Tabu (1932)
    by Dana




    Average Rating: 3.5

    Based on 208 ratings
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    Tabu information

    Tabu is a women's fragrance by Dana. The scent was launched in 1932

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    $14.63
    90ml Cologne
    $19.99
    90ml Cologne
    $24.00
    88ml Cologne

    Reviews of Tabu


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    Showing 1 to 6 of 73 reviews.

    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    The great granddaddy of all amber vanilla patchouly scents, Tabu comes on strong and does not give up.

    Turin, who gave it only three stars and called it a "cheap oriental," correctly names it as "the Ghengis Khan of orientals."

    Barbara Herman tells us that Dana told perfumer Jean Carles to "make a perfume a prostitute would wear." I believe he has succeeded.

    This warm, amber, rich, vanilla/cinnamon scent fools one since there is no vanilla or cinnamon in it.

    Roja Dove tells us that the overdose of patchouli (10%), combined with the clove note of carnation creates the effect. The vanilla is actually produced from the benzoin resin of the styrax tree, as Barbara Herman informs us. Add oak moss and you have a four powerhouse note scent that was unique for 1932.

    Derivation is the sincerest form of flattery in the short memory of the perfume world. Tuvache copied Tabu in 1948 with their Tuvara, softening and rounding out the notes. It had another incarnation in 1952 when Estee Lauder created her most popular scent, Youth Dew, also a copy of both Tabu nd Tuvara.

    Top notes: Bergamot, Orange, Neroli, Coriander
    Heart notes: Carnation (Clove Bud), Jasmine, Ylang, Rose, Narcissus, Clover
    Base notes: Patchouli, Civet, Cedar, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Benzoin, Amber, Musk, Oak moss.

    This is one to definitely try, but be warned, a little bit goes a long way.

    Of the three my favorite is Tuvara - I find it warmer than either Tabu or Youth Dew and it has softer edges. To each his./her own.

    10th October, 2014

    Oldbiddy's avatar



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    I love this one! I have the cello bottle EDC from Walmart. I have to watch it that i do not drown myself in this one as I will assault everyone around me with the fragrance cloud i exude!!! lol

    22 July, 2014

    Oviatt's avatar

    United States United States

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    I am not sure about recent versions of this, but the old stuff was amazing. Warm and sultry in a way that still--just barely--remained ladylike. I read somewhere that "to appreciate Opium, you have to understand Tabu" and I think that that is right--it laid the groundwork for so many ambery, animalic orientals that came later. A lady I knew--sadly gone now--always wore this as her signature--a true lady in every way (a grande dame, really), she always trailed a cloud of rich, sultry Tabu--completely at odds with her correct and proper image. She could afford any perfume she wanted, but loyally stuck to Tabu even as it became a drugstore scent. One of the truly great perfumes and while clearly not for everybody, for those it suited, it became a hallmark. Wonderful advertising over the years, too.

    11th December, 2013

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    This is an excellent fragrance for the women who love bold scents!

    Tabu, ah, how memorable you are.

    When I was eleven, my mother came across Tabu in the local pharmacy and bought it for me, despite me not really much enjoying spicy, wood scents (I'd always preferred floral), and I used it till the bottle was empty. While I grew to like it, much to my overall surprise, I didn't purchase it again till today as I felt the scent was too 'mature' for a girl of eleven, or even to a girl in her teens. Aside from that, every pharmacy in my area suddenly stopped selling Tabu. I couldn't restock, even if I wanted to. However, upon moving to a new town (which to my delight, sells Tabu everywhere in truckloads and in many different forms, such as a shampoo and shower gel, EDC and EDT, bodyspray and talcum powder at a VERY affordable price), I've been able to rediscover it and appreciate it, as a seventeen year old.

    The EDT scent on me is very warm, smooth and rich, and seems to stick very easily and linger on everything, and lasts for a good amount of time. It smells, to me, of amber, sandalwood and patchouli, and has a musk hint to it, but very little, if anything at all, of orange as quite a few seem to have described. However, I can certainly smell spice in the top notes, and the slightest hint of rose and ylang-ylang, but only the slightest. It's a very womanly scent and when I wear it, I feel confident as it has a very classy aura to it I don't get off other perfumes that I've owned, or do own. The perfumes I currently own are fresh and youthful, which I enjoy, but Tabu has a dark charm to it that personally makes me feel grown up and mature, and it makes me feel like I can command anyone! Really a confidence lifter. If you're bold, go for Tabu!

    25 October, 2013

    cheryl's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    I'll keep it short as others have written so much of interest here. My bottle is a vintage cologne (handsome bottle) much like the image presented here. It is old and it is a cologne, so I am making some allowances that there are elements that are missing in its structure. What I get: Sex on Rootbeer. Or maybe nutmeggy sex. Or maybe excitable extroverted rum times. There's a booziness and nitromusk all sending a vibe of easy ripe warmth. This is no means an intellectual perfume, but I have found myself putting a lot of thought into it. How does it speak to the name, the context, the concept? It seems to just grab your skin spread out and send its message. In a heated booziness.
    I am reserving judgement because I think my cologne is not quite the old time real deal. I just don't know how close it is.

    11th April, 2013

    iivanita's avatar

    Croatia Croatia

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    to oversimplify this from the start , vintage Tabu edt smells like sweet Bal a Versailles without so much civet and powdery notes,

    It opens up with some fresh citrus notes and clove note beeing the most dominant through all stages of development, its sweetened by creamy sandalwood and amber-benzoin notes, that at some stages it reminded me either of some therapeutic special honey sirup, or some cinnamon mixed with honey, this is definitely spicy floral perfume with just a hint of civet note, and the dry down gets just a touch powdery, more creamy, it develops beautifully on the skin, but
    This is very much classic perfumery , carefully built and done, that to my modern nose ismells like a picture with many brown colour shadings layered one over the other, showing some melancholic autumn scenery, its warm, yet bit sad:-) its from the old age, just as Bal a Versailles, i suppose what made them think of woman of the night is this extremely sweet note, for that age i think this was considered as lust:-) , unlike today, every perfume would be considered for women of the night:-)

    I like it but i almost got an headache, so from my personal taste i must go neutral:-)

    15 January, 2013

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