La Via del Profumo Tawaf ~ fragrance review

Tawaf is the final fragrance in the La Via del Profumo Arabian series of perfumes. Dominique Dubrana, La Via del Profumo’s perfumer, describes the fragrance as an “aromatic ‘melody’ of the scents that surround those performing the Tawaf — pilgrims circling the sacred Kaaba in Mecca during the Hajj or Umrah. Pilgrims, stone floors and the Kaaba itself are perfumed with the likes of Jasminum sambac (Arabian jasmine), opopanax and rose water.

Tawaf is composed of beautiful, strong aromas*: a vibrant floral accord of jasmine and rose (sweet, syrupy and possessing an indolic punch); a note that reminds me of musky, honey-drenched hay (no, I’ve never encountered honey-drenched hay in person, just in my imagination); warm opopanax; and buzzing, floral amber — clear and pungent, but not too “clean” (is that a bit of patchouli I smell?) Tawaf’s opening comes close to duplicating one of the most mesmerizing floral scents: the powerhouse perfume of blossoming Cestrum nocturnum (gardeners: if you love flowers that can scent an entire block, investigate this plant). As Tawaf dries down, it becomes sheer with hints of honeycomb, myrrh and residual floral notes.

I try to avoid hyperbole in describing my attraction to perfumes (how can I ‘LOVE’ a non-living thing?); let’s say I ‘adore’ Tawaf. Though I’ve enjoyed all La Via del Profumo Arabian series perfumes, Tawaf is my favorite. One spritz of Tawaf goes a long way…for a short time (two hours); if you’d like the fragrance to extend to three or four hours, apply more perfume in the first place but expect to scent a HUGE space with your sillage. On the masculine-feminine “scale,” Tawaf veers more towards feminine perfume territory, but if you’re the type of man who has no problem with heady florals, go for it.

La Via del Profumo’s Arabian series (Mecca Balsam, Oud Caravan Nos. 1, 2 and 3, and Sharif) is worth sampling in its entirety because the collection presents, to my nose anyway, a more natural and “authentic” take on Middle Eastern perfumery than most Western perfume companies accomplish (brands such as Van Cleef & Arpels, By Kilian, Estée Lauder, even Montale).

La Via del Profumo Tawaf

La Via del Profumo Tawaf is available directly from La Via del Profumo in 15.5, 32 or 50 ml (€47-148), concentration unknown. There is also a Tawaf Custom Blending Kit, with a 15.5 ml spray bottle of Tawaf and 6 ml dropper bottles of the jasmine and opopanax accords (€95).

*Tawaf’s listed notes: jasmine sambac, rose water, narcissus, myrrh, opopanax.

Top images via Wikimedia Commons: left, middle, right.

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  1. Jennifer1977 says:

    These sound like heaven.

    • Kevin says:

      Jennifer: yes, good stuff.

  2. Rappleyea says:

    I “adore” Mecca Balsam, and had already decided to put LVdP’s sample set (5 mls. each!) on my Christmas list to myself. Your review reinforced my decision. I’m a little surprised that this didn’t last longer on you – Mecca lasts forever on my skin.

    Thanks for reviewing, Kevin.

    • Kevin says:

      Rappleyea: Mecca Balsam lasts ages on me too…this one is much more of a ‘natural’ fragrance when it comes to longevity

  3. Omega says:

    I got to try this:)

  4. Sujaan says:

    I agree with Jennifer1977! Like “heaven”!

  5. This sounds unbelievable. I’ve read other good reviews, too. And I love jessamine.

  6. AnnE says:

    Thanks for the review, Kevin; this one sounds absolutely gorgeously right up my alley! I have had the LVdP website up in another window for the last couple of days, trying to decide what to place on on my initial order. Now I know at least one item which will be in my cart for sure. :-)

    • Kevin says:

      Annee: hope you get lots of things you love

  7. nozknoz says:

    I adore Mecca Balsam and am also very fond of Sharif (also excellent, but I feel like I have to be worthy of this noble perfume when I wear it) and Tawaf (spicy jasmine!). I have a rollerball decant from STC and am sorely tempted by the Custom Blending kit. One could get up to all sorts of layering mischief with those separate jasmine and apopanax accords! :-)

    I also tried the Amber Chocolate recently, and it’s really delicious. It’s interesting how it starts out pure cocoa – basically chocolate milk top notes – and becomes more and more ambery and complex.

    • Kevin says:

      Noz: there are so many fragrances I want to try from LVDP…hard to choose, ESP. Interested in the tincture of natural ambergris.

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