Reviews of Esprit du Tigre / Spirit of the Tiger by Heeley

    Find out more about Esprit du Tigre / Spirit of the Tiger by Heeley in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Woody Oriental

    This starts out harsh, herbal, and camphoraceous. Liniment? Bengay? No, Tiger Balm, dummy! The opening is medicinal enough to make me ask “Why in heaven’s name would anybody want to smell like this?” Once the top notes clear off the scent’s appeal is much more obvious, but the structure is also far more conventional. Within ten minutes Spirit of the Tiger has deepened and sweetened into a warm, spiced incense blend that even borders on the gourmand.

    The drydown reveals a pleasantly rich spicy/ambery oriental foundation that is very nicely balanced, though not terribly original or exciting. It’s as if Spirit of the Tiger is trying to make up for its shocking entrance with an apologetically polite development. The result is an olfactory non-sequitur that’s probably too challenging at the outset for traditionalists and too tame in the end for thrill seekers.

    03 July, 2014

    Kain's avatar

    Iran Iran

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    Many people call this fragrance medicinal, but it's not medicinal at all!
    For me, Esprit du Tigre is an exotic herbal fruity fragrance that follows "Angelo Orazio Pregoni's" fragrances DNA from O'Driu brand.
    If you're familiar with his work, you know what I'm talking about.
    The opening of this fragrance is a semi sweet herbal and fruity scent with lots of spices surrounding it.
    I can smell spearmint that because of heavy spices and some other green notes has an exotic feeling.
    There is a sweet fruity smell beside these notes that smell more like dried fruits instead of fresh ones and give the scent more pleasant aroma, but more mysterious feeling as well!
    As time goes by the minty smell goes away and spices settle down and now I can smell more fruity smell plus that exotic herbal smell in the background.
    As I said before this fragrance remind me the smell of Many O'Driu fragrances (but safer against many of them!) and also I'm going to throw "Lush Breath of God's" name here too because they do have similarities as well.
    Projection is average and longevity is around 5-6 hours on my skin.
    I like it.

    25 April, 2014

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    All the comparisons to Tiger Balm put me off trying this one for the longest time. However, it is one of those ‘it does smell like it and yet it doesn’t’ perfumes and I’m glad I broke through my reluctance.
    The main point of divergence is that Esprit du Tigre is light and airy (not unctuous and pore-cloggingly heavy like Tiger Balm). It is overdosed with clove but what a supple, almost green clove – not some garam masala disaster. The other spices all seem to be behind this radiant clove note, pushing it to the fore. The other bulwark is a camphor that is medicinal in a magickal kind of way rather than reminiscent of the sterile hospital ward. But the stroke of genius is the mint that breezes through this composition blending beautifully with the spiciness, bringing the breath of the outdoors and giving the whole thing lift.
    If Esprit du Tigre is a spice bomb, it’s one that explodes going ‘poof!’ or ‘voila!’ rather than ‘BLAM!’. I don’t particularly go for spicy perfumes, I don’t care much for clove or mint in my scents, but I still find Esprit du Tigre completely appealing.
    It has a pretty long evolution, transitioning first after a few hours into mainly a light and sweet clove before morphing into something oozing creamy soapiness that feels like being wrapped in a fluffy shawl.

    24 April, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    I smell a lot of mint, pepper, camphor, so in short, as almost any other as already noted, a medicinal bomb. Still this is somehow fascinating, as it results in a fresh and green scent, with an exotic, spicy and balsamic twist - I do not know why, but the whole ensemble makes me think of some kind of a fin-de-siècle military red cross tent, somewhere in the middle of a desert war. The drydown tends more towards classic cologne notes - balsamic on woods.

    7,5/10

    20th January, 2014 (Last Edited: 05 April, 2014)

    Buysblind's avatar

    United States United States

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    Spirit of the Tame Tiger

    Smoky wood, camphorous mint, and some spice. The resemblance to Tiger Balm is apparent but Esprit du Tigre is softer, smoother, and altogether more wearable. However, it's not something that I would necessarily wear too often. It's a very distinct scent and kind of an oddball at that. At the same time, it's not exactly exciting either. Something about it is kind of flat and boring, and in the end it resembles a freshener you might keep inside expensive shoes more than something you would wear on your skin. I find that Piper Nigrum (a fragrance with which it is often associated) is much more lively and interesting. While it vibrates with vitality and rich, full notes, Esprit du Tigre seems milquetoast in comparison. I usually enjoy the restraint exercised in Heeley's fragrances, but I think Esprit du Tigre could benefit from a little more flare. It's not a bad scent at all, and it's pleasant enough, but come on already...let that tiger out of its cage!

    Pros: Pleasant, Well-composed, Easy to wear
    Cons: A little on the boring side, Too restrained

    18 May, 2013

    NorthernTiger's avatar



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    Esprit du Tigre certainly lives up to its name; as many other reviewers noted, this takes inspiration from Tiger Balm. It is not the same, though, as this has quality ingredients driving its aromatic spice scent.

    Alas, the scent disappears on me within an hour. An otherwise great scent destroyed by pitiful longevity. Others don't appear to have that issue; however, I do. And that is just not my game.

    11th February, 2013

    My_pep_pep's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love spices, and I love how this smells, but it's so light. It did last all day at work but I dumped a mostly full 1ml sample on myself and it was still really light, I'm not sure if anyone else could smell it. I could imagine times when I'd want something like that, but other better fragrances have higher priority. Great medicinal quality, though.....warm and a little bracing at the same time. Similar to real tiger balm but like someone else said, more refined.

    12 November, 2012

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    As soon as I've inhaled a vial of Esprit du Tigre I thought: medicinal agarwood and aromatic spices. I don't think oudh is present but undoubtedly the juice is a medicinal and spicy bomb which smells anyway cool and slightly aromatic (because of a starring initial chord of peppermint and camphor) further than tasty of cinnamon and finally virile due a consistent dose of vetiver. This is a masculine to me and is an almost sporty or anyway dynamic kind of juice. Going on with the development the medicinal effect produced by the link of spices and camphor fades a bit and leaves the stage to a peppery and spicy fresh elegant vetiver. An interesting fragrance but nothing else.

    18 April, 2012 (Last Edited: 08 June, 2014)

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Highly camphoraceous and medicinal....smells exactly like, well, Tiger Balm, but when it comes to Tiger Balm there's nothing like the real thing or...Piper Nigrum.

    18 October, 2011

    easycesco's avatar



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    Odd and interesting perfume this one!
    Very refined version of the famous Tiger Balm, but not only that. The charming power of an old and mysterious medicinal remedy, with a warm spicy drydown!
    Great stuff!

    11th February, 2011

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Several times over the years, on a whim, I have applied Tiger Balm on the back of my hand just because I enjoy the camphoraceous, medicinal scent. I like the accords in Spirit of the Tiger just as much, and it’s not as aggressive to the nose as Tiger Balm is the first hour after it is applied. Still, it is interesting how similar they smell. Spirit of the Tiger is more refined than Tiger Balm, and not as medicinal, which is entirely to be expected. SotT is camphoraceous and minty and, especially, clovey. It is thoroughly enjoyable. No need to describe this fragrance any further. If anyone wants to know what it smells like, just get a jar of Tiger Balm. Of course, this recommendation can be turned in on itself: no need to buy a $150 bottle of Spirit of the Tiger, for less than one-twentieth the cost, just get the real thing — it lasts as long and has the additional healing benefits, too.
    Originally submitted 14 October 2007

    28 November, 2010

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