Notes: grapefruit, bergamot, violet leaves, white thyme, cardamom, lavender, ginger, cedarwood, vanilla, musk.
MDCI stands for Marchal Design & Créations Indépendantes, after Claude Marchal, Parfums MDCI’s founder and owner. Wonderfully affable and a true gentleman, who recently was gracious enough to grant me a look into this houses extensive line; with the firm favorite being a modern master piece and one worthy of the infamous Luca Turin’s 5-star rating.
“Invasion Barbare is an elegant and soulful portrayal of a man of every woman´s dreams. He exudes warmth, intelligence and sensitivity as well as strength. Yet sensitive as he is, there is a barbarian hidden under his refined exterior. Like the ”Perfect Man” Invasion Barbare combines elegant understatement with lots of warmth and an unexpected, mesmerizing depth. The composition is built on the contrast of freshness and warmth, on the intriguing, almost peppery at the beginning play between citrusy notes, lavender, spices, vanilla and woods. The blend is extremely well crafted and as a result Invasion Barbare is a fascinating fragrance. A soft-spoken fragrance, there is nothing forceful about it, yet it possesses an almost hypnotic charisma.”
Formerly known as SB1, Invasion Barabre was launched in 2006 by perfumer Stéphanie Bakouche who set forth a stylistically modern aromatic fougère based on tried and true classical principles. What’s immediately apparent is the complexity and the quality of materials used in the composition, which exhibit a vague and comforting familiarity.
Wonderfully elegant, refined and well mannered in its opening; which is made up of a modern exuberance of crisp interplay between fresh lavender, violets and citrus and a warm contrast of subtle spices, which exude a gentle yet firm charm and radiance. Evolving into a more classical structure, cedarwood and musk add a solid masculine base, rounded off by a dry bourbon vanilla which ties in superbly and seamlessly with the zest and sweet warmth of the opening. Masterfully executed and presented, speaking with a firm and bold authority without ever resorting to being brazen, I would say that the name is half way between a misnomer and accurate. It’s all down to your perspective and how you perceive the overall concept. With that said, the fragrance is true to the demands of the brand: elegant, precious, masculine and extremely sophisticated.
Occasion: Semi-formal, Formal
Walking the Piazza Barberini in Rome, I stop at the most elegant barbershop I have ever seen. Marble floors, crystal chandeliers, supple and glittering barber chairs. Everything about this salon speaks of quality and old world sophistication. When my $300 haircut is finished, I would expect my barber to dust me off with finest talcum powder, and it would smell like Invasion Barbare.
Smooth, creamy talcum powder sums up Invasion Barbare. There's a little fruit in the background, but it's talcum powder from start to finish. Natural smelling, high quality ingredients, very good projection and magnificent longevity. But still, at the end of the day, talcum powder.
I just can't think of many occasions when I want to smell like talcum powder so badly that it would justify the expense of this scent. Invasion Barbare is a fragrance I can respect, even admire, but not particularly want to wear.
WOW. This may just be my favorite scent so far. The top notes didn't really impress me and I wasn't expecting much out of the bottle, but about an hour later I sniffed my wrist and was just intoxicated. I agree that the name is misleading, it's not dirty or barbaric, but it is as delicious as a clean smell can get. It's sweet but still masculine, and it smells refined but rather young to my nose. Maybe I'm wrong about that, it's just my opinion. I just see young guys (like myself) with a lot of money (unlike myself) wearing this and feeling all cocky, yet the smell is good enough to be a work of art as far as I'm concerned. Add to that the fact that eleven hours after applying it was time for me to shower and the smell was still going--though of course it was a bit close by that time, but it was still wafting from my clothing. My skin does tend to hold scents for a pretty long time but this was something else, it would have lasted several more hours if I didn't have to shower. Just amazing, wish there were more buying options at lower prices but sometimes you have to pay for the good stuff.
I'm not a fan of lavender based fragrances and I usually bash many them. but there are a few that I can't deny how great they are and this is definitely one of them or I would say the best!
This is one of the most complex fragrances that I've tested in my life.
Lots of high quality notes blended layer by layer masterfully together to create this beautiful masculine fragrance.
At the opening I can smell lots of notes that surprised me how they mixed together like this without getting messy!
There is a semi sweet vanilla mixed with some animalic musk followed by aromatic and kind of fresh lavender, some spices specially cardamom and a little bit of leather.
It's semi fresh and clean, creamy sweet, musky and animalic, spicy and finally a little naughty and dirty because of soft leather note.
After a while and in the dry down than animalic musky scent disappears and now I can smell more spices plus a little bit of woods and some earthiness from patchouli! Very busy but at the same time very well balanced without getting harsh and messy. you can smell every note one by one without too much trouble!
The base is a dark and very mature aromatic herbal and smoky leathery scent followed by some woods, spices and earthy patchouli.
Very rich masculine scent.
The scent is not something new but the quality, blending and overall scent is mesmerizing!
Projection is strong and longevity is around 5-6 hours on my skin.
A masterpiece indeed!
It's a great choice for fall and spring and maybe winter but it's too much for summer!
Perfumer Stéphanie Bakouche, 2007
I'm all for dismissing gender entirely in perfume. Or at least fucking with it. It’s been noted that men and women relate differently to their fragrances if they wear only one ("The One"). For women it's The Signature Perfume. For men it's merely Old Faithful. The implication is that women are notable for their desire to be noticed, to stand out while men are simply creatures of habit; that women want a screamer like Dior Poison and men will wear only [insert brand] eau de cologne. This set of assumptions is both limiting and false. Still, Old Faithful does point to an odd set of circumstances that has lead to some outstanding men's fragrances. (See The Masculine Chypre.)
There are loads of women's perfumes that I can imagine as The One. Clinique Aromatics Elixir. Lauder Private Collection. Robert Piguet Futur. Cuir de Lancome. Amouage Jubilation 25. Parfums de Nicolai Odalisque. There are also all the Edmond Roudnitska unisex perfumes (unisex by public acclamation if not by marketing): Dior Eau Sauvage, Diorella, Frederic Malle Parfum de Thérèse. These perfumes, while gorgeous and complex, are conceptually easy for women to wear.
The One for men, and there are surprisingly many of them, have a more complicated set of goals to fulfill. They need to meet the needs of the male ego. They must balance individuality with group affiliation and the need to be noticed with the inability to ask for help. They balance the complications and fragility of masculinity on the fulcrum of beauty. (See Masculine Fragrances for Men.)
The relationship of The One to beauty is complex for men. The fragrance must be attractive from all angles, from start to finish yet not imply femininity or homosexuality. And despite my vocabulary, it must never be referred to as either perfume or beautiful. (Cologne and handsome will suffice.) Its beauty must be recognized instantaneously yet appreciated over the course of years. These perfumes tend to become classics over the years even if they were initially unconventional. They lead the way. Examples are Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel, Aramis by Aramis (granted, a version of the 'feminine' Gres Cabochard), Old Spice, Guerlain Habit Rouge, Caron Pour un Homme, Chanel Antaeus. Many if not most of the 20th century French men's chypres (Chanel, Givenchy, Rochas...) and fougères (Hermes, Azzaro, Paco Rabanne...) make the grade.
To my mind there are really only three. They are flawless, unmatched and I would happily wear any of them forever. Guerlain Vetiver, Knize Ten, Andy Tauer l'Air du Desert Marocain. Well, make that four. I’ve been wearing Parfum MDCI Invasion Barbare.
Invasion Barbare's apparent simplicity belies it's breathtaking beauty. It alludes to other genres, the fougère, the oriental, even the woody floral, but smells original. Its grapefruit and bergamot notes harmonize with lavender and give lift. The cedar and violet leaf notes add a pitched, quietly hissy quality. A daily-wear perfume in addition to its other tasks, must also be comfortable, a quality typically associated with warmth and a roundedness. Invasion Barbare nixes this expectation and stays crisp 12 hours later.
An odd aromatherapeutic property of lavender is that it is both stimulating and sedative. Invasion Barbare functions similarly and suits all the tones and moods of a day. It is graceful. Is there really any other criterion for a perfume you’d wear every day?