Perfume Directory

Rumba (1988)
by Ted Lapidus (originally by Balenciaga)


Rumba information

Year of Launch1988
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 82 votes)

People and companies

HouseTed Lapidus
Originally byBalenciaga
PerfumerRon Winnegrad
PerfumerJean-Claude Ellena
PackagingJacques Konckier
Parent CompanyBogart Group

About Rumba

Rumba is a feminine perfume by Ted Lapidus. The scent was launched in 1988 and the fragrance was created by perfumers Jean-Claude Ellena and Ron Winnegrad. The bottle was designed by Jacques Konckier

Reviews of Rumba

I currently own the Ted Lapidus version but, I owned a full bottle of the Balenciaga release, back in the early 90's. I honestly can't recall exactly what the old version smelled like; this newer version is quite acceptable for me.

This is one of those "kitchen sink" perfumes. Of the top notes, I am reminded of a powdered sugar accord. I smell fruit and orange blossom. I state "powdered sugar", as the fruit isn't overly fruity-sweet per se. It's more refined. Very soon after the top notes, the heart notes become evident. Of these, I can detect gardenia, tuberose, rose, carnation, heliotrope, jasmine, and orchid. Not individually - but as a bouquet. The floral notes are quite divine, in my opinion. They "fill the room" as it were. With Rumba, I am reminded of another old favorite, Demi-Jour by Houbigant. That too, was a glorious floral fragrance.

The carnation and jasmine begin to stand out the most, after some time. The sugariness fades away to become more floral-green. The base reveals styrax, leather, and sandalwood to start. Then, musk, amber, and patchouli are what I notice most. One can't go wrong with Rumba, for a purely feminine fragrance. A vintage version will certainly impress you more, if you can find one.
13th December, 2018
Genre: Leather

Michael Edwards classifies Rumba as a crisp fruity dry woods (leather) fragrance, but I smell a creamy, lactonic, peachy floral chypre with stylistic affinities to Calyx, Yvresse, and the current incarnation of Baghari. Rumba opens on a high-impact candied bergamot top note, which in fact persists well into the development. Smooth peach lactone and bouquet of sweet white flowers, among which I detect ylang-ylang, jasmine, and a dab of tuberose, soon join the lingering citrus. A hint of coconut in the fruity floral accord lends the composition an understated tropical exoticism.

The plush drydown of sweet amber, vanilla, and musk is naggingly familiar, and it’s only after much head-scratching that it comes to me: in both style and olfactory texture, Rumba resembles Kenzo’s Ça Sent Beau, released in very same year. Coincidence? Zeitgeist? Either way, the two scents’ pyramids have plenty in common: bergamot, orange blossom, tuberose, plum, peach, oakmoss, amber, and musk. While the two converge most obviously in their juxtaposition of fruit and powdery clean musk, a conspicuous patchouli base note leaves Rumba feeling darker, heavier, and somehow more conventional than the relatively buoyant Kenzo.

When viewed in historical perspective, Rumba’s fruit, vanilla, and patchouli prefigure the gaudy berries and patchouli of Mugler’s Angel, which would arrive just a few years later. While by no means the olfactory hurricane that is Angel, Rumba is strong stuff, with ample projection and several hours’ worth of lasting power. Do I love it? No. Is it worthwhile? Yes, in its somewhat brash manner. But Ça Sent Beau is more nuanced and more interesting, and Baghari has more depth to it, so I’d reach for either of those two before Rumba.
01st July, 2014
To my nose this is a very light fruity oriental. The fruit notes (plum, peach, raspberry) lie lightly over the invisible floral notes (orange blossom, magnolia, tuberose, orchid, gardenia, jasmine, carnation, heliotrope, muguet) with a pleasant incense base (patchouli, oak moss, sandalwood, cedarwood, styrax, vanilla, tonka bean, amber, frankincense, beeswax).

With all the complexity of the heart and base notes, it's a pity one can't smell any richness in the composition as a whole. It just lies lightly in the nostrils and in the air. It's perfect for a summer evening, but has no sillage and low longevity.

It's pleasant, but not outstanding in any way.
11th November, 2013
Over the top perfumery at its best

Oh my, this is potent juice.

A dark, woody incense-like fragrance with so much going on that my nose is getting numb from trying to decipher it all. The opening fruity notes (plum and peach) are quickly followed by a leathery, smoky quality that envelops the white florals completely. I also pick up on a beeswax note, rather than honey. The plum and peach notes--more plum than peach, to my nose--continue throughout the life of the perfume. The base notes (woods, resins, musk, oakmoss patchouli et al) keep the fragrance deep and very sultry. A perfume of mystery, I think.

The deeply resinous, mossy, animalic quality makes this a stand-out fragrance for special occasions. I don't feel I could wear this for informal occasions, it's just too big and demanding. Sillage is huge, longevity over 12 hours.

Pros: Complex, great sillage and longevity, a knockout
Cons: Powerful sillage, use lightly."

04th October, 2013
CoL Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Wow this stuff is potent! It is now made under the name of Ted Lapidus Rumba. Identical fragrance! Grant tells me it's to do with Coty buying the Balenciagia licence. Interesting!
25th August, 2010
Rumba is a fruity chypre perfume, very similar to a number of others of the same era; the mid 80s re-release of Worth's Dans La Nuit, Montana, Paco Rabanne's La Nuit, and Ungaro's Diva.

This type of fragrance just doesn't "do it" for me, though that's just me, and nothing against the fragrance itself.
26th March, 2010

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