Anyone expecting a boring, cozy vanilla scent, be warned: this fragrance is more challenging than many houses' avant-garde offerings. Challenging? No that would imply something difficult in the journey and there is no part in the evolution of Don Corleone that brings anything other than joy. Maybe I mean more surprising.
I get very different openings from spray vs dabbing from the minion bottle. If you spray, this perfume hits like a version Patchouli 24, that was dreamed up in a Moroccan desert, instead of a French Lab.
If you dab, the first notes are extremely vivid impressions of real scrape-the-pod vanilla, with a fleeting glimpse of the armchairs, cognacs and unlit cigars of old gentleman's clubs.
Both applications of the scent evolve in the same direction: overdoses of elegant, sensual vanilla, with the finely spiced tobacco from a cigar that has almost stopped smoking in it's tray.
Into the deep dry down, the vanilla gets cozier and cozier until its a plush bed to curl up in.
Don Corleone along with Milano Caffe are in my opinion Two of the best products available anywhere in the world.I disagree that either of these has anything to do with femininity. True some of the ladies will use anything including Old Spice and Mennen aftershave. There are exceptions to everything.I have a very large collection of fragrances 99% of which are very expensive niche items. Don Corleone and Milano Caffe are at the top of the list without breaking the bank.
Disclaimer: I've never visited Palermo- which I've been told is a peculiarly beautiful city- and personally don't feel any romantic fascination towards anything related to mafia, so I can't say about the geographical or social aptness of this fragrance. I must say I'm quite put off by the name, which sounds a bit sterotypical and permeated by an exotically tinged appeal towards what I see only as an enormous social and political national plague.
About the fragrance. A rather simple accord- tobacco, tuberose and vanilla. The harmony and coherence of the blending is masterful, as usual, smoothingly conducting from the herbal, smoky tobacco opening to a softer, richer, sweeter core of flowers and multifaceted- the woody, the slightly liquorice-y, the boozy, the earthy- vanilla.
Getting to know the corpus of AbdesSalaam Attar fragrances, I've begun to recognize certain "red threads" he disseminates in his scents, some of which I love, some I don't. Palermo happens to have the herbal- smoky thread, as in Tabac or in Chillum, that my nose perceive as quite bothering, due to some edible association (basically, this particular herbal accord reminds me of amaro digestive spirit and the the smoky one makes me think of smoked ham, two things that I enjoy eating or drinking but wouldn't wear!).
I guess that a nose that doesn't make such an association could easily enjoy this fragrance.
Despite the masculine label, I don't find this fragrance particularly manly, at least not in a sterotypical way.
Tobacco, woods, tuberose: earth, smoke, filthy animalicness. Nothing more manly and virile than this, like in most of Dubranas scents aimed at men, this goes right back to old-school powerhouses raw darkness and thick machism. Much linear though, in a way almost close to some US niche acts like Sonoma Scent Studio or Slumberhouse, albeit with a far more natural, raw, almost archaic organic mood. On the very base, a cozy and slightly sweet accord of balmy-boozy-rooty notes with something smelling like bitter, dusty cocoa beans (it may be patchouli). Dirty, earthy, mature and indolic, it progressively gets warmer and slowly becomes more and more elegant, tamed down and civilised, still shady but gentler, with a long, fantastic transition towards a powerful and really long lasting drydown carrying mostly tobacco, woody and animalic nuances. Throughout the evolution, the tuberose note is great, delivering all its signature animalic earthiness, perfectly blending here with the warm, balmy sweetness of tobacco and cozy woods (something like tolu, too). A bit similar to Tabac by the same house, but decidedly more earthy, indolic, even almost narcotic (tuberose, again) with a sweeter ambery base. Great quality. Intense, dark, powerful yet gentle, classy, evocative. Beautiful!
What a sensual fragrance is it!! Dominique Dubrana's Don Corleone is probably the best gourmand tobacco around and one of the most carnal concoctions I've had the pleasure to test around. No doubts about, Dubrana places/roots the vetiver down in the middle of the ring surrounding it by indolic (but partially disguised) tuberose absolute, seasoned tobacco, animalic patterns, woodsy (minty/boozy) resins and edible/tasty balsams. The final rendition is simply encompassing, vaguely liquorous (anise/Pastis-conjuring) and testosteronic. At the beginning I detect a familiar undertone and my olfactory memory catch Vetiver Etro (with its realistic combination of tobacco, cypress and rooty vetiver) from the abysses of the olfactory memory. This earthy/rooty feel (far more moderate and elusive than in Etro) is anyway yet slightly leathery, vaguely liquorous, indolic, musky and animalic (probably hints of patchouli are included in the blend). Is like Vetiver Etro encounters Mazzolari Lui, HdP Tubereuse 3 L'Animale and Frapin 1270 issuing anyway a really sensual but balanced experiment. The aroma is supposed to arouse all at once the two sides of the sicilian temperament, namely the gluttony for sweet, vanilla and cakes as connected with the visceral attachment to mum and the strong machismo still nowadays present in the island's culture (sometimes sub-culture). The general balance (a Dubrana'a landmark) is extreme despite the "carnality" of the main raw materials (tobacco, vetiver, indolic tuberose, musk, vanilla, animalic patterns). I get of course the La Via del Profumo Tabac's genuine kind of humidor tobacco vibe. The final aroma is not properly sophisticated but somewhat decadent, rural and bold. Tuberose is basically kind of orangy-creamy, "nectarinic" and vaguely boozy-minty. The "sweetness level" is measured. The very dry down is evidently tobacco-flavoured, vanillic, musky and sensual as few dry downs of the modern perfumery.
Vanilla Mafia I don't know how much my impression is influenced by the name and the idea itself, but i picture this scent on my skin as the perfect aroma for an italian mafia boss. It exudes class, power, intensity, from the beginning until the end. I don't know if it is strange to me, i have already smelled and sample so many things through my journey that this is hard to classify, but i see it as very powerful. It's for me a scent of as much of vanilla as tobacco. They are the stars, where the tuberose is more of a second player on me, just providing a round, sensual touch to bind those two essences. It makes me think that vanilla is much more deep and dimensional that we might think at first. I guess that this is because we are so used with the sugary, creamy vanillas that we forgot that it can also smell flowery, a little bit animalic, erotic, but also smoky, leathery too. This vanilla is edible, but more smoky, spicy, it merges completely into the tobacco nuances. It's different, for instance, from the vanilla used in Frutti Paradisi, that is close to skin and smell exactly like the vanilla pods after you have extracted the seeds. As i expected, i love this scent and i'm impressed that a natural scent can be this way, intense just the way i like. Amazing.Pros: Great pair of vanilla and tobaccoCons: Don't see any"