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.
Review of Invasion Barbare
To me, especially in the opening, it seems a little bit tart, a little bit bitter. I would even say pungent but without negative connotations. Eventually it will settle down to a vanilla and musk drydown and the bitterness won't be as distinct.
To me the most peculiar thing about IB is the impression that the perfume is glued together from two different scents. The main one being classy fougère.
And the other one deep, mysterious one that provides Invasion Barbare it's uniqueness and complexity.
I think it is one of the best choices when you don't want to seem cocky but rather trustworthy and mature.
I like to wear it when I go to meet and work with an university professor on some bigger project.
It fits perfectly the scenario of semi-outdoorsy event.
scent - (10/10) splendid
longevity - (9/10) from 8 to 9 hours
sillage - (9/10) no objections
overall = LOVE
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.
Advertisement — Reviews continue below
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.
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?
Genre: Woody Oriental
There’s nothing remotely “barbaric” about it. In fact if the name has you salivating in anticipation of an animalic musk à la Muscs Koublaï Khän or an erotically charged leather on the order of Oud Cuir d’Arabie, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. This peculiarly mislabeled scent is an elegant, straight-laced, and eminently civilized composition. It’s mood is much closer to Derby, Équipage, or Chanel pour Monsieur than Yatagan or Black Aoud. I guess they figured “Invasion Barbare” would sell a lot better than “Non-Confrontational.”
Invasion Barbare launches on citrus and cardamom top notes that somehow manage to smell nothing like Déclaration. No easy feat! Both notes persist as part of a spiced citrus and woods accord that hovers ambiguously between citrus chypre and woody oriental in character. Baking spices, cedar, lavender, and bergamot settle over a foundation that judiciously balances a powdery amber with a prominent, though not overly sweet, vanilla. The arrangement is woody enough not to smell gourmand, and too suave and refined to feel “cuddly.”
My only real beef with this scent (besides its high price and misleading name,) is a clean musk that dominates the drydown. It’s a variant on a laundry detergent base note that shows up all over the place, and its conspicuous use in so expensive and exclusively marketed fragrance leaves Invasion Barbare’s drydown feeling inappropriately commonplace. Otherwise, this is a well-constructed, sober, yet amiable scent that would wear as easily at the office as at the theater. If you’re willing to spend a lot of money on a sophisticated, even-tempered, spicy composition of impeccable poise, I say go ahead and try it.
The opening is a blast of aldehydes (C12 / anisic), talcum, floral notes, a hint of suede, something woody, rubbery and dry, and a sort of camphor-stale note on the very base. A green, bitter accord, quite realistic but also a bit pale and ambiguous. What I smell the most is however the aldehydes. In its own way, a cheap way, it's a nice fragrance, quite pleasant and fascinating too - the notes appear like stuffed in a transparent, frosted cube (that's the feeling aldehydes give to me). A clean, metallic, talcum-vanillin springy scent, cozy and incredibly persistent, fairly dull and completely unworth the price tag.
For some reason, people pay much more attention to the masculine fragrances in the MDCI line than to the feminine ones, which is too bad since their florals are easily among the best out there. Nevertheless, it's not hard to understand why Invasion Barbare gets so much attention: it's pretty much the platonic ideal of a fougere. I don't even like fougeres and I love this one. There's two things that make this work: MDCI's characteristic use of high-quality ingredients and the clever addition of a cardamom top note that ties the whole composition together.
I almost blind bought this fragrance because of all the great reviews But I'm glad I didn't. Not a horrible scent but it reminds me of a shady jewelry salesman. I can't pretend to be a professional Nose and pick every note in this but I did smell the cedarwood. I was so anticipating this sample from surrender to chance and it left me wanting more.
Cons-scent does not smell like its worth $250
Advertisement — Reviews continue below
This could be my new signature scent. Normally I like dark and challenging scents but this one is just so smooth and comforting. It lasts on clothing forever. I can't imagine allowing myself to ever run out of this. I hope it is just as good in warm weather. While expensive, I think it is a safe blind buy. Though others may not be as infatuated with this fragrance as I, I can't imagine someone disliking it. Hope my wife likes it. If not, she at least better get used to smelling it! :)
Turin likes this a great deal - 5 stars. He's right in that it is a good masculine scent - and that spicy/woody is an apt description. It's also been called an oriental fougere, but that label does not resonate with me.
It's dry, sedate and safe for wearing on any occasion. I would have almost taken it to be a new Guerlain. It's in the mode of Habit Rouge and Heritage.
The thyme, cardamom, lavender, sage and cedar wood ground it in the woods with a dash of spice category. It's just not terrific or outstanding or original in any way, hence the neutral reaction.
And at $250 the bottle, you can get as good or better for a third of the price with Guerlain's offerings.
Versatile, safe, alluring. can't quite pick out the smells, but the top end smells elegant and dashing. It's a safe wear around the office, church, or a luncheon. It smells great on me, but the longevity isn't as good as I'd expect for the price. Lasted around 5 hours. A significant other that's physically close to you will still be able to smell it, if their nose is against you.
Fashionable white muskiness with a classic background.
What a strange experience with this fragrance!! First approach: frankly disappointing (a disappointment similar to the one i undewent inhaling Veni, Vidi, Vici HdP), despite the high expectations I had placed on this celebrated fragrance before to test it on my skin. This disappointment (which is indeed not "full-bodied" --especially in relation with the fougere side (notable the lavender) of this oriental/fougere-- turning namely out as an un-full satisfaction) does not depend from the lack of craftsmanship in the olfactory execution which is on the contrary notable along the trip (with all those subtle spicy/ herbal nuances) but it is soon centered over the main common central accord emerging by soon, i mean the musky/ambery oriental "side of the moon" which has already be run tons of times by others. I focused my attention in substance by soon on this powdery white (dry and barely mild) sort of milky suede which anyway I note in a while be smelling about herbs, prickly spices, slightly talky violet and musky/ambery dust. I see by soon in few words a generic (modern and fashionable) aromatic muskiness with a grassy/earthy and spicy background. This hidden background started anyway to keep in a few time my interest and so we have my second more sensible impression; I had indeed to admit that the aroma tends to evidently improve along the trip cause I use to perceive on my skin a final dusty/spicy (cardamom, ambergris???) virile complexity and a traditional (old fougere type of) sophistication with a classic vibe.
Ps. I have to underline that the more I test Invasion Barbare the more tend to appreciated its subtle complexity despite this fragrance will never be properly my cup of tea. The parts I appreciate more are the first half an hour of the trip and the dry down after three-four hours (vaguely a la Basala due its spicy virility, just less woody/tobacco centered and with a musky-vanillic final cushion) so comforting, warm and versatile at once. Some reviewer noted several points in common with Lagerfeld classic (kL Homme) and so do i. The first blast is complex and almost intoxicating. Focusing my olfactory investigation i can detect indeed since the beginning countless nuances, i mean the grassy/watery earthiness (kind of wet concrete effect after rain near the forest), a sort of secret almost plastic (a bit "savon a raser") medicinal/barber shop vibe (deriving in my humble opinion from pine's resins and lavender), some "sweaty" saltiness (spicy saltiness??), the freshness from the thyme and grapefruit, the ginger/lavender association with a touch of bergamot. The musky violet, vaguely balmy (almost coconut type) and talky, starts by soon anyway to extend its dominant longa manus and this is the central phase I tend to pass by and that influenced my initial disappointment. I detect in this phase effectively the "freshly laundered clothes" effect in the air. Going on with the development I note that the violet whiteness recedes a bit and a warmer, more adumbrate and intimate musky/cedary woodiness takes the stage with a full charge of cardamom, precious spices, ambergris, woods and aromatic rooty/herbal elements extending their effect from the top. You need 4-5 hours to more appropriately evaluate (and eventually appreciate) the aroma, the time necessary the floral/fruity white powder to get off and the spicy sophisticated warmth to fully emerge. A bit faint longevity and projection, fantastic bottle.
Pros: Complex beyond the appearance.
Cons: Common in its main accord."</p>
04th September, 2013 (last edited: 16th February, 2015)
Review by teardrop
ln the opening l get citrus, lavender, &, l could swear, cocoa. As the fragrance evolves, it becomes more woody, peppery & herbal, with a steadily strengthening note of patchouli. Reading the notes back, l see that cardamom & ginger are listed, & although l can't pick them out individually here, l can see how they combine to produce a spicy, yet fresh accord in the heart. And the idea of an "oriental fougere" suddenly makes sense to me. After thirty minutes or so, the whole thing morphs again into a wonderfully smoky, powdery, rich vanilla along with musk, & the patchouli which remains for the duration. l think this fragrance would easily last eight to ten hours, if not longer.
A really interesting fragrance, which l feel would require several wearings to understand the genius of its execution. To combine impressions of freshness with warmth, & lightness with weight in this way, without any sense of imbalance or incongruity, seems to me extraordinarily clever. l think it would be wearable for any occasion in any season; it simply smells "good". And although many reviewers describe it as being very masculine, l see no reason at all why a woman could not wear this.
This is made to please. The opening is a strong cardamom-citrus blend. As it transforms, it becomes sweeter and more refined, almost reminding me of the original Lagerfeld as the musk and vanilla emerge. Not a thumbs up because it smells very familiar and not really unique. I also seems more suited for an older person. Well crafted.
This one is a masterfully created and excellent fragrance. I am not that into fougery type of fragrances but this and HdP 1725 made my day. They resemble each other imo and because of the price and availability, I will continue buying HdP line but i am also very happy with my decant of Invasion Barbare.
I do not know any other works of Stephanie Bakouche, but considering this one, it is a must that more fragrances be released with her collaboration.
Longevity is excellent while in a 3-4 hours, it becomes a skin scent in my case. But really, what a fragrance! Like mentioned before, it is dangerous to get a sample or decant, you may crave for it.
The best and worst thing I could have done was pick up a healthy sized sample of Invasion Barbare. This stuff is just that damn good, extremely smooth. Rive Gauche comes to mind but minus the star anise (which gets a bit much for me at times). With IB and its composition, I don't think I could ever get enough of smelling it. It's still kicking pretty firmly 4 hours in to wearing and it doesn't seem like it's letting up any time soon. I'd imagine this will run its course 8 hours and probably stay close to skin thereafter.
The price point on this bad-boy makes it possibly one of the worst things I could do, by picking up a sample. It's a must have for my collection but something I wouldn't be able to add a full bottle of for some time (if ever). This will have to be reserved for those occasions and special times for me to enjoy a full wear. If you have the few bucks to grab a sample, this is really worth checking out. If you have a lot of bucks to spare, buy a bottle.
*Update* Had to buy a bottle. Hooked on Invasion Barbare!
05th March, 2013 (last edited: 14th March, 2013)
I'll start with my disclaimer: I typically don't wet my pants because of my fondness for a fragrance.......This is different.
I found my "Holy Grail." I have spent almost a decade (and several thousand $$) in this hobby, yet I have never been moved or inspired by any scent, anywhere close to this.
After having it for a couple weeks, I am actually a little bit tempted to sell ALL of my endless sea of bottles on Ebay....So I only wear this one for the rest of my life.
This truly IS perfection, and it makes everything thing else seem undesirable to me.
This is understated, but not necessarily conservative. This can be worn anytime and anywhere.
Is this actually worth the price tag?
It must be, since I purchased it voluntarily.
10/10......Masterpiece among masterpieces.
03rd March, 2013 (last edited: 05th April, 2013)
The scent itself is simple, really no complex stuff or rare and bio nuclear notes, however there's much to say about it also, i like to think of this fragrance as Invasion of the Barbers because that's exactly how it smells, traditional antique barber shop and I will emphasize antique due to the natural ingredients used to make the formulation and the somewhat mature vibe, simple as you have to be a professional successful man or in love with artistic fragrances to realize the magic of this parfum. I didn't write anything about the notes because we all know what they smell like and pretty much what this fragrance will smell like, very simple and common notes that Stephanie Bakouche pushed to the limit and blended like no other because this smells fantastic.
Invasion Barbare is a perfumery masterpiece, not because of the tacky bottle or the hype surrounding it, but for how it's so well blended it seems magical, as soon as you take a whiff and whether you like it or not, Invasion Barbare will grab you and you'll want to revisit and smell more of it just to convince yourself that it's over priced and not worthy but it's too late, you're already addicted to it. To me this is a truly masculine scent, smells like barber shop and come on, there's nothing more masculine than that, right Mr. Todd? Invasion Barbare is rough but also soft, safe but weird at the same time, this is not a complex scent that you need to comprehend but rather accept that it's a masterpiece that deserves respect.
Invasion Barbare seems to be quite a compliment getter with the girls.
The opening is quite nice and rich in Cardamom and almost hypnotizing Vanilla accords.
However the Invasion seems to develop some kind of fight between Lavender and Vanilla.
I also get kind of medicinal notes from it after some time (incense maybe?).
If you want to have something distinctive and very unique with Lavender and Vanilla this might be for you.
On the other hand its pretty expensive, so you might wanna review it before buying.
Classy scent. My wife likes it as well. Longevity is about 6 hours tops for me, then turns into a skin scent. As others have mentioned, at such an expensive price, you'd expect better longevity.
Overall, I'm giving this a positive review because I enjoy wearing it.
I got 10ml of this from a split. I doubt I would ever pay the big bucks for a full bottle.
I NEVER should have tried this cologne! Now I'm in trouble. This the best scent I have yet to come across. If I could make my own cologne it would smell just like this. I put the .07 ml sample on at 8:30am and it lasted all day. Then things get crazy, I woke up the next morning and worked out in the yard for 5 hours in 90 degree heat and humidity and at 5:00pm that afternooon I could still smell it! Now I just have to start looking around the house to see what I can find to sell so I can afford to buy a bottle.
The notes have been covered. It is basically an herbal/woody Cologne with depth.
Here is what it really is: you enter an elevator and inside is a gentleman in a three piece grey Saville Row suit, Church's Oxfords, Drake's tie, and a freaking 19th century silver pocket watch. This is what he smells like. Classy, old school, expensive, restrained, undeniably masculine.
My problem is that the longevity, on my skin, is only 4-5 hours. After 30 minutes it is VERY close to the skin. For the cost, I'd expect more. If you get better longevity and get slightly better sillage, it could be worth it for you.
10th May, 2012 (last edited: 14th May, 2012)
Subtle sophistication. Invasion Barbare is surely not among the most original compositions available on the market but it's still one of my favorite "nugere". Its appearantly classic fougere-y structure makes it easily approachable and perfect for everydays wear but, at the same time, Stephanie Bakouche was able to give it a special character by adding countless details. The rich spicy/citrus opening made of grapefruit, cardamom, ginger and bergamot provides an extremely modern allure while a violet leaf accord enanches the fresh/transparent aspect of this composition. IB evolves then into a more classic woody/musky base that vaguely resembles of vintage Equipage and other immense masculines of the past. .
Overall IB is a perfect connubion between classic and modern that's fantastic for both your most relaxed moments and going to the office as well as formal occasions and nights out. Invasion Barbare speaks clearly of quality but does it with a faint voice. In the end, if you've something interesting to say, you don't need to shout it out loud.
Overpriced? Oh, well, most definitely but it smells darn good.
The Invasion begins with a strong blend of citrus and violet. The grapefruit is very noticeable in the top notes. I usually am not a huge fan of grapefruit in fragrances, but this one works. At first this opening did trigger a sneeze reflex, just as other reviewers have suggested. Soon the lavender and cardmom notes make their respective appearances. During this stage of the Invasion, a powdery malted milk-like accord develops. This actually smells much better than it sounds. I like to think of it as gourmet malted milk. The spicy, woodsy, musky base eventually falls into place and holds the line for hours. I find Invasion Barbare to be a very pleasant masculine fragrance that unfolds beautifully into what I can only describe as an oriental fougere with some woody oriental undertones. A hybrid? Perhaps. A classic? Absolutely.
OK, this stuff costs a fortune - about US$250 for a 60mL (2oz) bottle. The big question is - does the quality of the fragrance justify such a significant investment? My answer to that is an unequivocal YES.
IB's opening is enormously radiant. The first day I wore it to work, colleagues from the other side of the floor came looking for the source of the alluring fragrance that had invaded their workspace. The top notes are tenacious - they hang on for a good two hours and one can recognize their bones even after another 8 or 10 hours. Yes, there is a "white musk" accord at the base of IB, but if this is what laundry detergent smells like, then I'd like someone to tell me what brand it is, because I want to buy a giant tub of it. The muskiness is quietly sexy and retains a gentle radiance, especially (like most frags) after a little activity to raise one's body-temperature.
Of all the frags I own, IB has attracted the most attention, and the greatest number of compliments. It does cost a fortune but it will have a place in my collection for as long as they keep making it. Actually, if it's ever discontinued, I'll probably buy-up a few thousand dollars-worth so I'll never run out. Yes, dear reader and fellow fragrance aficionado, it really is that good! 10/10.