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  1. #1

    Default Tabu miniature: when is it from?


    Around a month ago I bought a small (5 ml) miniature of Tabu on a oldish-looking low-end perfume store. I wasn't yet in my very recent perfume phase, I just had had a lousy day taking care of bureaucracies and when I saw it I remembered my mother said that my grandmother loved it, and as it was cheap I bought it.

    I have worn it and like it. I am sure it is not the old vintage formulation as my mother smelled it and while she said it smelled well (and she is very particular with perfumes) when I told her it was Tabu she said "Oh, it doesn't smell the same at all. But it smells nice and it was cheap. It's like you got a different and rather nice fragrance".

    The bottle is like this one: , only smaller.

    I cannot characterize the smell as I am an untrained nose, but by comparing with other fragrances I own it smells like a slightly sweet, powdery chypre with a somewhat unisex vibe. In me, after a while, it becomes a little sweeter but still mysterious and strange, slightly dark. It reminds me of an (unlabeled) sample that my mother never wore and I used to wear in the 80s and early 90s when I didn't want to wear a floral. Sniffing the bottle it smells different, though, slightly boozy.

    Is this the current formulation? The juice is not orangish at all, but a slightly greenish yellow.


    P.S.: I hope I can manage to go there again one of these days and buy the other sample they had...

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tabu miniature: when is it from?

    Strange. i am no expert in Tabu, but the bottle doesn't seem like the current ones, the design seem somewhat older.

    And your description doesn't quite fit. Tabu has changed from vintage, but, at least here in the US, it is still recognizable, if much simpler and far less rich. It is a big, dark oriental, with spices and resins, and, in vintage, plenty of animalics. Current is simpler, but still dark, and with more prominent patchouli. Also, Tabu was famously very dark in color, and it stained. Here in the US, the color is still darkish.

    So who knows. perhaps in Europe a different version has circulated, or perhaps it was a very light concentration. Perfumes came in different concentration, and the most intense and richest was the parfum concentration.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Tabu miniature: when is it from?

    The bottle says Eau de Toilette.

    About the fragrance, I can be describing it wrong because of my inexperience.

    I assumed it smelled chypre because there's something strongly in common with the chypres I own (as recognized from their classification here and in other perfume forums), though I am not sure how it's called. I could smell the patchouli very well when applied, however it does not dominate and soon it melts into the other notes, in my skin and in my experience. I think I smell resins as well (after drying, the smell reminds me of amber, but different). However, I cannot smell the spices, and I smell something warmly green here, something sweet and plant-y but not really floral. And I smell the dark and the powdery. Just not really the oriental (cannot smell the spices).

    But as I said, it can be because I am inexperient and can only recognize common spices like pepper, cinnamon and vanilla. Need to go into my spice drawer and smell the other spices again!

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tabu miniature: when is it from?

    Wow, great links!

    I love that post on the vintage bottles and will re-read it at home.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Tabu miniature: when is it from?

    It could be that that particular batch of edt was much lighter. Plus of course vintage can also spoil a bit, so perhaps some of the original notes could be gone. Tabu was a bit a mix of everything, there's certainly oakmoss and labdanum in there (ie something that could recall a chypre), and you do note the patchouli and the resins, plus a certain sweetness. I meant spices in a generic sense, a bit of everything; probably clove might be the most recognizable.

    Tabu is an oriental not in the mold of most modern orientals (ie vanillic oriental, which are smoother, the main example being Shalimar), but in a darker, richer variety (sometimes referred to as "mellis"). Over time, from Tabu you got things like Youth Dew and eventually some of the big orientals of the 70s like Opium.

    So it could be that this bottle is light and perhaps not in perfect condition, while your mother remembered the much denser extrait version.


  7. #7

    Default Re: Tabu miniature: when is it from?

    You are right, when I read oriental I thought precisely of Shalimar (my mother had a sample in the late 80s, early 90s) and other dense, similar perfumes of the 80s, and this smells completely different. When I get home I will smell the cloves and other spices and compare.

    I can smell the oakmoss (admitting it is the note that I recognize as "mossy").

    I have no idea how labdanum smells. I checked and it is a resin of a plant that is very very common here, and the curious thing is that as I was smelling the drydown of this version of Tabu I was reminded of the smell of wild plants in the South of my country in the late afternoon in the summer, where the rockrose is very common. It is not the exact smell of the flower (which smells wonderfully in the areas where the soil is poorer and cannot be used for agriculture), but there's something in common in the drydown smell.

    You may be right that this is a lighter version that lost some notes, and I suspect my grandmother wore the extrait version as my mother said it was quite concentrated and she only needed to apply a little.

    I am glad for the help as this has been a wonderful exercise to make me pay more attention when smelling.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Tabu miniature: when is it from?

    Update: I went back and they had no samples... But they had a coffret with a 115 ml EdT and a small 15 ml EdT, and I bought it. I don't know the date of the coffret, but both EdT bottles (and the sample I had, as well) are marked Grannolers-Barcelona, Made in Spain (on the back of the label, seen at transparence).

    And now at night I tried the coffret version and the smell is darker and sounds more like you described. I can perfectly smell the leather, very clearly, and some spices, not sure which. Something piquant but not like pepper. And something like booze, but in a good way, something like old brandy and wood. As it dries down the leather becomes a little more subdued and I can recognize the smell in the miniature bottle: the amber and patchouli start to become more present, and something of a dark green kind as well, maybe moss, maybe other plants, and the beginning of the resin. There's also still that something more woody that I cannot find in the miniature bottle. Finally the darker notes leave and there comes the resin in full strength, the slightly sweeter notes that I cannot really place (maybe labdanum?) and actually something powdery. This is what I could recognize on the first wear.

    I still like the miniature, even though it probably is a product of being stored in not very good conditions. But these ones, with the leather! I can vaguely remember smelling this somewhere a long time ago, actually. I smell this and it's simultaneously enticing and comforting. And I wish there was a masculine smell like this, but with a bit more leather and maybe tobacco or less patchouli and more wood, or something. Maybe this is unisex.

    I am very happy with the purchase And it was inexpensive!

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