Invasion Barbare seems to the best-known of any of Parfums MDCI's fragrances and I waited far too long to try it out, especially given that it's a fougere, a style that I'm always intrigued by, as I feel that fougeres are often done decently well but are rarely done excellently.
I think IB flirts with excellence. The predictable lavender dominance is coupled with a relatively strong citrus opening of bergamot and grapefruit that lasts into heart before being overtaken by the spicy cardamom, eventually settling into a rugged patchouli base. I don't get much sweetness from the vanilla at all---at best a smoothness comes from the musk, though, perhaps. The drydown still feels mainly like lavender and cardamom with a hint of patchouli.
In the fougere realm, I definitely prefer Invasion Barbare to Fougere Royale, as IB is simply more inviting and less acerbic. But IB is pricier, at $250 for 75ml (on Luckyscent), and despite its performance, which is outstanding, it's a slightly tough sell.
7 out of 10
In a specifically and historically defined way of the term "chypre" I wonder whether this epithet is applied correctly to the product in question. There are, however, in IB certain features characteristic of a typical chypre fragrance, and maybe one could call it a 'chyproid' scent.
For starters, the citrus-bergamot opening blast is typical for a chypre, although in IB there is soooo much more to it. It is combined with a delightful violet chord and with lashings of aldehydes and cardamom, with a whiff of herbal goodness under the surface. The overall impression of this opening potpourri is quite unique, original and very well crafted. A top-notch opening phase.
In the drydown lavender is more evident, lavender being the second characteristic of a classic chypre that is present here. This lavender is not sweet, not really softish-floral and carries a more herbal than a floral-blossom connotation. What this lavender has instead is an underlying soft and slightly spicy powderiness, a mildly chalky powderiness that has cuncurrent traditional as well as contemporaneous undertones that complement each other well.
This all is gradually sweetened in the base by a soft and never cloying vanilla aroma, and only later the third component associated with chypres moves to the fore: a light and discreet gingery white musk, but the harsh edginess and mossy components so typical of the classic chypre are conspicuous by their absence. The end game is powdery vanilla above all.
I get moderate sillage, very good projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin, with the last couple of hours being very close to my skin.
A delicious and invigorating cluster of too notes raises this composition way above average, although the subsequent development does not keep up the expectation that is raised initially. Nonetheless, a good spring chyproid, versatile and suitable for all but the most formal and ceremonious occasions, and one of the best creations this house has released. 3.75/5.
Incredibly well blended and balanced scent.a classic fougere timeless and modern at the same time.it refreshing without being stereotypically fresh and retro without being dated.a lavender powerhouse that slowly fades into a atypically sterile,soapy musk.
Complex,masculine,Classy,Subtle,spicy but smooth and sophisticated.
It starts of a little strong of violet leaf and citruses.although quickly dries down into a mellow, sweet and soapy in a good way lavender,vanilla and musk.makes the way a real gentleman should smell fresh and confident.great for a special autumn evening.
Longevity?Great on my skin.
Glad I ordered a small decant instead of a bottle of this. The violet leaf is too vegetal and strong for my tastes. Try before you buy this one.
What more can be said about this one? It’s the go-to modern fougere fragrance. It doesn’t smell modern — but few fougere’s do. Its true strength is not so much in its technical virtuosity (although it’s very, very well done), but rather in the perceived effect it provides for the wearer. Terms like “classic,” “refined,” “gentlemanly,” “executive,” “briefcase,” “board meeting,” “rolodex,” and “secretary,” all spring to mind; this is a scent for people seeking to cultivate a specific image of themselves and project it outwards, forcefully. It’s the olfactory equivalent of a tailored suit, and, I’d posit, that that’s the wardrobe it would compliment the best.
Scent-wise, it has a powerful violet-leaf and orris presence akin to what’s in Fahrenheit only it veers much less edgy and the clean powder is amped up via a slightly dusty and not-too-floral lavender. It has fantastic sillage, and because it doesn’t have an unusually overwhelming presence, you could flap your arms around like a monkey and enjoy the scent bubble it produces. There’s no denying that it’s a great composition with impeccable blending, but it’s quite formal and very specific in what it does. Frankly I’m surprised by how popular it is among younger people as it’s a scent that’s very grounded in the past; and, even with its reliance on modern materials, it still smells anachronistic. With that said, it’s a beautiful perfume, but it’s a tad too primped and coiffed for my personal taste. I want danger and interest and excitement and this is more about "planning for the future" and "401K" and "out of town golf trips." For me, it’s basically the olfactory equivalent of an insurance seminar, albeit one that pulled out all the budgetary stops.