The original Bambou is a woody oriental in the same vein as Tuvache, Tabu, Sirocco and Youth Dew.
There is also a cocoa-coffee effect, noticed by Barbara Herman.
The re-formulation comes in so many varieties of bottles it's almost impossible to blind buy the original, which I find to be quite rare. However, I finally managed to secure a sample of the vintage and it is indeed in the same rich, resinous, dark oriental vein as the four mentioned above.
It seems Dana started it all with Tabu in 1932. Bambou followed in 1934, then Sirocco same year 1934, followed a decade later by Tuvache and finally Youth Dew. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and the genre is indeed rich and sensual, proceeding you into any room you enter. The vintage Bambou is however more restrained and closer to the skin than the others.
Note: The reformulation is nothing like it, being instead a copy of Guerlain's rose and muguet dominated Nahema, than an attempt to go the oriental route.
The original date of release is 1934, not 1984 as stated above.
Notes: Lavender, jasmine, rose, carnation, muguet, cedar, tonka, musk, sandalwood.
First Edit: On repeated wearing, I find it to be also describable as a dark, rich leather.
30th April, 2014 (last edited: 12th June, 2014)
I find 'Bambou' really satisfying; it does 'something' special for me -- something both nostalgic and comforting.
It reminds me of chamomile bathing products -- the German ones my mother always bought, which were especially for children.
Funnily, it also reminds me of 'cheap' cologne! Though not 'cheap', meaning sub-par, rather 'cheap' meaning "economical"; I am conjuring the variety, which Mexican markets sell -- usually in plastic splash-vials, that are both really soapy and "bracing". Do I need to mention it? -- the kind my Grandfather wore when I was small.
For me the associations are charming, and I am so delighted to have met this refreshing, casual green scent.
Finally, with a "clean", soapy, affordable, unisex classic out there of this obvious good-breeding and austerity, why would anyone waste their money on the pretentious, overblown, "just-showered" offerings of "Gendarme"...or "Clean"???
23rd January, 2010 (last edited: 10th April, 2010)
As best I can tell, I have this in the original formulation and bottle concept; I hadn't really realized there was a newer version (formulation and bottle, I take it) until I looked over at Perfumebay, where they have both the old and new Bambou (as well as the old and new Weil Antilope.) Anyway, now I'm very curious about the new version, which is offered in EDP strength, because I adore this original version but have only ever found it in the rather weak eau de cologne. It's a beautiful and very different fragrance, vaguely reminsicent of some Guerlains thanks to a similar soft, almost velvety roundness that many more modern formulations don't possess. The combination of topnotes is really exceptional and lends the blend much of its unique character; it's a green opening but not sharp or snappy, rather mellowed by the fairly noticeable apple. And as the fragrance transitions into the heart, the apple (which is a relatively sturdy note) stays in the mix and gives the overall composition a very elusive sense of cinnamon, which is clearly not one of the notes. Due to its uniqueness, this is a difficult scent to classify - it's a bit green, a bit fruity, a bit chypre and a bit woody. The florals are understated and not very noticeable, with the exception of a bit of muguet. I would highly recommend this one; in EdC strength it's perfect not only for very hot weather but also for any other time of year due to its soft loveliness.