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Sensemilla – A river of soft pleasure – April 5, 2018

Sensemilla - Abdes Salaam Attar (La Via del Profumo ) -

It’s been a long time coming but the Canadian government is de-criminalizing marijuana. In August 2018, four months from now, marijuana will become legal for recreational use. In the province of Ontario, where we live, it will be sold in stand-alone stores to anyone 19 years or older. You walk in, pay your money, and leave with 30 grams in your pocket, no problem. Or with a little more effort, you can grow your own at home, with a maximum of four plants. 

My next-door neighbour is thrilled. He’s smoked pot for years, first as an alternative to alcohol, but for the last few years it’s helped relieve the pain in his arthritic hips and knees. He grows his plants in outdoor patio pots in the summer, and has become an expert in cannabis/hemp horticulture, which he’s passed along to me during afternoon chats over the fence. Varieties, characteristics, male plants, female plants, flowers, pollination, buds, THC concentration, I know more about marijuana than I’ll ever need to know.

Smoking weed for fun was never my thing but I have to admit that I enjoy the faint wafts from his back garden whenever he’s “taking his medicine” as he calls it. The smell of smoke from a joint is unmistakable. Different from cigarette smoke which smells acrid – it’s just nasty - or pipe smoke which is sweetly aromatic – the best tobacco smell - marijuana smoke smells at first skunky, then more resinous and herbal - interesting but not fascinating. What really fascinates me about marijuana is the smell of the hemp plants themselves, the green oily scent from the leaves when rubbed between fingers, the damp-earth, mushroomy-floral smell of the buds (the part that contains the TCH), the distinctive medicinal-herbal aroma of hemp oil, the essential oil distilled from the plants. That’s what I love!

I learned about Sinsemilla from my neighbour. The Spanish word translates as ”without seeds” and is used to describe female cannabis flower buds which have not been fertilized by male pollen. As a result of not putting energy into making seeds, these female flower buds contain much higher concentrations of THC. They are extremely potent and preferred by some users because of their super-charged psychotropic effect.

I learned about Sensemilla, the perfume,  from visiting the website for the artisanal line, Abdes Salaam Attar formerly La Via del Profumo, created by natural perfumer Abdes Salaam. We’ve ordered several of his fabulous fragrances from his studio in Rimini, Italy and written about:

Mecca Balsam – the incense note, a scent for the soul,

Milano Caffe – the coffee note, a scent to share, and

Venezia Giardini Segreti – the myrhh note, a scent with history.

Sensemilla is all about the hemp note:

“Cannabis essential oil is at the core of the fragrance. The central ingredient around which others whirl.  Sensemilla is in fact the name for a super potent variety of marijuana, and I wrote the perfume keeping in mind the name it was to have. Therefore Sensemilla is a full fledged Hemp perfume.” Abdes Salaam

Yes, it is indeed, and it smells wonderful. The 100% natural materials include hemp absolute, cocoa, neroli, tuberose, narcissus, and cedar. The assertive opening is green and peppery, and soon begins to smell like ….lavender! soft green lavender, not sharp herbal lavender. This must be the hemp/neroli/narcissus accord, lemony-orange fresh citrus mixed with herbs and greens….mmm, it’s heavenly.

As it dries down the herbal effect becomes drier and more earthy, and is partnered with the scent of mown hay on the wind, faintly sweet. The green becomes more watery and vegetal, and in the base, there’s a swirl of aromatics, greens, resins, smoke, and vague florals. The natural materials blend together seamlessly, making transitions smooth and creating a sensation of pure relaxation and comfort. Not one note stands out or is jarring, the scent evolves like a slow-moving quiet river of soft pleasure.

Hemp is not an easy note to work with – it has a really strong medicinal aroma which is oily and leathery and can be overpowering. But Abdes Salaam, who is self-taught by the way, has the unique talent of being able to take difficult notes and render them with a soft touch, which makes them beautiful. All of his scents that I’ve worn seem to possess this quality, which I can only describe as an inner light.

“… I chose to make natural perfumes as someone chooses to work with precious metals and rare gemstones instead of plastic beads and pearls of colored glass. …I always wanted the real thing at any cost, and in the world of perfumery the real simply means the natural. There has been no ideology in my choice, only discovering the truth…”

Sensemilla is not an ordinary perfume, it’s extraordinary, and worth trying. Now that marijuana is (almost) legal in Canada, you can completely ignore the perfumer’s humorous but cautionary note – see below -  and apply Sensemilla with abandon BEFORE you enter our country!

Warning: Sinsemilla is a Hemp perfume and you should avoid wearing when crossing borders. Police dogs may follow your trail. Abdes Salaam, perfumer

Sensemilla is listed in our decant store. Decants are $7.00 for 1  ml.