New Perfume Review Parfum D’Empire Tabac Tabou- The Price of Expectations

If there is anything which can make something good seem bad it is expectations. I can tell you my expectations for Star Wars The Force Awakens have me looking forward to it with off the charts exuberance. Every so often there is that voice which asks me, “What if it is just good?” My response should be good Star Wars is still good. Unfortunately because of my expectations good will be bad. I just had a similar experience with the new Parfum D’Empire Tabac Tabou.

These perfumed expectations come about when perfumer Marc-Antoine Corticchiato releases his new Parfum D’Empire for the year, usually in the fall. I receive the press release prior to the perfume and this year for Tabac Tabou was no different. Within that text I was told to expect tobacco, hay, “a green, fresh narcissus”, immortelle, “rough-hewn leather”, and “fur-like animalic notes”. This is like my perfumed version of the return of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Chewbacca. From a brand and perfumer who has used some of these notes in brilliant ways previously the expectation meter was pegged. Then I received the sample and it wasn’t enough of these things. My wife watched the confused frown on my face and asked me what was wrong. That was the question there wasn’t anything wrong it just wasn’t what I expected. This was well-constructed and contained some really nice versions of the raw materials used. What was wrong with me? This was where some time helped as I stepped away. When I wore it for the first time it was an impulse as I changed my mind on what to wear on the day which I think was a good thing. What happened during that first day I finally started paying attention to what was there instead of what I hoped would be there.  What is there is something not quite as feral as I wanted. Tabac Tabou is more interested in the potential for untamed feelings than actually provoking them.


Marc-Antoine Corticchiato

M. Corticchiato opens with hay. I should write that hay in bold text because this is one of the biggest hay notes I’ve smelled in a long time. The tobacco joins it straight away and instead of the heady narcotic quality of the tobacco taking charge it is the dried grassy sweetness of the hay which is what I primarily encounter. There is a bit of some fruit underneath to accentuate the sweeter facets of both of the top notes. The green acerbic nature of narcissus arises out of the warmth of the hay and tobacco. M. Corticchiato uses a grassy herbal accord, horsetail maybe, to sharpen the green lines. The final bit of the heart is a mélange of the white flowers. This is the part which I think initially threw me. It is also the part I have come to appreciate. The deep floralcy that the white flowers add full of indolic charm take the lead and then immortelle provides a different aspect of sweetness. The base is the promised rough-hewn leather with an accord high in birch tar providing the leathery nature. Muskiness is present in support and never rises to the level of the previous release Musc Tonkin.

Tabac Tabou has 10-12 hour longevity and initially very above average sillage for the first five hours before becoming a skin scent for the last half of the days I wore it.

My expectations definitely tempered my enthusiasm for Tabac Tabou. I think it is very good and if you like hay this is absolutely a must try. I have a feeling that in a year or two Tabac Tabou is going to become one of my favorites but for right now my expectations are getting in the way of that.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Parfum D’Empire.

Mark Behnke