Tag Archives: Dana Tabu

I Scent You A (Holi)day

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 Do you see what I did there ^^? I’ll get my coat. I am taking a short break for a family holiday but when I come back I will be continuing in my mission to write 365 perfume reviews in a year. There are occasional days when life and complications prevent me from blogging, but I am a dogged blogger and shall endeavour to keep my word.

 My main problem,  and admittedly it is a First World problem, is what perfumes to take for a Imageweek? I am so used to browsing my dressing table and sample coffers in the morning that predicting my mood and penchants for the next seven days seems limiting. I know it’s going to be hot, so Yardley Lavender and my trusty Chanel Cristalle will be coming with me.  I may be out in the evening, so something more resonant might be called for- Tauer Incense Rose, or even Balmain’s Jolie Madame. 

If I overindulge (and I intend to) there is always soothing Eau de Cartier for whatever ails you. My Imageseven year old likes Dana Tabu and my three year old likes Broccoli headed Cabotine. I’ll be at the coast, so maybe Miller Harris Fleur de Sel?

 Of course, the reality is that I will probably spend a week smelling of Factor 30 and seaweed, but perfume is all about creating your own little dimension, so I will probably just empty the whole shelf into a suitcase.

 We nearly had the wit and wisdom of LisaWordbird standing in during my sojourn, but the lucky woman is off to Rome if you please. She has promised to update us on her return with a guest blog.

 Happy holidays, bon vacances and have a great vacation.

Happy Father’s Day! It’s Our Old Friend Old Spice.

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 Old Spice has been a fixture in shops and bathroom shelves ever since I can remember. So ubiquitous was it that I have never really bothered to sit down and sniff it properly. It was my husband’s idea for me to review this on Father’s Day, and I thought it was a great idea. I had to Imageagree, especially since he had caught me raiding his fragrance collection because I was in a “manly” mood.

Cheap as Chips, and as common as grass, Old Spice is far more complex than I ever realised. My first visceral associations were naturally talc and toothpaste, but I realised that these were associations, rather than the notes that build it.

So complex is Old Spice that I feel that listing its range of notes explains it best: Nutmeg, Lemon, Orange, Star Anise, Aldehydes, Carnation, Jasmine, Geranium, Cinnamon, Heliotrope, Pimento, Ambergris, Benzoin, Cedar, Vanilla, Tonka Bean and Musk.

Prior to wearing it all day long today in the name of research I would have described it as “white and soapy”. After a day of wear (and top ups) I can honestly say that if they put this in a pretty bottle and sold it as a feminine fragrance, I reckon it would do very well indeed. I would certainly buy it, and you can rest assured that this is not the last time I will be wearing it. (with apologies to my husband, who’s bottle I am using).

The opening is indeed powdery like talc, but also has Carnation and Geranium notes i.e floral but spicy. The Aldehydes do indeed give it the soapy feel that you would associate with bathrooms and shower rooms, but this is more than clean talc. These three notes are also found in Elizabeth Arden’s Blue Grass, and sometimes, Old Spice smells a tiny bit similar, as if I’m smelling Blue Grass from  ten yards away four hours after its been applied. There’s the same faint floral heat against a background of Aldehydes.

In a similar fashion to Dana’s Tabu, this has a light spice that doesn’t go too deep or resonant. It’s almost a surface Oriental, with its Star Anise and  Pimiento, but with less of the “joss stick smoke” than Tabu.

The drydown is a Musky, spiced powder, with the powder  having remained constant throughout. It’s like Spice through a white fluffy towel. The Spice is indeed there, but always cushioned by something softer.

All in all, this is a great cologne with its clean, soapy feel and its added prickle of spice to keep it interesting.  It’s been around so long I almost didn’t see it anymore, but now I feel sure that I will be thinking outside the box when choosing my day’s fragrance, and reaching for the beautiful white glass bottle with its little stopper.

The last word on longevity goes to my husband who said: “it lasts long enough to kiss your wife in the morning but is gone by the time you reach the office.”

Having said that, Old Spice is inexpensive enough to top up regularly, usually to be found well under 10GBP.

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, and to all who may be missing one.

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Avon Week: Timeless

Avon.com
Avon.com


Now we’re talking. I bought a bottle of Timeless in 2012 and was dismissive of it.  In my naivety I labelled it “powdery” and “old lady”. Since my recent epiphany regarding the chypre genre (Thank you Balmain Jolie Madame, I’ve never been the same since), I have changed my outlook on Chypres.

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In Timeless, we have in our midst an excellent and very affordable chypre  (sans oakmoss) that users compare to Rochas Femme or even Gres Cabochard.   Another fan says it is a cross between Obsession and Dana Tabu.

Prominent notes include aldehydes, opoponax, patchouli and amber.   It opens with spicy citrus, beds down into an old fashioned floral with roses and jasmine, and finishes off with an ambery powder accord that isn’t done enough these days.

Timeless was created in 1974 and has fans that have been wearing it ever since.   On the Avon Shop UK page,  buyers are clamouring for it.  On Fragrantica, it is praised to the skies.  On my humble left arm, it smells amazing and has great lasting power.  In fact Avon, did a very daft thing which they quickly put right after listening to their cusotmers.   Timeless was at one point, discontinued.  Such was the uproar from their non-millenial,  long term, customers that Avon very kindly brought it back again.  Wise move, Avon

I tried a sample of Timeless EDT today and was knocked for six. The powdery old fashioned smell I once foolishly tossed aside is terrific. It’s classic, spicy and feminine.  It could hold its own alongside many more expensive brands and not even blush.

Stockists: Timeless is available from Avon UK at the excellent price of £5, although prices and offers may vary.

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Good Perfumes Under Ten Pounds: Is it Possible?

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Today will be post number One Hundred on IScentYouADay.  I would like to thank my readers, followers and commenters from all over the world (there’s a little World Map on my Dashboard, I can see what countries are tuning in!). It has given me genuine cheer to know that you are there. I wonder if you would indulge me then, by allowing me to go slightly off tangent today? In the interests of inclusiveness, I want to write about my frugal finds. When the Money Tree is tightly budded, is it still possible to smell good, or great even?

Back in my twenties, I had a huge perfume habit, but once I settled on Chanel Cristalle, I pretty much stayed loyal to it until three years ago. It was during  a period of penury that, ironically, my perfume obsession came to the fore again. Realising that Cristalle was out of my league, I began to explore other, less expensive options. Three years later and I blush at the number of inexpensive bottles on my dressing table (and lucky me, I had a bottle of Cristalle for my birthday this year).

The things is, perfume needn’t be expensive. There are many ways in which you can dabble without having to smash your piggy bank. Ebay has a vast range of sellers who are disappointed with their birthday present or their blind buy, and eager to sell their brand new bottle that has maybe been sprayed once or twice. This is where you swoop in and buy a favourite for a song. I have bought several used bottles on eBay and never once had a problem with authenticity. In fact, when I have been disappointed with a blind buy, I re-list it and very often make my money back.

Alternatively, you can buy decants and smaller bottles of niche scents from eBay or even  by trawling  sites  such as Basenotes or Fragrantica for like minded perfume junkies who may want to swap something or sell you 10mls of a Serge Lutens.

Then of course, there are cheap perfumes. There are certainly good ones out there as I found out when big budget perfumes were out of my reach. I have had many a cheap perfume for under ten pounds and have indeed also had some howlers during my scented voyage. It pays to buy online from sites such as Allbeauty.com or Amazon. Buying from the High Street means paying a premium for rent, rates, staffing costs, heating etc. Believe me, I’ve shopped around. Even High Street fragrance Sales are often terrible value compared to online prices.

I have made a list below of ten perfumes under ten pounds (at the moment!) that I consider to be a good bet. I have listed a variety too, rather than one single genre. Many of these have already been listed and reviewed on my site, although  I cannot give you the links as my computer really doesn’t like it when I link to my site on my site. I guess it disapproves of Narcissism. In fact there are only three fragrances below that I have yet to review (Yardley Lavender, Little Black Dress and Green Tea), and they will be along soon. All the others can be found earlier on in my site.

I hope this list gives you hope that when all’s spent, there might, just might, be enough in the kitty to buy yourself something pretty.

  1. Dana Tabu– Spicy, Oriental; A classic.
  2. JLo Deseo, Tropical notes and White Flowers. Stock up for summer. Gorgeous  jewel like bottle.
  3. Gres Cabotine,  A Zingy Green, perfect for Summer. NB This is the original with the green lid, not one of the many flankers.
  4. Coty L’Aimant Fleur de Rose, Floral, Rose. A Baby Powder Floral. Currently £7.45 for a gift set containing a 30ml EDT on Amazon. Stock up, it’s discontinued but still around.
  5. Avon Little Black Dress– Floral. Just bought a half price bottle for £6.50 from this month’s Avon brochure. Although it’s usually £13.00, there are almost always offers on such as buy one, get one half price, or buy one, get a second for £2.
  6. Cabochard–  A classic Leather. Currently £8.99 for 100ml in my local Bodycare shop.
  7. Ambre de Cabochard– Oriental Amber: Recently spotted in Savers Chemist and online on Amazon. I’m on my second bottle.
  8. Body Shop White Musk– Musk. A small 15ml bottle is currently £7.00 in my local store,  and a large 30ml bottle is £11 instore. The oil goes much further than the spray. One 30ml bottle of oil lasts me a year!
  9. Yardley Lavender– Lavender: Good alone or in layers. I just bought 50ml in Boots for £9.99
  10. Elizabeth Arden Green Tea: a refreshing summer classic. I don’t like Green Tea personally, but I have to admit that this is done very well and for an excellent price. Currently under 10GBP, but prices change often.

Do you agree or disagree with the list above? Do let me know your perfume bargains and discoveries. I would love to hear about them.

Dana Tabu: A Tart With a Heart

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Created in 1932 by  Jean Carles  with the remit to create a fragrance “for a prostitute”, Dana Tabu has stuck around and has been a favourite of millions over the years. Tabu is regarded as a Drugstore Classic: that is to say affordable, ubiquitous, and an acceptably good blast from the past. Wearing this today elicits nostalgic memories from people in their 40s and 50s who remember their Mother or Aunts smelling of this. However, Tabu has a lot to offer the modern perfume wearer too and wearing it today has been nothing less than pleasurable.

Needless to say, this fragrance has been through numerous reformulations. Ingredients increase in cost, yet prices need to remain affordable. I do not pretend to be an expert on all the changes made over the years, so I cannot hope to list them here. However, you will always find those who prefer the original, the vintage, the one from the 80s, the new one …and so it goes on. What I have in front of me is the non violin shaped Eau de Toilette (like the one pictured above). It’s not strong and the sillage wouldn’t bother a fellow commuter. Lasting power isn’t more than three hours on me, but, as I explain later,  you can often “secure” a fleeting scent by pinning it down with another. Alternatively, spraying clothes and hair makes a scent less flyaway.

However the fragrance itself immediately reminds me of my room as a student. I was always burning Patchouli joss sticks and the dried smoke from the spent sticks would smell just like this. Smoky, spicy and with a whiff of Patchouli. Tabu is like a watered down poor relation of Youth Dew and this could be down to the heavy note of Cloves. I smelt Oranges too, and a  hint of Vetiver and Oakmoss (though I doubt it’s the real thing). Civet is listed as a note, but I didn’t get anything animalic from this. In fact, it smells clean, like lemon washing up liquid, albeit for a few seconds, before settling down to its smoky aromas.

Tabu is widely available for less than ten pounds (UK) and is an excellent addition to any scent wardrobe. It’s good for winter especially, although it does make me laugh that it is described rather formally as “recommended for romantic wear”. But I would happily wear it in the day without making eyes at my husband. It’s light enough for daytime and wouldn’t knock anyone out.

It’s an inexpensive spicy, peppery treat of a perfume, despite lacking good longevity. I often find with thinner, inexpensive perfumes that they make excellent layering scents.  In fact I tried this over Yves Rocher Rose Absolue and it was fabulous. The Rose was made complex and spicy, and Tabu seemed to last longer for being pinned down.

I have a great deal of affection for cheap and cheerful scents that do the job. If you’d told me a few years back that I’d have a big bottle of cheap prostitute perfume on my dressing table,  and that I’d be pleased about it, I never would have believed you. But then I never would have believed that perfume from Lidl is worth buying too, but it is.

The rules with perfume:

Rule One: There are no rules

Stockists

You can buy Dana Tabu from allbeauty.com and from Perfume Click.  Prices are usually less than £12 a bottle You can also try eBay, of course.

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