked this question, Mr. Ali Attar clearly explained to me, and I’m quoting here.
“To be a good perfumist you need many oils, to be a great perfumist you only need few, to me the art and the philosophy are all about simplicity and humbleness. I learned this from my family and from great people, which I worked with when I was young. A person can only truly wear one perfume or oil at a time when you really understand that you realize that many people overuse of exaggerating the use of perfume. Lately, it’s becoming a trend, where people wear 2, 3 or even 4 perfumes or oils, to make what I call a perfume cocktail. This is unmatured understanding of the essence of the scent. If you look at it from both a scientific and philosophical point of view the simples rose oil or sandalwood oils has so many elements and constitutes it’s actually overwhelming, and this is only for simple, pure oil, so what about a complex mix of attar, musk or oud, which can contain dozens of constituents and elements?
This is something that many companies now days started to understand, and they went back to basics. Look at some of the most well know designers and fashions houses. They are slowly going toward the simplicity of the mono-element and the single ingredient. Anyone who keeps a record or updates about perfumery knows that, and this is because the general population is demanding simplicity. Perhaps we are demanding this unconsciously because our way of life is becoming more and more complicated even though we may think it’s going simpler, but it’s not! For few millennia’s humans kept a very similar style and what I mean by that is agriculture, farming and being around and working with similar materials. Many people these days especially the millennials don’t know what it’s like to smell a rose field, a hot wind in the desert, the smell of burned coffee and cardamom, the smell of the saddle or the horse, the smell of the fresh dirt and sand (which most of us played in, because we didn’t have smartphones).
This is programmed in our DNA for centuries we have been smelling it now most people don’t know about it. I came to my surprise that when a young person smells one of those scents, it’s feeling like they know it, somewhere deep in their minds or memory. I can see how they love it, which is why I can’t resist the urge to look at someone’s face when they smell one of those natural scents because their face changes their spirit elevate as it gives them scenes of freedom, power, and reality. That’s why I only keep four oils in my personal collections. There are four seasons and four different elements for the attar work; four different ways of making natural oils; the four main ingredients on the natural scent table (wood, fire, air, and water/or agarwood, and all other woods, musk, and all other hot oils, rose and all other airy scents and ambergris and see hers and everything that comes out of water”.
So, what are your four oils?
“Rose, musk, amber and oud and I use them based on my mood, time, occasion and attire.”
Is it the same oils we offer and sell?
“Yes, it is in a way, as it is the same constituents and materials, but sometimes I tweak it a little to make it suite my personal opinion (which is very controversial). But, yes, it’s pretty much the same.
Do you have a preference on what to wear at what time or occasion?
“I usually keep the rose for the morning, or sometimes the night when it’s calm as it has a very calming effect. The sandalwood for near skin scent if I’m exercising or know that it will hot and sweaty. The musk for the night and when you need to shine and get attention, and the oud for meeting and business because of its heavy and grounding effects.”
Do you believe that scent especially natural oils have a real effect on our mind and personally?
“You don’t have to ask me or believe me as I’m sure if you research it, you will find lots of respectful studies and experiments talking about the effects of it and the power it can have on us.”
Can I ask you which one is our favorite?
“That’s like asking a mother which one of her kids she likes best. It’s really hard to say, but if I have to pick just one I would say it’s the rose because the way an understanding I have toward rose, the history of my family distilling rose in Istanbul, damask, and Baghdad and my childhood and also because it’s part of our logo as you well know!”.
Final word or advice for the people reading this?
“Simplicity is the ultimate complexity. If you want to be complex seek to be simple and if you want to be simple then just stay simple, simplicity is the key and the real power not only in scent but in many aspects of our life”.