Perfume Directory

Ténéré (1988)
by Paco Rabanne

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Ténéré information

Year of Launch1988
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityDiscontinued
Average Rating
(based on 126 votes)

People and companies

HousePaco Rabanne
PerfumerPierre Wargnye
SupplierIFF
PackagingAndré Ricard
Parent CompanyPuig Beauty & Fashion Group > Puig Prestige Beauty Brands

About Ténéré

Ténéré was launched in the summer of 1988, and is named after an African desert. This floral-spicy fragrance is meant to conjure up the image of adventure and creativity.

Reviews of Ténéré

Green, milky sappy, flowery, pissy civetey honeyed. Quirky, on a bed of 80's macho fougere bathroom base.
The flowers make for a great approximation of what a wonderful 80's plastic floral arrangement should smell like as you are scrubbing a bit of cat pee off of the mauve shag carpet.
Weird is good, I like it.
17th August, 2020
Much like ChrisinBrooklyn's review, I too owned a sample of this back in the late 80, and for the life of me just couldn't appreciate it. We had an exchange student from Mexico living with us at the time and I gladly gifted him the sample. He loved it so much he went over to the Broadway (Remember the Broadway?) and purchased a full sized bottle. Back then it was probably under $30. Perhaps he knew something I didn't, because I recently found 2 vintage bottles of this (spray and splash) and I'm totally diggin it!! Fresh, lively, masculine, playful and very original compared to anything else on the market. One could argue that it's somewhat similar to the original (vintage) Boss for men (85), but Tenere is better for casual wear. Amazing to me that 30 years after I first smelled it, I can finally appreciate this refreshing scent and I truly enjoy wearing this!
13th July, 2019
when i had my 1st collection years ago I bought this when it was on the shelves and it became a staple in my collection...now , years later , when I started my latest collection Tenere was one of the 1st fragrances from the old days that I tracked down and bought...to me , the opening blast of flowery citrus just blows me away...being a lover of animalics I love the animal effect that the honey brings...the scent is fresh, yet nice and thick...semi - powerhouse...after taking you for a spin through various , mostly flower , changes it settles down into a very tasty wood...will probably always have some of this on hand...an all time favorite for me...double thumbs up...
27th February, 2019
A weak, but respectful, thumbs up for Ténéré.

During the 2000's, I was in such a flurry of collecting all kinds of men's colognes, contemporary or not, where just the slightest of interest at local mall kiosks in an uncommon / unusual / rare bottle was enough for me to get it. Ténéré was one of these, which I was drawn to because
of its rarity from a fairly popular mark. How it smelled was only of marginal importance (now THAT's a true collector's mindset, isn't it!!). I ended up getting other rarities from Jacomo, Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne, Fred Hayman, Giorgio Beverly Hills, Lancetti, Trussardi, Byblos, Max Deville, etc. etc. just because.

Anyhow, I gave this one a real test-drive to see how it actually would work out. Ténéré must have been an interesting phenomena in its time (1988), which I was too young to remember seeing among the giants that stole the spotlight, like Polo, Fahrenheit, Perry Ellis for Men, Kouros, et. al. (even Paco Rabanne's own pour Homme).

Ténéré is a fresh aromatic chypre near-powerhouse, closely related to the other loud and proud scents of that era but toned down several notches. It has the requisite citrus blast in the intro along with some lavender, cassia, and rosemary entered in. Then in typical powerhouse fashion, a handful of spices and flowers make their way onto the stage, though not in an altogether cloying way here (it's in this stage that a lot of the 70's / 80's / 90's beast colognes tend to turn me off today). The foundation is a pleasant leathery-musk-amber, a drydown that I appreciate.

Ténéré by Paco Rabanne is nice, and I can see myself wearing it around the house or on quick errands outside the house. It is a bit more floral than I can overlook at times, though there are plenty of "manly man" fragrance notes swimming in the potion to keep me intersted.

If you happen to come across Ténéré, it's not pretentious and cheap-feeling like some outings were back then. It has a solidly masculine aura to it, but in a time-machine sort of way.
23rd August, 2018
Ténéré is a rather unspoken-of entry into the Paco Rabanne men's fragrance line. Seems most things released after Paco Rabanne Pour Homme (1973) and before Paco Rabanne One Million (2008) were unnoticed by all but the faithful, everything made by the house lived in the shadows of the debut masculine and it's decade-defining smell, but Ténéré was particularly forgotten about even more so outside of collectors. For starters, it was part of a brief unsuccessful "masculine floral fougère" phase which was a louder revival of an old Victorian style begun with Zino Davidoff (1986), the ultra-loud Lapidus Pour Homme (1987), Salvadore Dali Pour Homme (1987) and ending with Givenchy Insense (1993). These were likely to be the next leap in male fragrance style, away from the dark bergamot/oakmoss-fueled powerhouses that littered the first half of the decade. There was just one tiny problem: aquatics and pared-down "fresh fougères" happened around the same time, and their clean-slate ideology won out over the dense, lush, flamboyant, colorful, but sometimes stifling releases from this genre. Along with Bogart Furyo (1988) and Balenciaga Pour Homme (1990), Ténéré fell by the wayside faster against the aquatics than the betamax tape did when it competed against the inferior but cheaper and more proliferate VHS format. Lapidus was the only long-term survivor here, and I feel that has to do with it's similarities to the macho stalwart Kouros (1981) more so than anything else. Ténéré was to be the next step of this evolution, but pulled further away from what men expected in a fragrance at the time without taking a large enough stride into memorable territory.

Ténéré shares Lapidus' extremely dandy opening, married with stiffly raunchy animalics, but swaps out the notorious pineapple note of Lapidus for cassia, rosemary and grapefruit. Otherwise, the top notes are identical: lemon, bergamot, basil, bitter artemisia, and lavender. It's a similar potpourri drydown as well, but veers dangerously close to the smell of the powder you shake on carpets and vacuum to remove the smell of dog; now that I've mentioned it, you won't be able to undo the association. Carnation, jasmine, muguet, rose, and iris are teamed with tarragon, cinnamon, anise, and a nice honey note that also gives this a nod to Kouros as well, but not like Lapidus. Caswell-Massey Jockey Club (1840) is recalled in the middle because of the iris, but it's brief. Puig Perfumer Rosendo Mateu also worked on Sybaris (1988) the same year as Ténérè, and you can see the musky connection in their drydown. Sybaris is definitely more in the oriental style, but the common thread especially in the choice of civet as the animalic is there. Peter Wargnye (perfumer behind 1982's Drakkar Noir) by far did the most work here, shaping Ténéré into a monster mash of animalic strength and floral delicately to compete with its doomed peers. The loaded base comes in with amber, patchouli, musk, leather, and cedar alongside that civet. The final verdict is this dynamic of Victorian floral and 80's sex juice makes Ténéré more of an acquired taste than it's siblings, while the less-discerning nose might just call this redundant besides Kouros or Lapidus (much like Sybaris), at first glance.

Ténéré, like it's contemporaries, was niche at a time before the market for it was known to exist. Ténéré can be seen as part of an anachronistic progression away from the powerhouse style parallel to the futuristic, lighter, and more synthetic fare that ultimately won the hearts of everyone in the following decade, becoming a neanderthal among cro-mags so to speak, and thus dying out. Paco got the swing of things with XS Pour Homme (1993), but there is a mysterious lost beauty with Ténéré that if found in a perfume today will run you well over $100 a bottle due to the price gouging in the niche sector, unless you're buying surviving stock of this which may be conveniently less or astonishingly even more due to market fluctuations from bloodletting eBay fleecers. The niche stuff won't always have the animalics, which is how this stands out as still being clearly 80's, but anyone liking a bit of sweaty skin with their roses and fruit blossoms will find this a doozy of a strip tease on skin. Like most things in this vein, Ténérè is hopelessly romantic and virile in the finish, so don't wear to work unless you own the business. Good for spring/early fall, Ténéré will project for hours on skin and shirt. The African desert from which this scent takes it's name is equally harsh and beautiful, but outside that slight reminder of carpet deodorizer, I find this a solid effort, just sadly obscure for a reason.
29th March, 2018 (last edited: 03rd June, 2019)
Teneré is one of the several examples of scents from the '80s which could be easily be bottled, re-packaged, sold by niche brands and become instant cults. A masculine chypre impressively ahead of its time, an irresistible romantic and exotic bouquet of humid flowers with a heart of dark rose (Lyric Man anyone?), a touch of warm honey which persists all along the drydown, perfectly mixed in a beautiful blend, a bit herbal and a bit animalic, with a stout base of woods (sandalwood, mostly) and spices, cumin above all, discreet but detectable. Aldehydes to "reinforce" and give the scent a bold bone-structure, as for many masculine scents of that era. On the drydown it finally shows quite a twist of direction: more woods and tobacco, the personality becomes less romantic, more austerely rooty and earthy, still with a warm pollen note. Overall Teneré conveys a totally unique and captivating mood, a luscious elegance halfway dandy and exotic, with a genius and harmonic effortless blend of spicy-herbaceous notes which bring a desert breeze into the more Westernised, aristocratic floral bouquet. Utterly elegant, modern, sensual, rich in unusual notes. Worth a try.

8,5-9/10
20th July, 2014

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