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  1. #1
    david's Avatar
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    Question Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    I'm seeing a lot of different styles of packaging online and trying to establish which are vintage/semi vintage ?
    Also, has the fragrance been severely reformulated ?

    Thanks for any advice.
    Only dead fish swim with the current...
    <div class="bnsotd"><b>Currently wearing:</b> <a href="ID26120772.html"><img src="http://www.basenotes.net/photos/products/33/26120772-4846.jpg"> Héritage Eau de Toilette by Guerlain</a></div>

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    Not an expert on the styles and vintages. The perfume has been reformulated, being less rich than it was. But it's still good in recent bottles I've smelled, given also that it is so cheap. Parfum/extrait is better than edc/edt, but its not that easy to find at rock bottom prices.

    cacio

  3. #3
    Common Lackey

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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    Hopefully Grayspoole will check in here. I believe she's explored the vintages pretty thoroughly.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    Vintage Tabu EDC is ubiquitous and comes in many kinds of bottles, from violin-shaped minis (which are not necessarily vintage - some fairly recent gift boxes included them; the newer violin bottles are more streamlined than the stocky earlier ones, and newer bottles will say "new Dana" or "Dana Classics" on the label).

    If you find a boxed bottle that purports to be vintage Tabu EDC, check the box to be sure it doesn't have the long list of ingredients.

    Vintage Tabu EDC was often made of imported ingredients that were mixed in the US or Mexico. Those were frequently large (2oz) square splash bottles with black caps. I have a bottle of cologne from Mexico (colonia) from the 40s, and it smells fabulous.

    In the 1960s, Tabu EDC was produced in a black rubberized bottle (like its pink sibling, Ambush), and those smell great.

    Tabu extrait has aged beautifully, and is still quite affordable. It was presented in a clear bottle and sold in a pebbly-textured, off-white square box with lift-off lid. The bottle was nestled in a raised platform. The caps were square and black, similar to Lanvin.

    Tabu also came in a bath oil, in small conical bottles shaped like the rubberized EDC bottles, but oil bottles were clear glass. A good bottle of the bath oil smells very much like extrait.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    There's one that's in a fat, whiskey flask-looking bottle, that I believe is really old.

    I have the rubberized 1960s formulation that's shaped like a narrow Hershey's Kiss. I have that one and can confirm it smells really good.

  6. #6
    Missing Oakmoss

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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post
    There's one that's in a fat, whiskey flask-looking bottle, that I believe is really old.
    I think you're talking about the 2oz splash cologne bottle from the 40s - large, square, black cap with tiny nipple at the center of the cap. Mine was mixed in Mexico, from imported ingredients, and labeled "Tabu colonia" - smells heavenly, and longevity is amazing. Tabu is one of the few vintage fragrances that remains powerful in a cologne concentration.

  7. #7
    I’m not old, I’m vintage.
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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnette View Post
    Tabu is one of the few vintage fragrances that remains powerful in a cologne concentration.
    Other Dana fragrances of that era share that distinction: Emir, for example.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by PStoller View Post
    Other Dana fragrances of that era share that distinction: Emir, for example.
    Agree. It was a wonderful era for Dana. I still have a rubberized pink bottle of Ambush from my high school years - one spray takes me right back to study hall!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    Hi all-

    Thanks for the shout out, Cook.bot. I was away this weekend so I am just checking in.

    As I have mentioned, Tabu and I don’t get along, and I have spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out why—just for my own knowledge and understanding. I’ve tested all sorts of resins and balsams but I still can’t pin it down. It could be that some aspect of Tabu’s famous animalic profile—a combination of nitromusks and civet in my opinion—combined with the spices and sweetness just makes my gorge rise. Tabu is a benchmark perfume by Carles, and a fine example of the “mellis accord” (which I usually enjoy) so the Tabu problem still nags me.

    I think Bonnette, Cacio, Hugh V. et. al. have already provided excellent advice. With Tabu, I would go as old as possible. The box will provide more clues than a naked bottle, and so many of the bottles look the same. I have a cologne from between the 1960’s and 1980’s in this exact packaging. I can’t remember if this photo on my computer is mine or not, but this is what I have:

    C3EBDE12-CA31-4C2D-A061-F847FBD5A848.jpeg

    It has no ingredient list but says it was “Blended in the USA of imported essences.” It has a five digit NY zip code on the back and no “e” volume sign, hence my rough dating. This cologne smells rich and full.

    I also have a tiny mini of Tabu parfum from a wonderful Dana sample box that I think is also from the 1960’s. I like the parfum much better than the cologne (no rising gorge). From time to time, I consider buying a good bottle of the Tabu vintage extrait (as in the photos below) but it does seem to be a bit pigheaded to buy a bottle of a perfume that I don’t particularly like, just to understand it better. (NB: I purchased 4 bottles of Habanita in the same spirit.)

    CDD5396A-3499-43C8-A36F-546B21EB4854.jpeg

    This bottle is older than the previous one:
    B25694E7-13B7-4CE1-995E-DF1A2AC6EA47.jpeg

    Good luck with your Tabu explorations, David, and do let us know how it goes.

    P.S. Here’s that Dana sample box.
    B3D143FF-F53F-4DA3-9512-AE73C91DB024.jpeg
    Currently wearing: Vert et Blanc by Carven

  10. #10
    david's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    Thanks grayspoole and everyone else for your posts.
    I have just bought a giant 1/2 litre size cologne in a sealed box, (I believe manufactured in Spain). It's the white box with the cameo, (but with a grey drawn face in the cameo).
    I'm guessing it could be from the 70's as I used to own it back then and the packaging looks very similar.

    I think the whole story about Tabu being designed as a perfume for a whore is just an urban myth/legend, especially when you see the advertising from when it was first released. The lady at the piano is anything but a whore !...so the marketing does not fit at all with the whore thing...

    I actually heard the same said about Sortilege, (and I'm not sure it actually makes for a good selling point ?) so I'm assuming it's another fragrant fairy story.
    Only dead fish swim with the current...
    <div class="bnsotd"><b>Currently wearing:</b> <a href="ID26120772.html"><img src="http://www.basenotes.net/photos/products/33/26120772-4846.jpg"> Héritage Eau de Toilette by Guerlain</a></div>

  11. #11

    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    Picked this up in my mad old school honkers phase. Looked most curio out of the zillions of different bottles and packaging. Not sure as to age.
    Still thumps like a warehouse sized speaker. Cologne ha!
    20200805_115958.jpg
    Currently wearing: Worth pour Homme by Worth

  12. #12
    Missing Oakmoss

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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    Ifti, that's a dandy bottle! Based on the short list of ingredients, it wouldn't be older than 2003 (long list was required in 2004). The cologne packs a punch at any age, that's for sure.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    Lovely bottles. Tabu does indeed pack a punch.

    Adding some more pics. here's an old gift set I got on ebay:
    http://www.cagetti.com/Pictures/tabu_set.jpg

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    Gorgeous set, Cacio. I’ve never seen a Tabu set like this.

    It looks like there is a box of the parfum amidst all of the goodies. Have you tried that?
    Currently wearing: Vert et Blanc by Carven

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    No, the parfum there is still sealed. I do have another similar bottle of the parfum, and it's great.

    cacio

  16. #16

    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnette View Post
    Ifti, that's a dandy bottle! Based on the short list of ingredients, it wouldn't be older than 2003 (long list was required in 2004). The cologne packs a punch at any age, that's for sure.
    Y'know what - I dreamt it - than purchased it blind! Must've spoken to me on numerous levels!
    Currently wearing: Worth pour Homme by Worth

  17. #17
    Missing Oakmoss

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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ifti View Post
    Y'know what - I dreamt it - than purchased it blind! Must've spoken to me on numerous levels!
    Absolutely! A great total fit.

  18. #18
    david's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    I'm curious to know how much, (if any) the formula has changed over the years. I bought it back in the 70's and the packaging was the white with the thin red stripe. I bought another bottle in late 90's and it still smelled the same and the packaging seemed the same.
    Is it still being produced ? if so, is it the same formula. Can anyone confirm ?... and does anyone have an image or photo of the latest packaging ? Thanks.
    Only dead fish swim with the current...
    <div class="bnsotd"><b>Currently wearing:</b> <a href="ID26120772.html"><img src="http://www.basenotes.net/photos/products/33/26120772-4846.jpg"> Héritage Eau de Toilette by Guerlain</a></div>

  19. #19

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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    I bought a little violin shaped bottle a couple of years ago, in one of those cheap Christmas packets (it must have been $10 or so). It was ok, though not as complex as many older bottles.

    cacio

  20. #20
    Missing Oakmoss

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    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    I'm curious to know how much, (if any) the formula has changed over the years. I bought it back in the 70's and the packaging was the white with the thin red stripe. I bought another bottle in late 90's and it still smelled the same and the packaging seemed the same.
    Is it still being produced ? if so, is it the same formula.
    The last time I smelled it in a store was a couple of years ago, and there was no difference overall from years before - but it was thinner and had no depth. Vintage Tabu ages beautifully, among the best I've encountered, and if you do a side-by-side you'll be able to recognize which is which. Of course it's been reformulated, everything has, and the typical description of new versions of almost all of the old standards is that they've been "watered down."

  21. #21

    Default Re: Tabu - Any Experts Here ?

    I have one like Grayspoole's first image. It was very inexpensive and smells fantastic.

    The animalic accord comes off as leathery to me, though it's more often cited as an oriental. Not sure if that effect is unique to older bottles; I've never smelled a modern one.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."
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