Lovely new packaging of Tobacco Vanille, apparently... jokes aside, the similarity between the two is terribly clear and strong. If you aren't familiar with either of the two: sweetish spiced tobacco. The only – and frankly negligible – differences I notice are that Tabac Rouge smells somehow more spicy, more Oriental, a bit more dry and with a bit more tonka and beeswax. More sweet too, slightly fruitier. And most of all, with an overall slightly more “natural” evolution. Tobacco Vanille is really “monolithic” and heavily linear, built to assure you a full night of underwear garments dropping at your passage; while Tabac Rouge smells like its hippie twin brother, with some more shades and nuances that come and go, and an evolution making it drier, nuttier and darker as hours pass. But you have really to sit down and do a thorough side by side comparison to get all these differences; other than that, Tabac Rouge is just a solid, perfectly well-made and most of all, way cheaper alternative to Tobacco Vanille.
don't get the Tobacco Vanille comparison, this to me is Tobacco Beeswax slightly reminiscent of Killian's Back to Black...great longevity and sillage, great in performance/price ratio ...
I had tried my hardest to like Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille. It certainly didn't help matters that my wife hated when I wore it. I also found it very linear in a bad way. Tabac Rouge is being compared to Tobacco Vanille, and I feel unjustly.
This is a superior scent in all regards. It's deeper, more evolving, and certainly more wearable. Plus, my wife loves it!! She said she could tell there was a faint tobacco smell, but not like the burning cigar she got with TV.
The notes that accompany the base of sweet tobacco and musk are what I believe make this fragrance put Tom Ford's creation to shame! I absolutely adore the cinnamon, ginger and incense at the opening. It softens enough to be worn in just about any situation, and is definitely modern enough to satisfy those looking for something new. A thumbs up, and a solid 4 out of 5 stars!!
Wonderful fragrance. Excellent. Dominant notes include Cinnamon, Ginger, Tobacco, and a Honey/Benzoin accord which might as well be interpreted as Vanilla. Phaedon's website lists the tobacco as Turkish tobacco absolute.
The cinnamon/ginger combination is what I noticed first after applying Tabac Rouge. It's intense and spicy, a strong cinnamon note with a piquant bite supplied by the ginger. Underneath it, the tobacco is fresh and smooth, providing structure in the middle without ever becoming too strong. And finally, a lush honey-benzoin accord, which is soft and sweet, holding everything together at the base. If these notes appeal to you, you will absolutely like this, as Tabac Rouge features a well-balanced structure composed of top notch ingredients. There's nothing cloying or overwhelming about it, nothing grating on the nostrils, and it performs well in terms of projection and longevity.
Of course, you can't review Tabac Rouge without comparing it to Tobacco Vanille. The comparison is required, in my opinion, because these two are very, very similar. However, there's a few differences which may sway you in one direction or another. And since both fragrances are excellent, it really comes down to a matter of personal taste.
Let's start with price. Although I believe price really shouldn't be much of a factor once you're spending over $150 on any frag, it's good to know what you're working with:
Tobacco Vanille: A 3.4 oz/100 ml bottle currently retails for $295. The 1.7 oz. bottles retail for $215.
Tabac Rouge: A 3.4 oz/100 ml bottle currently retails for $160
Here are the main differences between Tabac Rouge and Tobacco Vanille, in my experience.
1) The opening: The spices in Tabac Rouge are clearly cinnamon and ginger. They sit in a higher register than those in Tobacco Vanille and have more piquancy or "bite" to them. The spices in TV are a bit darker (not much...remember, any difference between these two is subtle) dominated by cinnamon but also with an apparent clove note that I don't get in Tabac Rouge.
2) Cocoa: In my review for Tobacco Vanille I said that it's about 3 parts vanilla, 2 parts tobacco, and 1 part cocoa. I get a definite cocoa note in Tobacco Vanille, blended with the vanilla, that I don't get in Tabac Rouge. It's just not there.
3) The weight and density: Everything in Tobacco Vanille is bigger, louder, and more tenacious than in Tabac Rouge. The notes are more dense and a bit deeper. For example, Tobacco Vanille's tobacco note smells nearly identical to Rouge's tobacco, but it's more robust and upfront. Same for the vanilla notes, but Tobacco Vanille's is richer and seems to have greater depth.
4) Performance: The longevity and projection of Tobacco Vanille is insane. Projection 10/10. Longevity 10/10. You'll get 16 hours or more out of TV with solid projection for at least 12.
I'd give Tabac Rouge a 7/10 for projection, and 8/10 for longevity. But that's not necessarily a bad thing...8 hours with a foot and a half projection is plenty for me.
5) Balance: While both scents are well-composed I get a little more note separation with Tabac Rouge. At times the notes in Tobacco Vanille can kind of run into each other, and that doesn't happen in Tabac Rouge.
So which one's for you?
If you want big, deep, rich notes with insane longevity and projection, a bit of a chocolate touch, and something that will get you noticed without fail, then Tobacco Vanille is the right choice.
However, if you prefer something quieter (though still noticeable), with a spicier cinnamon note in the top, and maybe a little more finesse throughout, then Tabac Rouge is your option.
If you enjoy tobacco, vanilla, cinnamon and spice, you really can't go wrong with either one of these, and you should just pick the one that fits your style. They're both great. Although I owned and enjoyed Tobacco Vanille, I'm happy to have discovered Tabac Rouge because personally, I prefer it. It's subtlety is a better match to my personality and I can wear it more often than the Tom Ford.
In some cases "clone frags" are annoying, but I enjoy having two options in this scenario. Neither fragrance is superior, but both are certainly better suited for specific contexts and personalities. Choose wisely ;)
03rd November, 2014 (last edited: 17th November, 2014)
I have tobacco vanille. And I now have phaedon tabac rouge. I really think they are fraternal twins. They both come from the same family and you can tell they are closely related yet they also have their own personality that lets you be able to tell them apart. If I could only have one? Honestly the phaedon. It is true its not as intense as TV but it is by no means a weak fragrance. And I like the phaedon at all stages of its life. Tobacco vanille I need to let breath for a minute before something odd in the top burns off. The average person may not be able to tell this apart from TV but side by side you can spot the nuances that set them apart. Neither is technically worse or better. They are just slightly different. But I think the quality of the phaedon is every bit as good as the Tom Ford. It really will come down to which you like better. Still you cant compare these two without pointing out the significant savings you get with the phaedon. To me it makes it a no brainer. But still try before you buy and you may still find TV is the one you like more. But in this case you have a very very viable alternative to tobacco vanille without sacrificing quality. Maybe a tiny bit of projection but honestly some feel TV is too much. This is easily in my top 5 favorite scents. And even though I still really love tobacco vanille I really prefer the phaedon.
EDITED TO ADD: I have been really wearing this a lot and I have found it actually performs better on me that Tobacco Vanille. This is easily my favorite tobacco scent of all time and I dont know if anything could knock it from that top spot.
02nd August, 2014 (last edited: 01st October, 2014)