Like many I am big fan of The Godfather movies. Even the third one which is being released in a re-edited form this weekend. There is so much about the way the story of the Corleone family is told which has seemed timeless. One of the recurring motifs is while the family is at an innocent social event elsewhere there is violence happening. This is usually set to soaring music as the juxtaposition of innocence and gunfire co-exist in this family. There have been few perfumes which have been inspired by this. When I received my sample of La Via del Profumo Palermo, Don Corleone I was especially curious.
Dominique Dubrana aka Abdes Salaam Attar is one of the best all-natural perfumers we have. He has an almost supernatural attachment to his ingredients. It has produced some of my favorite perfumes I own. Reading the description on the website this is meant to be a fragrance of the people of Sicily. He wanted to capture their gregarious nature, their love for pastries, and the danger of violence. He succeeds but I was more drawn to thinking about those set pieces in the movie as a perfume based on the birthplace of Don Corleone should also.
It is done by creating a three-ingredient accord of vanilla, tuberose, and tobacco. These are ethically sourced natural ingredients. The care in obtaining them shows. Each of them has subtleties which add to their use here. It begins with the vanilla. The idea of the sweetness of bakery goods is here. Along with it is a strong green undercurrent reminding me of the orchid from which the pods come from. This green is the connective tissue to the other two ingredients. It reaches out and finds the slightly mentholated green inherent in tuberose. The venerable white flower is the diva of this perfume as she reaches out to pull you in. The green also attaches to the similarly mentholated green in the rich tobacco. This is the narcotic dangerous version of tobacco inviting you to just take a puff and then another before you are ensnared in its nicotinic clutches. As they come together the innocent sweetness of the vanilla is partner to the full-throated tuberose as the tobacco works off-screen doing bad things.
Palermo, Don Corleone has 12-14 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
As far as I know this is one of only a few perfumes inspired by The Godfather Saga. It reminds me strongly of the way innocence can be the alibi for violence. Abdes Salaam Attar also reminds me why he is such a great natural perfumer.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample I purchased.