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.
Invasion Barbare opens in aromatic citrus ambiance. The aromatics are due to the violet leaves, which at first provide a delightful level of aromatics, but within fifteen minutes the violet leaves have morphed into a solid, penetrating accord. Not only do I strongly dislike a piercing violet leaf note, the violet leaf in Invasion Barbare comes on so strongly that I have a difficult time smelling anything else. What I do manage to smell under the leaf (which lasts for quite a while) is thyme, cardamom, and cedar, and that part of the scent I find quite beautiful, but the annoying violet leaf moots that point. Additionally and unfortunately, I don’t get any sweet. All things considered, I recognize this as a quality fragrance that I have little interest in.
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.