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.
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.
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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
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)
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.
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.
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)
Pleasant but mildly disappointing scent. It is quite restrained and easy to wear, but I kept smelling my wrist expecting more. I really find a hard time describing what it smells like, as it is pretty unique... But the closest thing that comes to mind is the scent of freshly laundered clothes. I really don't mean this in a negative way, but it just smells too subtle for my tastes... To add to the disappointment is the price... Invasion Barbare is quite expensive in relative terms for such a scent, IMO. I am not grading it lower due to this and I have nothing against high ticket scents as a general rule, but I know I will not be buying this one. 3 stars out of 5.
11th September, 2011 (last edited: 27th December, 2012)
Typical "by-the-book" manly man fougere that is heavy on the lavender. Quite disappointed to not see any twists or innovations on a very familiar theme. That doesn't mean that it's not good, it's that...it doesn't really raise the bar as was my expectation. Certainly not worth the absurd price. I personally find Bois du Portugal and even the much cheaper Lorenzo Villoresi Uomo to be better in that vein. Giving it a neutral rating instead of a thumbs up mainly because of its price.
A rich, complex scent in the oriental style, but alas, most reminiscent of shaving cream than evenings at an Arabian palace. It's obviously very well made, but, as is the case with scents like Derby or Amouage Gold, more admirable than truly enjoyable.
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The cardamom note is the dominant player here, conquering everything else. Later the other notes melt into the cardamom and gives a very anise/licorice illusion where it's a spicy aromatic gourmand. Very interesting but nothing something I'd wear regularly.