Perfume Directory

Invasion Barbare / SB (2006)


Invasion Barbare / SB information

Year of Launch2006
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 329 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerStéphanie Bakouche

About Invasion Barbare / SB

Invasion Barbare / SB is a masculine fragrance by MDCI. The scent was launched in 2006 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Stéphanie Bakouche

Invasion Barbare / SB fragrance notes

Reviews of Invasion Barbare / SB

Brut for junior executives. Good of its ilk, but doesn't warrant the ticket price for the hype train.
14th September, 2021
the hypes are real this stuff is incredibly well-blended and opens fresh spicy and goes on dry a little powdery and musky.bergamot lavender cardamom on top violet and musk at heart are detectable.
another holly grail in the fougere realm
07th December, 2020
Over the past four years, this has become close to being my signature scent. I loved it as a work scent.

If you're shopping scents by category, there are many fougeres that are as good or perhaps better and lower priced.

But for me, this one defies easy descriptions and I haven't mentally classified it along alongside FOUGERE ROYAL, 1725, SARTORIAL, FOUGERE NOBILE and others.

I get no lavender and I'm certain it's there. Cardamom, white musk, violets? I guess so. Can't pick out the notes so well on this one.

I think Diamondflame summed it up best for me in his review:

"MDCI Invasion Barbare wears elegantly and has staying power. It smells clean in a vaguely familiar yet intriguing manner."

That sounds fairly boring I suppose but I love this scent. I wouldn't call it a masterpiece or advocate it as "must try." If modern, clean, barbershop and elegant sound appealing, you might give this a shot.
04th September, 2020 (last edited: 25th November, 2020)
Incredible! A stone cold modern masterpiece. Subtle but oh so very elegant. A light, dusty, powdery, gently spicy and aromatic soft woody fragrance.

The best I can do to accurately describe this is....

....Imagine God had a pencil made only for God. As this is God's very own pencil it smells sort of like a pencil but a much, much better smelling pencil than you or I could ever hope to acquire..... a divine pencil that smells only as a pencil made for God could smell.

Now imagine God sharpened this divine pencil with a pencil sharpener that, again, is made only for God....

Invasion Barbare smells like the heavenly pencil shavings left behind by God after God has sharpened God's very own divine pencil with God's very own divine pencil sharpener.....

....With a slightly powdery note on top.

Invasion Barbare is an insanely good fragrance.
18th July, 2019
Invasion Barbare - MDCI
I associated this with: 'slicing cucumber and kumquat's with a hot rusty old knife' and 'wet speedo's after a swim in a indoor pool, especially after you pee'd in them'. Combine this and you have in a short how IB smells like to my nose. Its best to spray it on a blotter and wait for 8-10 hours cause its dryout is the best part. The laurel/caraway/violetleaf/lavender/cinnamon powertrain gets slowed down and there is more room for a perfecfly judged bitter-sour-sweet tonality before a minty fir-balm note leads the dryout into a triple distilled patchouli/vanilla absolute and a clean cederwood base with undertones of vetiver, 'fake' oakmoss and fresh soap. I want to rave about but it doesnt smell comfortabel luxurious and it doesnt connect with my skin at all, it just drifts and screams in a monotone voice and it resents my nose to the point I get headaches. There is a persistant tone of fresh and old sweat fighting with eachother who's best, creating a sort of unsettling tonality that scares me. From another perspective I feel there is a kind of magic going on but it just doesnt seem to get me under its spell. Its a shame, I quess.
19th June, 2019
Marchal Design & Créations Indépendantes - or Parfums MDCI - is another perfume brand born of the 21st century "prestige brand boom", which is unofficially the period from roughly the year 2000 onward where growing wealth inequality in Western society has caused an increasing desire among the swelling upper classes to spend their money more conspicuously on luxury, like they once did in the "Gilded Age" just prior to the original London and New York stock market crashes of 1929. With demand higher than ever for "cut above" brands that dwarf even long-established couture houses in exorbitance, brands like MDCI have replaced once-premium designer fragrances as top of the food chain, while they inadvertently slide downmarket due to inflation, rising ingredient costs, plus their perception as aspirational accessories placed at "entry-level" to a couture house's larger catalog of wares, making them sit status-wise where perfumes by the large cosmetic companies such as Coty once sat. The brainchild of Claude Marchal was formed to be a "perfumes as art" concept like so many others in this price tier, including Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, and was later absorbed into the umbrella of Jovoy Paris in the same manner that Frédéric Malle was absorbed into The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. Originally, the house was launched with 5 perfumes each bearing the initials of their perfumer as their name, with Francis Kurkdijan having FK1, FK2, and FK3 for the feminine selections, and Pierre Bourdon making PB for the house alongside Stéphanie Bakouche making SB for the masculine selections all in 2006. Patricia de Nicholai also created PdN for the house in 2009. Invasion Barbare is really just a renamed SB, since MDCI switched to actual perfume names some time after 2010, and Invasion Barbare represents a classic barbershop fougère style if the play on words which represents its post-2010 name didn't give that away. Hype from the "Broletariat" of upper-middle class overachievers hooked on YouTube fragrance reviewers and dissatisfied with the "plebian" nature of designer juices have led many to wander MDCI's way looking to "level up their game" with a bottle of Invasion Barbare, and while the stuff is genuinely nice, it is truly nothing special since barbershop fougères don't cost a ton to make and have been done to death.

The opening of Invasion Barbare is a bit of the old and a bit of the new, with tried-but-true bergamot merging with sharp aldehydes and a slightly softer grapefruit note that tends to start off many things calling themselves fougères in the 21st century. Violet leaf also finds its way into the equation early on, but it's nothing on the level of Burberry Touch for Men (2000) or even Creed Green Irish Tweed (1985), yet it adds that dandy flair iris, rose, or carnation would otherwise add in older examples of the genre. Thyme, cardamom, and ginger all add a bit of earthy and nutty spice which also comes across a bit dusty to my nose, until the lavender shows up to complete a traditional fougère accord even if it takes a bit of a backseat to that violet. The overall feeling of the scent is rather sharp and acidic thanks to the aldehydes, which usually don't find their way into these kind of fougères, but perhaps keep this from becoming too vanillic and nondescript like a classic bottle of Caron Pour Un Homme (1934) or Canoe (1936). The spice and lavender have it feeling a bit more familiar but the rather opaque violet leaf in the top of Invasion Barbare keeps its flamboyant thumb down on most of the otherwise conservative barbershop action of the heart. Base notes for Invasion Barbare are rather par for the course with patchouli, vanilla, cedar, musk, and just a tiny sliver of oakmoss to "keep it real" but not real enough to satisfy lovers of vintage masculine barbershops previously loaded down with it. I get mostly a dry cedar out of this base next to a powdery vanilla and musk, so if there is patchouli here, it must be that chemical "white patchouli" which just adds thickness without flavor, similar to having a thin line of mayonnaise on a sandwich. The aldehydes and violet are the only things really separating Invasion Barbare from its lower-priced peers, and I see nothing about that which is particularly premium nor exciting. Wear time is over 10 hours and projection is not monstrous thanks to the typical tight sillage of an eau de parfum concentration, but Invasion Barbare is very noticeable to the wearer and a fairly pleasant experience. I'd make this an office fragrance if I was going to wear it regularly, or one for formal occasions if it was relegated to special use only, which for the price it sells is the likely fate of most bottles out there.

This one is very much for the mature crowd, making me scratch my head even more at all the young go-getters blowing up forums about this stuff, since none of them would be caught dead wearing the fragrances that do what Invasion Barbare does but better, because they're all either too old or too "cheap" in their eyes. If you're a guy into fragrances for "The Game", then I probably can't dissuade you from thinking this juice is pure liquid greatness, but I still strongly urge a sampling first. For somebody morbidly curious about what such a ubiquitous category as the barbershop fougère can smell like in the realms of prestige luxury perfume, Invasion Barbare is an interesting excursion if you can stomach the price point. If you sample Invasion Barbare, then decide it isn't worth the cash but wish to stay within the realms of niche, you might want to check out Penhaligon's Sartorial (2010) or Replica At the Barber's by Martin Margiela (2014), which do similar things with fougère accords and sharp openings, switching out the dry aldehydic anise tone Invasion Barbare carries for a metallic or peppery one respectively. For me personally, the original Houbigant Fougère Royale (1882) that started it all is still the one to beat for somebody wanting this style all dressed up in "hoity-toity" fashion, but if you're of the "hoi polloi" as I am, then I'd stick to good old Fabergé Brut (1964) or Avon Wild Country (1967). Hell, even Yves Saint Laurent Jazz (1988) or Pasha de Cartier (1992) will give you a similar, albeit richer version of same desired effect as Invasion Barbare, but for much less coin. However, style or performance at a good value isn't the reason perfume brands like this exist, is it? I give Invasion Barbare a thumbs up for being a solid and slightly novel take on "dad's cologne", but otherwise its dime store style with a deluxe price tag prevents my recommendation, since at least other prestige brands like Creed strive to have mostly unique perfumes. As a bit of an aside, MDCI love to create ridiculously fancy packaging to go with their perfumes, so outside the usual Greco-Roman busts that adorn their bottles, MDCI have also released Invasion Barbare in Middle-Eastern "Silk Road" editions and a host of coffret sets since they pitch their lineup at wealthy collectors. Thumbs up.
07th February, 2019 (last edited: 17th September, 2020)

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