Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Tabac Original by Mäurer & Wirtz

Total Reviews: 97
In some ways I guess it could be said that Tabac by Mäurer & Wirtz (1959) is Germany's answer to America's medicine chest stalwart Shulton Old Spice (1937), and in some ways has held up better in the long run, since it is still very much used in Germany, rather than being sold part and parcel to a healthcare conglomerate like Old Spice then exploited as a brand label until all meaning was lost. In that respect, Tabac is a rare survivor of the corporate bloat and downmarket destruction that has afflicted most drugstore perfumes of yore, to be either replaced with cheapo aerosol body sprays like Axe/Lynx or become a pale veneer of what they once were sold only in gift sets around Christmas. For better or worse (perhaps better or wirtz), Tabac has remained the beast it originally was, so much that it now bears the subtitle of "original" to differentiate it from competitors and its own host of modernized flankers. The smell of Tabac is not really tobacco, but neither is the smell of Old Spice strictly spicy, as both are of that rare breed of men's oriental which borrow much from the orientals sold to women through much of the early to mid 20th century, just with Tabac being intentionally masculine by design (whereas Old Spice was originally for women). The results of intentional masculinity superimposed on what is otherwise an oriental accord conventional for the day includes the sucking out of nearly all sweetness, and beefing up of base notes that appealed to men at the time.

Tabac was composed by Arturo Jordi-Pey, who spent more time behind the scenes at Firmenich than composing perfumes for big name houses, despite being widely-respected as a master nose within the industry, meaning you're more likely to see his name in a book on perfume method than on a perfume. He must have looked at what made Old Spice so appealing to men, then took a look at what men loved about dry leather chypres like Javier Serra's Russian Leather/MEM English Leather (1949), combined them, and embellished them into something unique. The opening is fairly "knock you back" stuff, combining bracing aldehydes, bergamot, petitgrain, spices, and some powdery tones. The barbershop aesthetic is actually really strong with Tabac in this stage, but it's no wonder since this stuff was meant to be an entire men's grooming solution. The heart of carnation is dotted with cardamom, clove, lavender, and geranium, but honestly the carnation/clove (both powered by eugenol) dominate here. The isobutyl quinoline leather of Robert Piguet Bandit (1944) fame is also here, but so is amber, oakmoss, vetiver (for smoke), sandalwood, tonkin musk (or proxy), olibanum, and coumarin (for tobacco). Wear time varies by concentration but the original eau de cologne is deceptively long-legged, while later EdT sprays can choke a crowd if not careful. I'd call this a cool weather scent but if you enjoy Tabac unironically, you probably don't give a damn about when or wear you use it. Like most older masculines, any sense of context has long since been erased with the passage of time (and relevance).

Fans of Clubman Pinaud Special Blend (year unknown) may enjoy Tabac as a rough clove-heavy leather scent with rounded oriental charm, but that heavy plonk of animalic musk in the base removes any preconceived notion of casual use from the start. This was and still is a "man's man" stereotype of a fragrance, coming across surly, brusque, individualistic, and not foolin' around. It's almost amusing to see the Germans "out-America" a mostly-American style of masculinity, but so much time has passed that this kind of thing isn't really stylish in America anymore, meaning something like Tabac might be seen as a challengingly exotic fragrance at best, or unforgivably dowdy and aggressive at worst (much like Old Spice). Wet-shaving enthusiasts are probably apt to enjoy the kind of rough-hewn manliness on display with such a dense and dry, spicy leather accord as Tabac has, and if you want to play into the German leather bondage stereotype, this will also work very well for you. Tabac is sold in the US but never gained traction like some of the Italian barbershop staples did, so while you might see people stocking Pino Silvestro (1955) or Acqua di Selva (1949) stateside (especially in New York city), you aren't likely to find Tabac outside an independent perfume shop that specializes in oddities or vintage brands. One thing is for sure: if your Old Spice isn't old enough, your English Leather not English enough, or your Jovan Musk (1972) not musky enough, Tabac has you covered for the price of a beer. Just remember that this chap drinks Paulaner or Bitburger, and not that pissy American beer, Thumbs up.
14th February, 2020
Very Nice Smell. Aftershave smells much better than EDT.
03rd December, 2019 (last edited: 08th December, 2019)
Tabac is old school. Not bad but gives off a too-much-ingredients vibe. To me similar to potpourri, baby powder or skin cream. Lanvin does this too with Arpège but somehow that gets away with it in the feminine spectrum.

The pepper and muskiness that do surface save it.

I rate it neutral in this day and age yet it does particularly suit men aged 50+ going for classical. Which is also Tabac's main client base. Would rate it neutral to positive for them.
16th June, 2019 (last edited: 16th July, 2019)
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Dodgy mix of Old Spice and citrus cologne that doesn't work.
**
EdC formula
13th December, 2018 (last edited: 18th December, 2018)
Ifti Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Got out the shower
Got my !$*# together
When I'm good I'm good
When I'm Tabac I'm better.

Splash cologne - well groomed freshness. DuNez hits it on the head, a top splash for a satisfying few hrs.

No frills no nonsense masculine.
No offense.

Tidy.
11th September, 2018
Doing a side-by-side of vintage (1980s) and current (2018) Tabac Original cologne splash'es. Apart from the packaging (and when tweaking the current edition with pure oakmoss oil), there really ain't that much of a difference imo. Vtg has a bit more tobacco, current slightly more pronounced aldehydes. Longevity of current cologne is slightly better.

Same goes for the aftershaves (early 1970s and 2018), though the fatty aldehydes are just a bit more pronounced in the current rendition and vintage just a tad more floral. Longevity about the same. All in all very slight differences imo.
I really dig this fragrance. Bravo, Mäurer & Wirtz
26th June, 2018
Tabac is my Dad's everyday aftershave of choice, and it's a smell that brings back memories of the smells of childhood in a military family - along with the pressed uniforms, leather and shoe polish. Tabac is very much that kind of scent. It's that old school combination of citrus, florals and woods, like falling down through a forest: staring off fresh and fruity, becoming more floral and mossy and then gradually sinking into the forest floor. It's not subtle and there are certainly many better examples of this kind of scent out there, but there is certainly nothing at this price that really compares. It is a true classic.
17th March, 2018
It's worth trying Tabac Original but to me...not much special about.It smells exactly like the orange,lavender,and musk trio of Jovan Musk for Men.Replace that orange with lemon though and add a hint of cigarette tobacco to the mix and you have Tabac Original.
26th February, 2018
Tabac Original. If you were born in the 60's you've known this scent pretty much your entire life. It's what your favorite uncle smelled like when he picked you up as a little kid. When your Dad took you to his barbershop for your first haircut, this scent was on the apron that went around your neck. When you were in 7th grade, and you got your first razor and were taught how to shave, this scent was in the air over the bathroom sink. It's the fragrance all the priests wore to Friday night dinner parties at the Knights of Columbus social hall. Things change, but some really special things stay the same. That's Tabac Original.

Easy to find, inexpensive and smells fantastic. You should own a bottle.
19th January, 2018
White 300ml edc bottle.

Citrus, aldehydes, tobacco, lavender, the masculine floral trinity of carnation, geranium, and rose? Sure. It all says 'well-groomed' and at <$3/oz is a great deal for a great light splash that'll last a satisfying few hours.

When I desire something similar yet with a little more heft and with an additional leather and moss character, I reach for Dunhill for Men. Tabac Original = Dunhill for Men lite!




11th January, 2018
I LOVE it. This is truly a manly man type scent. I never recommend blind buys, until now. This is old school, but not your grandma's old school. This is the guy who got all the babes in 8th grade, the shy guy the chicks loved in HS, the dude who walked in the clubs and women just swooned, the wise-guy hanging out on the corner that every one wanted to be like. This is Sinatra singing "Thats Life", Sammy Davis dancing on stage and Dean Martin sipping something smooth on the rocks which a babe on each arm.
24th November, 2017
A classic, very much of the 1950's, recalling Shulton's Old Spice and with a definite nod to Chanel No.5 in the aldehydic topnotes. One of the most successful German brands and a great piece of heritage.
17th November, 2017 (last edited: 30th March, 2018)
This gets a thumbs up b/c you can get this for under $20 and it is a pleasant fragrance. It is a classic barbershop fragrance. There is nothing to make it stand out from others, but as I said, you can't go wrong for $16!
14th July, 2017
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Edc: One of the best barbershop soapy maculine fragrances out there and already over 15 years in my collection. The soapy-musky smell blended with ambery-flowery stuff is pretty addictive.
I did not try the newer bottles with straight logo yet and my review is based on the older version. I also recommend the aftershave and deodorant/anti perspirant of Tabac which all are excellent! Rating: 8.5/10
22nd October, 2016
If the top notes of this scent lasted forever I would wear this all the time.

I have once sampled the current version of Tabac at a Perfumania and can't for the life of me remember any details (always a bad sign), but I recently acquired an old mini which boasts an opening accord so aldehydic I was nearly in beautiful shock. The blending makes distinction difficult ( this is the Stolberg/ West Germany version), but I seldom find scents with so much tonka/amber/vanilla which prove so mild and balanced. Tabac doesn't last too long, and the opening fifteen minutes are absolutely the best part for me, but I have to admit that this is one of the best budget scents out there.

I also now realize that Whiskey by Commodity was just an ill-fated attempt to recreate this classic.
24th August, 2016
A very affordable classic barbershop scent. I am very impressed and pleased to add it to my collection. If you like Rive Gauche or Old Spice you are bound to like this one too. I have the splash on cologne version which comes in a nice glass bottle. It's fairly potent, without being too brash (don't over apply) and holds well for most of the day. I think it's pretty linear after the dry down, when the citrus fades. Something between a barber shop and a powerhouse scent as it reminds one of both styles.

I just made a scent memory connection, with Tabac. This, I am virtually sure, was my long ago departed uncle Bob's scent. A true gentleman who always was well groomed and sported a fine wide smile as well. I have no problem with adopting his scent, as some may. As a matter of fact I have been long trying to pin it down.

Men's cologne is not overexposed where I live and something this common and dated is rarely a problem. Old Spice and Brut might be, but; not this one.

This is a nice find for me, the reason many of us keep looking for more scent options. I think Tabac Original will live on in my collection from now on. Wundebar Deutschland and salute to uncle Bob.
20th July, 2016 (last edited: 27th July, 2016)
The EDC for me is as iconic as the bottle. The aldehydes always take me a little by surprise, as though I'm in the barber's chair and not the one controlling the application. But a bracing slap on the cheeks, chest and arms, and I'm good to go. I catch my breath a bit with the bright floral topnotes, but then smile and revel in the rich dry-down that soon follows. The carnation and earthy ashy scent of the geranium ground this for me, and combined with the amber provide that creamy smokiness that hovers about me for hours. A scent with both modesty and self-assurance. What more could a gentleman ask for? And 10 oz. for $20 bucks? A no-brainer.

And with Tabac, I always want to hold up the bottle to those Procter and Gamble executives who replaced the Old Spice glass bottle with plastic and then had to change the formula. Maurer & Wirtz knew better than to mess with a classic.
06th March, 2016 (last edited: 09th March, 2016)
For many years I didn't really get this baby powder scent, but then I tried the eau de cologne. Wow, this is barbershop at its finest, old school, manly, dignified, with incredible lasting power for an eau de cologne. Great value, a masterpiece.
05th March, 2016
ad_scott Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I have admired Tabac EDC ever since I was a young boy in the 1980s, as father sported it. It is an evocative and comforting scent and it does attain that old school barbershop feel. Tabac has been going for nearly 60 years!

I don't really detect the tobacco note in Tabac...maybe a faint hint of it now and again... a generic budget kind of tobacco in a pouch (remindful of Drum Halfzware Shag.) I certainly get the citrus and aldehyde blast in the opening, then it's pretty much a linear scent all the way through.

On the dry down it's citrus, white soap and clean. I find it difficult to pick out the other notes as I just get the citrus and white soap; maybe a hint of pepper and tobacco but it's very slight. If there are other notes present I can't pinpoint them because there's a kind of blur to the senses.

Longevity is ace, it lasts all day and sillage is moderate. EDC is available in splash and spray. EDT I experienced to be decent but a totally different scent, more floral, sharper and sweeter - I much prefer the EDC.

For years I've been using the shaving soap religiously which is amazing considering the price, scent and lifespan - a puck lasts around 3 years.
The shaving soap scent is similar to the aftershave and EDC but I find it a bit more refined - cleaner/neutral with a dash of citrus. Reminds me of a brand new bathroom suite, a clean and new ceramic tile smell.

Tabac is great value for money, and it is true...it is hard to find other fragrances at the same price that are as robust and unique in scent, longevity and sillage. Unsurpassed German engineering.
03rd March, 2016 (last edited: 17th November, 2018)
If you're looking for a manly, dry, old school, barbershop floral fougere start here. If you enjoy the powerful and tenacious carnation note, your search might end here too. If you appreciate Azzaro PH, Rive Gauche, Sartorial and the like, you owe it to yourself to try this. One of the best examples of the genre, and by far the least expensive. Get the EDC, not the EDT and be patient with the topnotes as they can be chaotic and intense.

Incidentally, the shaving soap is legendary. Tabac soap and a nice, big Omega boar brush makes for a shave that no can of Barbasol could ever hope to achieve.
16th December, 2015
A tale that wasn't right...

My older brother is the most inconsistent fragrance user I've ever met. Wearing a roaring powerhouse in the morning and a syrupy bubblegummy squealer in the evening is something he finds perfectly normal and no contradicting at all. Thus, I was rather surprised the other day by smelling something quite intriguing and unusual on him. Something I didn't recognise and didn't have a clue about what it might be.

So I asked him: "What's this strange juice you're wearing bro?"
He replied: "Are you kidding me? It's Tabac for chrissakes!"
I took me less than a second to tell him: "This ain't Tabac!"

If any of you remembers an old Jim Beam commercial where Kevin Sorbo (before messing with Greek mythology) stepped into a bar in the middle of nowhere and asked for a shot of the said bourbon, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
What my brother was wearing was an exceptional masculine fragrance, but definitely not Tabac. It carried a very vibrant coriander note, which was peculiar to say the least since Tabac doesn't contain any. But since I dig coriander, I gave it two thumbs up and continued pestering him about having been cheated by bying a knockoff. However, the fact that the stuff was so good is one thing and pretending it was Tabac is another.

For some strange reason, the idea that Tabac might have been reformulated beyond recognition didn't cross my mind. So, in case it was some sort of misconception created by some strange happenstance, next morning I paid a visit to the family owned cosmetics shop where I usually delve for holy relics and asked if they had a Tabac sample. They did. But having just returned from a partial sweeping of their stockroom, they had also unearthed a 50ml splash bottle with "Made in West Germany" printed on its box. For people who dont't dig History or are simply too young to know what this means, it means the bottle predated 1990. Needless to say it landed in my bag in a heartbeat and, what's more, for a song. Paying a tribute to German perfumery, I kept happily whistling "Schwarzbraun ist die Haselnuss" all the way home.

Now, I parted ways with Tabac some time in the mid 90's, cause I (stupidly) thought it was time for me to move on and leave my coming of age scents behind. I've done the same thing with quite a few fragrances, and although we have become best buddies with most of them again, I'll never stop feel ashamed for that idiotic and traitorous decision of mine. All the more that some of them can't be found anymore for less than a fortnight's paycheck.

After a thorough wrist by wrist comparison, my initial take of the current Tabac version proved to be no wrong at all. It's a different fragrance. A very good one, but standing no chance to occupy a place in the front row of the shelf right under the "legendary" label where Tabac has been for so many years. The funny thing is that despite being a far cry from vintage Tabac, it's also a far cry from nearly everything else in the market today. An one of a kind reformulation of an one of a kind benchmark scent. And this deserves some credit, if nothing else. On the other hand (literally), vintage Tabac was exactly as I remembered it. Moving, comforting and spectacular. And I was more than happy for reintroducing ourselves anew.

I can't understand why Maurer & Wirtz had to launch a new version of Tabac in 2014 and make a fuss about it, since the version that was on the shelves till then had nothing to do with the one I remembered from the '80s. All the more that the newly launched version doesn't even feature a tobacco note if we're to believe its pyramid. I don't know about you, but if I ever bought a fragrance called "Rose" only to discover there's no damn rose in its composition, I'd certainly feel kinda ripped off.

Tabac was always a heroic scent to me. Something to be worn in the face of danger and turn its wearer invulnerable. Something like an assuaging smile, carrying the aura of a gallantry only found in tales anymore, since its defenders and champions are long gone from this world. Fortunately their scent is still lingering in hidden, dusty, scorned and unfashionable corners of our reality, reassuring us that our gone heroes will never ignore our distress calls and they will always be there in our time of need.
30th November, 2015
I get citrus and soap ..sometimes I may notice one more than the other and then the tobacco reveals itself, but in a clean and very subtle way. Kind of like a freshly cleaned airport departure gate in Greece during the eighties , this being the nostalgia element that tabac evokes. At first I didn't think I would use this often but I can't stop opening the bottle and dowsing myself in it, very addictive and classic.
09th June, 2015
Believe me gents if this juice was sitting in an Acqua di Parma or Tom Ford bottle you all would be wearing it!
Perfect, clean manliness that always draws compliments. Some people find it outdated and on the next day they call the basenotes trapped on my shirt nice, fresh and masculine.
This fragrance has been successful for a reason.
The top notes of the edt straight after application are very similar to AdP Colonia. The cigarette infused flowers are long lasting on my skin. At the same time it's giving off a fresh, soapy, well groomed feeling throughout the day.
It's cheap enough to keep it in a real man's fragrance wardrobe and you will find that you wear it more and more and with each wearing you enjoy it more.
It never gets negative comments from ladies.
The really successful fragrances have been made anyway, and Tabac Original is one of them.
If you dislike this fragrance then do yourself a favour. Imagine that this is a new release from one of your favourite niche houses and try it again under their name. ;) Enjoy!
02nd March, 2015
Four words description: Creamy, fizzy, natural, addictive !

Every time i finish a bottle of Tabac Original EDC and wait a while before i buy another bottle, i feel that my wardrobe is missing something.

Every time i wear it again, i realize how perfect it is.

It's soapy yet silky and creamy, it's sharp yet velvety, it's straightforward yet multi-dimentional, it's classic in structure yet feels modern in its execution and interaction with the skin, but most importantly: It smells VERY NATURAL.

The aldehydes opening blast can become overwhelming during the first 5-10 minutes (me i love it), but it then snuggles in a rich creamy paradise packed with vanilla, tobacco, oakmoss, flowers and sandalwood.

An irresistible delight humbly wearing a $15 price tag.
21st February, 2015
When people say "Barber shop" type, this is what they are talking about.

Sort of like Agua Lavanda, a hallmark, a mile stone, a turning point in the cologne industry.......masculine, virile....... you name it, this is not for the meek.


Women will know you are not following a fad but making a statement..........you are a man.
05th February, 2015
Clean, fresh, soapy, mossy.
12th January, 2015
I love this scent, I really do. After a somewhat heavy start it embraces the wearer beautifully softly and makes him feel clean, well-shaven and suave in an old-fashioned way. Under the flowery aldehydes there's some tobacco, not unsmoked aromatic pipe tobacco or something similar but slightly smoky and straightforward no-nonsense shag. However, the popularity of the fragrance among 60+ males - at least here where I live - and the easily recognizable scent make wearing Tabac quite tricky. In my opinion it isn't outdated, it's just the associations and the image, really. Nevertheless, I'm still going to keep on spraying myself with it. Proudly.
28th August, 2014
Agreed that it is a linear fragrance from start to finish. Question is : does that, in any part lessen it's appeal for me? The answer is an emphatic, unequivocal NO.

My review is for the EDT (I've read on here that the EDC is even better and, for me, it's only a question of when I will get it.)

Okay then, like I said linear, sweet smelling, with an unmistakable overture of leather and tobacco. That's basically it on paper but it's a different story altogether once you come out of the shower and apply it. Somehow the ingredients create an alchemy that's bold, manly and definitely the perfect signature scent for the gentleman who can carry it well. More suitable for fall, winter and spring seasons.

10th June, 2014
tabac cologne has a nice refreshing scent that has a moderate lasting strength. similar to old spice for me. I bought the 10 oz size that comes in a collectible can.
04th March, 2014
Loki11 Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I am surprised by the number of positive reviews this stuff has in this day and age, I would be interested to see the age range of the positive reviewers. But on the flipside, I can appreciate this fragrance.

The opening is one of the most powerful and distinctive I've ever come across. This is liquid barbershop. A blast of clean, soapy freshness. There is a decent smokiness on the drydown, but the clean smell lasts all day.

Despite that, this stuff smells seriously dated. I'm 26 and was looking for a clean, well groomed fragrance for daily use. I wore it to work one day, and within a couple of hours I was embarrassed to be wearing it and avoided going near people in fear of some of the older staff recognising it. Never have I been so conscious of my scent. It also became sickly and just too much to bear. This scent is definitely 'there' and it won't let you forget.

Still, one of a kind.
15th January, 2014