Perfume Directory

Sybaris (1988)
by Antonio Puig


Sybaris information

Year of Launch1988
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 71 votes)

People and companies

HouseAntonio Puig
PerfumerRosendo Mateu
PerfumerAlberto Morillas
PackagingAndré Ricard
Parent CompanyPuig Beauty & Fashion Group > Puig Fragrance & Personal Care

About Sybaris

Sybaris is a masculine fragrance by Antonio Puig. The scent was launched in 1988 and the fragrance was created by perfumers Alberto Morillas and Rosendo Mateu. The bottle was designed by André Ricard

Sybaris fragrance notes

Reviews of Sybaris

I personally have an extremely high praise for this scent that took me many wearings to fully appreciate 'and' to understand this composition. Sybaris is very well constructed with quality ingredients, extremely well in fact. So much so that iI'm going to state that this perfume is a hidden masterpiece. You can tell that this is from the same house as Quorum as it has that 'Puig' smell to it. It's the jasmine/patchouli combo that hooks me in this and once you catch it, you'll be in love as well. This cinnamon accord pulls everything together while the incense note in this is amazing.

Sybaris is deceiving so understand this before wearing some. This is actually a 'very' strong scent with a considerable amount of sillage and projection that lasts forever on the skin. I was wearing a few tiny spritzes of this the other day, as in not even full on sprays and my co-worker had inquired as to what I was wearing while she was standing at least 6 feet away and this was well past 4 hours after applying. She loved it but couldn't explain it.

This is a sweetened, ambered, spiced, soapy, slightly floral and woody patchouli affair supported by a deep clove note. It's a complex pyramid that waxes and wanes from powdery, to soapy, to aromatic, balmy, clean and even to dirty and animalic at times. Sometimes it's dusty and cloudy and other times what you're perceiving is clean, clear and fresh. Honestly this is a very complex scent that's hard to grasp but totally enjoyable.

It's very warm and comforting, strong on the oakmoss. There's also an animalic 'something' in this, I swear. It smells like civet or maybe even castoreum especially when first sprayed but whatever it is, it's definitely animalic in feel. I really like this a lot, it's a complicated and pleasurable smell with some beautiful sillage, very masculine. Super fun to wear because you're always smelling something new. The soapiness in this from the jasmine flower is just awesome and the strength of this stuff is killer. Sybaris is a definite 80's powerhouse.

This review is based on an original formula splash flacon with a pre-barcode box from 1986 that's been decanted into an atomizer.
20th September, 2018 (last edited: 07th October, 2018)
A blast from the past...opens very animalic to my nose for just a couple of minutes...then I get this aromatic cloud of a citrus melange flavored with pungent this enough to have grabbed a large backup bottle...something I want as a permanent member of my wardrobe...very classy...cousin to Jules and Lauder for to Boss Number One and Tenere...has that spice/flower flavored honey thing going on...also has a close relationship to Versailles...dries down to a nice comforting oakmossy vanilla...bottom line - aromatic spicy green...respect...
07th March, 2018
Sybaris at first glance comes across like something futuristic, since the name itself and the bottle shape both evoke the feeling of 80's science fiction, but in reality, this is a fairly conventional (for the time) masculine follow-up to the ever-popular moss monster known as Quorum (1982). Sybaris would be Puig's late-to-the-party answer to Bogart's One Man Show (1980) and YSL's Kouros (1981), in that reedy, compressed, super-tight and well-blended macho-in-a-bottle style. We were reaching the apex of the powerhouse by 1987, and Sybaris' direct competition would be stuff like the legendary Lapidus Pour Homme (1987), which was a much more dynamic and memorable scent that rode similar rails but had that "X factor" which Sybaris didn't (the pineapple opening it was). Not to cut the stuff short by any means, but most people who owned anything like the aforementioned had already smelled this before in one form or another, even if Sybaris was a bit more complex, subtle, rich, and warm thanks to it's oriental base rather than a fougère foundation like most of it's ilk. The biggest asset of Sybaris was this warmth and subtle charm, as it's a scent that just hums along after the loud opening rather than screams it's presence with every pang of body heat. Puig wouldn't really make another masculine in this powerhouse style, nor make another masculine with an oriental base, so at least from a designer-specific point of view, this was quite the one-off. Otherwise, I just keep getting that "familiar yet different" vibe from it, but give it a thumbs up because the artistry is there, however conventional it is. There's nothing wrong with being conventional as long as it's good, just ask Avon about that.

Sybaris opens with a whole spread of well-mixed citrus and herbs, including lemon, manadarin, basil, aldehydes and a dirty cumin note which gives this juice that virile 80's powerhouse kick, then moves into spices, light woods, and florals. Jasmine, cinnamon, sandalwood, geranium, and artemisia are all pretty much stock masculine elements that merge into a dry semi-sweet warmth here, with only that opening cumin keeping it sensually manly. The oriental base of olibdanum, amber, moss, patchouli, and vetiver is joined by an unlikely leather note that pulls this slightly into chypre territory for the dry down, but not enough to take away it's oriental richness. Sybaris goes on a teeny bit scary, like a Kouros Jr., but soon shifts through smooth spice, woods, and ends in that amber-forward base, making it a kinder and gentler experience overall than many in it's vein. I'd classify it as something of an 80's in-betweener, a scent that straddled two different distinct styles with the touch of a third, and in this instance the early 80's masculinity with the late 80's/early 90's semi-oriental phase kicked off by scents like Chanel Bois Noir/Égoïste (1987/1990), with a bit of leather chypre at the end to keep it from being too sweet. Sybaris is a scent that favors longevity over sillage, and although not a generalist, is very versatile and relaxed after the hoary opening goes away. The spicy floral heart is what you'll notice more than the racy top or ember glow of the base, but once that base is reached, it remains confident, understated masculinity for casual use until the day is done. I rather liken Sybaris to the compromise between strength and comfort. It brings the powerhouse strength in the beginning, and puts the weights down halfway through and rests back against a bed of it's own oriental base notes. It was probably made for the 80's after-party more than the dance floor, and that's okay.

Sybaris is sheer quality, and creativity, but really lacks the distinct personality outside of it's crazy name and cool bottle to be any sort of memorable to anyone but collectors of 80's masculines. It's certainly unique in what it mixes together: a funky opening with a relaxing, creamy middle, and a semi-dry glow of a finish, but despite it's show of class and composure, it didn't really have the "guts" to compete with the "loud and proud" competition before being swept away in the style shift of the 90's. Sybaris is "just plain good" to paraphrase another person's opinion of the scent, but is that really good enough to chase down a surviving example of a discontinued scent and possibly pay more than it might be worth to find out? Well that's a question I can't answer since value is relative and I own a bottle myself. One thing is for certain: fans of stiffly macho 80's, oriental masculines, and leather chypres will see this as all that they love thrown into a blender, while everyone else enjoying stuff from this period will see it as a neat but unessential also-ran. Again, this juice has it's small clutch of staunch fans, and as one of them, I can totally see why, but from an objective point of view, this doesn't blow the doors off and is just a quirky, competently-executed what-if hybrid apparently created by two collaborating perfumers (Albert Morillas and Rosendo Mateu). A similar dry down can be had in the much cheaper and easier-to-find Mesmerize for Men by Avon (1992), but that's not entirely an adequate replacement. Suitable for fall or winter, Sybaris is a pleasant diversion with solid performance for the discontinued treasure hunter, but certainly no masterpiece for the man wishing to posses a more diverse collection.
06th March, 2018 (last edited: 20th March, 2018)
I have experienced many fragrances like Sybaris but I feel this one is exemplary in its category. It shares some strong similarities with Lalique Pour Homme (Lion) and Monsieur Carven, in that they have a strong citrus opening which quickly gives way to a vanilla-powdery, leathery, mossy base of strength not belied by the brightness of the initial stage. The first twenty minutes of Sybaris are outrageously good, and the blending is incredibly smooth. Soon, a worrisome wall of the aforementioned vanilla-powder emerges and threatens to erase the happiness of the first part. It grows in strength, or at least in noticeability, but at some blessed point begins to recede to reveal the fuzzy moss and leather base that ruled the 80's, its hairy chest bared with pride. And as the vetiver and olibanum poke out at intervals to wave hello I am reminded of many happy fragrances - Red for Men, Halston Limited, Gambler...

I'll stop there. I could have just said, "I really, really like this."
20th January, 2016

Michael Edwards classifies Sybaris as a woody oriental scent, and several reviewers here place it with the leather chypres, but I smell a brawny fougère, boasting ample aromatic content, soapy aldehydes, and bittersweet citrus in the top notes. Cumin, artemisia, and conspicuous animalic notes closely align Sybaris with grand 1980s animalic/aromatic fougères like Jules and Lauder for Men, but Sybaris evolves in a distinctive sweet, spiced, woody direction.

At its heart, Sybaris offers a tightly integrated accord of nutty vetiver, smooth sandalwood and amber that’s at once comfortable and highly dignified. The opening animalic elements retreat somewhat, but their lingering background presence safeguards against a slide from comfort into stodginess. At the same time, quiet echoes of artemisia, geranium, and juniper provide bracing counterpoint to the amber’s sweetness.

Sybaris is potent, but not overwhelming, with generous sillage and admirable lasting power. After several hours of sustained heart notes, the drydown settles into amber, labdanum, and vetiver, seasoned with leathery and mossy grace notes. While it smells not a bit like either, Sybaris is one of the few scents I know that capture the sense of masculine dignity found in Patou pour Homme or the original Santal Noble. It doesn’t necessarily exude the same sense of occasion, but that may only make it a bit more versatile and comfortable for daily wear. I have no idea whether Sybaris is still in production, but it can still be found online for very little money and is very much worth trying.
05th July, 2014
Vintage Sybaris

I've been wanting to try this for a while and I am very thankful for a nice decant from my good friend, Dimitrios. I have to say that it truly has a wonderful unique, green chypre/leather vibe.

The house of Puig has some great scents - this is one of very high quality.

The feeling of the scent is very natural. A vibrant, fresh, green chypre with rich notes that jump from the bottle. Very high quality ingredients in Sybaris! Interesting to note the origin of the word. Sybaris was an ancient Greek city of southern Italy on the Gulf of Taranto. Noted for its wealth and luxury, it was destroyed in warfare with Crotona in 510 b.c.

I get the citrus with the Aldehydes up-front, strong and good rich opening, and it is not fizzy. The basil is nice - green, but earthy, further enhanced be a very nice cumin note (works very well here). The Artemisia and Juniper in the heart join the top quickly and dominate the heart. I do smell some light florals, with a nice sprinkling of cinnamon. Sandalwood comes through toward the end of the heart - not loud, but smooth.

The initial base note that came to me was the Oakmoss, but then I resprayed from atomizer (as I first dabbed on some to test) and found that Olibanum actually comes up and meets the Sandalwood in the late heart (a light smokiness forms), followed by a blend of herbaceous, green Patchouli and lichen (Oakmoss) that is very well-presented. Vetiver shows here as a woody note - not a major player, but precise and a bit sharp. The Olibanum is further warmed by Amber in the base which is really a smoldering ember under all this foiliage and wood...but it works well to enhance accords.

The final note, is the key...a green, woody chypre/leather composition with the leather being a bit tattered. Not heavy birch tar, but significant depth here. I will say that the green notes are more dominant to me and lean towards a green woody chypre as a classification, but the leather is like that of a worn saddle. It completes the scent. Riding on horseback through the Pyrennes at dusk with rancher's homes warmed by a wood-burning stove - wisps of smoke drift in the air.

This is not a loud scent, but a well-crafted one. It warms to the body and wears very natural...the vibe is definitively Spanish, muy clasico! Moderate silage and, from a layered sample, good longevity. Masculine and a bit rigorous - would wear wonderfully outdoors on a veranda having dinner. I will refrain from comparing it to other scents as it has a uniqueness - but feels comfortable. One could wear this formally or casual (but still upscale)...for a mature and confident man. Recommended. Salud!

01st August, 2013

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