This lovely green scent is made of more than 250 notes, mostly natural. Henry Dunay is a well-regarded American maker of fine jewelry (www.henrydunay.com). In 1998 his brother, perfumer Richard Loniewski, created Sabi for the jeweler. Information on this perfume was not commonly available, so I contacted Henry Dunay directly and received the following ingredient list:
Top Notes of Italian Mandarin, Carnation, Angelica Seed, Orangeflower Absolute, & Bergamot Oil;
Middle Notes of Hyacinth, Jonquil Absolute, Jasmine Absolute French, Narcisse, Violet Leave, & Tuberose;
Base Notes of East Indian Sandalwood, Haitian Vetivert, Tonka, & Musk.
Some compare Sabi to Estee Lauder’s perfume “Private Collection”, Lancome’s “Climat”, the original “Sung” by Alfred Sung, or “Deneuve” by Catherine Deneuve (another of my personal favorites). It is commonly thought of as old-fashioned, but I hardly find this the case. It seems as if any perfume that doesn’t scream “Raspberry Mochachino” is considered dowdy these days. My take on Sabi is that it is a green symphonic floral; that is, the notes synthesize to create a completely new note. It is difficult to separate them out and identify them individually. This often occurs in perfumes where there are many ingredients, such as Joy by Jean Patou and Beautiful by Estee Lauder. For sure, there are green herbaceous notes, with musky white flowers (not gardenia, or trumpet flower, but a unique floral note with that insipid cloying quality that both possess-the jonquil contributes here). It is a somewhat linear fragrance in that the top notes do not give way to the heart or the base, but, rather, join them. The Tonka provides enough creaminess to give it nice body, without the gourmand note that Vanilla would contribute. The Sandal and Vetiver/t also combine nicely to give a woody, spicy base that does not drown out the rest-the Vetivert keeps it buoyant. Sabi manages to be fresh and sparkling, but to have nice weight at the same time. Think of an Alsatian Pinot Gris.
As much as I think this perfume does not match my personality, I love to wear it (as much as I can afford!).
Sabi is available in Eau de Parfum and Pure Parfum concentrations. One of the main critiques of this fragrance is the high price point-$110 for 50ml of EdP and $225 for 30ml of perfume. $$$
Why only one review? Sabi is a true beauty and has been around for years. I'm wearing it today for only the first time (thank you ever so, Haunani), but I'm compelled to talk up its elegance without hesitation. Where most fragrances perform the notes of a mere chamber orchestra, Sabi conducts a full symphonic experience (think Debussy played pianissimo). The varied florals are restrained, tied up with a fine ribbon of old-world powder and soap. I'm sure the whole garden is in attendance: rose, peony, lilac, iris, lily.
I'm surprised, after all this time sampling fragrances, that one can insist something new of me as Sabi does: "cleavage only" it taught me. Wrist skin isn't warm enough, pliable enough to cushion and time-release this scent. Mild, demure, feminine, I almost missed that it inherited some green chypre framing.
This is a beautiful green chypre that is perfect for any weather. At first, it is a little sweet and rather floral; but after it settles, it comes into perfect balance. There is some galbanum in this for sure, and the green note persists all the way into the drydown. At the end it is fresh and green, with just a hint of the former florals. This really lasts, by the way; I can still smell it faintly almost twenty-four hours after application. Captivating, uplifting.