Saturday, August 19, 2006


Tabu has a dry edge of spices and carnation with a heart of gold – rose, orange blossom and jasmine - sweetened with resinous honey note over a sultry foundation of patchouli, amber, oakmoss, civet and musk. Although the top notes seem dry and somewhat severe at first, they quickly evolve into voluptuous and seductive curves that whisper a lustful invitation.

And you better listen to those whispers, as Tabu is the definition of a good buy – a high quality, original perfume with class and lasting power (remarkable for an Eau de Cologne!) which any great name perfume house would be proud of, for prices as low as $8-$15 depending on the size. It’s also very reliable: it’s been around since 1932 and hasn’t been altered as far as I know. In fact, it is written in the history of perfumes as the trendsetter for perfumes such as the patchouli drenched Youth Dew (1952), the spicy carnation & incense Opium (1977) and the ambery-mossy Obsession (1985) that tried their hand at this Oriental greatness only decades later, and in my opinion owe much for their greatness to the taboo breaking Tabu.

Tabu truly fits its name and image (as in the famous painting in the original advertisement): a forbidden, sensually provocative scent – just like the forbidden love between Anita and Holger in the unforgettable film “Intermezzo”.

The opening is dry and spicy with some orange notes; the heart is a well rounded floral; and the base is a sweet, animalic amber with powdery characteristics. It’s a seductive scent and I love wearing it in the winter or for bedtime, as it is rather comforting.

Top notes: Orange, Allspice, Carnation
Heart notes: Orange blossom, Rose, Jasmine
Base notes: Amber, Civet, Patchouli, Civet, Musk

Photo from Intermezzo from

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At August 19, 2006 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, you can't please everybody, but Tabu is surely an unfairly maligned scent. It's rich, complex, sensual--all the things serious perfume lovers claim to be seeking in a scent. If it were hard to find, or cost $100 an ounce, we'd all be fighting to get our hands on a bottle. Here's praying Dana leaves it alone!

At August 19, 2006 6:46 PM, Blogger Victoria said...

Thanks to you I'm quite hooked. The sample taste renewed my interest and sparked a desire to own this scent. A gift set of EDP, lotion and parfum are on the way!

At August 21, 2006 7:30 AM, Blogger chayaruchama said...

Oh, dear...

Childhood associations with this one are MOST unpleasant !

Loud,vindictive aunts who bathed in this stuff-I used to hide under the bed when they appeared on our doorstep
[actually, I could smell them coming- that monster sillage was a giveaway] !

Will have to re-sniff, in the intersts of objectivity and olfactory research [sighs and hangs head dejectedly]...

Good analysis. Thanks, Ayala.


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