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73% would repurchase
Package Quality: 3.0
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on 2/15/2015 5:17:00 PM
More reviews by zanderae
Skin: Combination, Medium, Cool
Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine
People like to snicker about this fragrance, about how strong it is. About how it's old-school, or cheap, or old-lady. About how women who wear it don't know how they are coming across to others. About how you can get it at Big Lots, for God's sake. Yes, this is a strong, spicy Oriental fragrance. Yes, it has some substantial sillage to it. And yes, it's mass-market.But here's the thing: women who can pull off this fragrance - and not everyone can, it's true - can OWN it. I'm not one of the lucky ones, because it doesn't work on me, but I stand in awe of those for whom it works, because when the chemistry is right it's just intoxicating. When I was comin' up in the 80s, Opium was the luxury fragrance (well, that and Obsession, but a lot of people thought Obsession was tacky cuz the masses adopted it. That's another argument for another day). To my nose, Tabu is a MUCH deeper, more interesting, more complex Oriental fragrance than Opium, which is pretty much just powder.I was in a store several years ago and I got a whiff of something an older woman - I mean 80-something - was wearing. It was that instantly-recognizable Tabu. She just rocked it; all I could do was appreciate her fragrant aura and tip my hat to someone who could make the most of that for which a scent is designed.Not everyone can wear this. I don't dare venture into anything other than the dusting powder, myself. But if you can wear the juice, if it suits you, then you can rule the world - or, at least, you sure as hell gonna smell like you can. For those who can pull it off, there is no other.
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
on 1/5/2014 1:04:00 AM
More reviews by samhoney
Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure
Hair: Blond, Other, Other
A very warm oriental fragrance. I. notice the following notes: bourbon, licorice, cola, amber, incense... I cant describe the final note any other way than calling it "winter fire". What I mean is that wonderful and soft smell of a distant fire burning in wintertime.
Tabu is the older and more worldly sister of Obsession. Where Obsession is reckless and wild, Tabu is mature...patient...but wanton. Tabu is experienced and classy and should be worn by a mature woman who knows what she wants and will do whatever need be done to get it.
Tabu is my signature scent.
6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.
on 12/27/2013 7:57:00 AM
More reviews by shushkin2
Skin: Oily, Medium, Not Sure
Hair: Brunette, Other, Other
WOW! This is sensational. OH immediately noticed it. Everyone seems to rave about this scent so I had to try it for myself. It cost peanuts so not to try it would have been just plain rude. It has great sillage and great longevity. It is sort of a gourmand/oriental dream mix of notes. I am addicted to it!
on 8/13/2013 7:36:00 PM
More reviews by kyl77
Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure
Hair: Red, Wavy, Medium
I finally found my signature scent! Perfume Monogamy! I went so far as to give all my other perfumes away, and trust me I had a drawer full. What makes this just right is the careful blend of sweetness and spice. It's definately a heavy scent, but when used with a light touch, it radiates a subtle beauty and warmth. Super affordable, this smells anything but cheap. In fact, a co-worker commented that it smelled like something a very rich woman would wear. It's also very long lasting. One spritz of the cologne or a couple dabs of the perfume lasts all day. I do worry about reformulations though. I recently picked up a bottle at Walmart and was disappointed to find that it didn't smell quite the same as my current bottle. This sent me on a spending frenzy buying vintage bottles off the internet. Hopefully, I'll always be able to order the perfume (versus the cologne), which seems to remain truer to the original. It would be a sad thing if this beautiful fragrance were to simply disappear.
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
on 4/9/2013 11:34:00 AM
More reviews by SorceressOfTheDark
Age: 56 & Over
Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool
Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine
Ooh-la-la Tabu! I remember buying a little violin shaped bottle when I was a teen-ager in one of the better drugstores in my town that actually had a cosmetics section with a sales associate just for that department. She would help the ladies (and teens too) with their beauty purchases. She was a wonderful person that would make you feel so grown-up...(smile). Such business they did because of that wonderful, caring woman.Tabu, so much has been written here, and the history is correct. A perfume/cologne that has withstood the test of time since 1932? That should tell you something. If it's good, it better be good, or it just won't sell. The name has something to do with it, yes, but it's the scent, the illusion, the violin-shaped bottle all wrapped up into a neat package. The scent-you'd better be prepared for it. It's heady,musky, alluring, sexy, a scent that a woman who knows who she is would wear. It's glandular, it's patchouli, it's thick, it's for you when you want to wrap yourself in a thick white cable sweater and a pair of jeans with a pair of librarian glasses and surprise the hell out of someone or if you're into these type of scents then it will just become one of your staples. It's not meant to be worn to a club/affair when you want to be sexy. If you don't understand the concept of Tabu, then it's not for you. You see, Tabu is sex personified when worn on the right woman.It's the kind of scent that makes other people get a whiff and wonder just what is that woman wearing-but don't put it on heavy because then it will overpower others. It does turn heads. If Tabu cost five times what it did, its fans would still purchase it. And others would clamor to buy a bottle. People today are so caught up in designer names and their fragrances they don't get what fragrance is all about. It's about making someone feel good about themselves. It's about walking by someone and that other person smells something good but doesn't realize it's you. It doesn't matter the cost, what does matter is that it puts a smile on your face and power in your step. That's what Tabu was originally meant to do and it still does for women. Originally designed for a whore (‘un parfum de puta’), Jean Carles Tabu was created as sensual, shocking and yes, "Tabu", or "Tabou".It begins as oriental with fresh citrus and spice, down to mid-notes of jasmine, narcissus, rose and ylang-ylang. The warm oriental base includes amber, resins, civet and precious woods – sandal and patchouli.There is an incense tone to it that no one can resist and it is definitely not for immature women. It's spicy, animalistic, bohemian, wild, complex, brooding, decadent, mysterious, fierce, cozy, self-indulgent, non-conformist, serious, ruthless...well, you should get the point. You'll be remembered for wearing it if you are the right type of woman that knows who she is and what she's about. If you're just that wild, Tabu might just be for you.I loved it as a teen, and I love it now. I wear other scents too, such as Shalimar, Opium and Pink Sugar, even straight Patchouli. Every woman wears what her body chemicals allow her to. That's what you have to remember. You can only try different fragrances and find what works for you.
14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.
on 3/18/2013 10:59:00 AM
More reviews by violette
Skin: Very Oily, Medium, Warm
Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium
Mmmm… this is YUMMY! Who the heck doesn’t like root beer float anyway? :-) I have never sniffed the original/vintage & the new cologne is definitely on the ‘gourmand’ side of the spectrum rather than ‘whore’ (the original must have caused quite a stir back in 1932!), but still, even in its current synthetic, chaste incarnation, Tabu is flat out A ZILLION times better than the boring, oh-so-predictable sugar bombs/fruitchoulis/fruity florals cluttering the perfume counters these days. If Tabu were the last surviving perfume on earth, I would wear it with pride. The fact that it was composed by the great Jean Carles (whose other masterpiece, Miss Dior, I will forever regard as the gold standard of the perfect floral leather chypre… & whose utter ruination by the evil IFRA I will forever mourn) makes me love this drugstore classic even more. And hey, Hollywood legends Gloria Swanson & Ava Gardner reportedly wore this, which is good enough of an endorsement for me! Wonderful. Simply wonderful.Note: I have the 45ml Pure Spray Cologne in the cello/violin-shaped bottle. I don’t know how it compares to the cologne in the bottles pictured above. *From Michael Edwards:Fragrance Family: Rich OrientalNotes:Top: Terragon, Lemon, Basil, BergamotHeart: Heliotrope, Rose, Ylang-ylang, Lily of the Valley, JasmineBase: Musk, Vanilla, Oakmoss, Benzoin, Patchouli
7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.
on 1/11/2013 10:13:00 AM
More reviews by MissBehaviour
Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium
This is one of my all time favourite fragrances, and no doubt it's one of the most astounding bargains of the fragrance world. The reason it polarises opinion is that it is so much more assertive than the sheer or foody scents of current perfumery. This one's for a woman who is not ashamed of being one; it's classy but not insipid or overly appropriate--there's a bit of brash sexiness here for sure. Tabu brings to mind old Hollywood, a smoking Lauren Bacall, a jazz club, gutsy generations of women that came before us and approached life with courage and style. What I get from Tabu is orange, cloves, narcissus, incense, amber and a balmy, honeyed note. It's sweet but not candy sweet, has fruit notes (think mulled wine, not Koolaid), but is always tempered with smoky dryness. This fragrance is simply alive once it hits your skin and goes through always interesting progressions throughout the day. Oh, and it lasts. And lasts. And lasts--and this in the cologne version (!) If Tabu were rebottled and adorned with a fancy label by a fashionable design brand, it would sell for ridiculous prices. As it is, Tabu remains an affordable treat that reads like a luxury.
11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.
on 11/15/2012 4:35:00 AM
More reviews by Zanita27
Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Warm
ive been wanting to try this for the longest time and finally did. It reminds me of opium but less spicy and strong smelling. Its a pretty warm floral oriental that does not smell cheap at all. My only gripe is the fact that it doesnt last very long and you may need to reply throughout the day. This is one classic scent that will be in continous rotation for me.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
on 11/9/2012 9:10:00 AM
More reviews by blueberryfrost
Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral
Oh, I love Tabu. I discovered it last winter, and bought one of those two-packs at Walmart for $6. I love a lot of "retro" scents, and I definitely love heavy, musky orientals - like Obsession for example. On me, Tabu is pure sexy deliciousness. Smooth amber, smoky incense, sweet syrupy almost-cola notes. This is so cheap but smells amazing, it's now one of my favorites in my huge perfume collection. It is perfect for fall and winter - goes well with a cozy sweater and jeans, but you can dress it up, as well. I'm in my mid twenties and do not consider this to be "old lady" at all - I think young women these days consider any fragrance that doesn't smell like a cupcake or fruit basket to be old lady. I have been told I smell "beautiful" when I wear this. I can see myself wearing this for many years to come.
9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.
on 11/8/2012 7:10:00 PM
More reviews by Paisleyann
Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure
I'm so going to date myself here, but Tabu is about history to me, and it has a long one. My mom use to wear this is the 70's and I loved it as a kid. It was so grown up-warm and sweet. She would waif in after a night out, with the scent of leather, marijuana, tobacco, and Tabu. To me she smelled the divine hippie chic with her long black hair and crocheted sweaters. The when I was in high school and experimenting with clove cigarettes, it reminded me of her Tabu perfume. I didn't want to get get caught smoking (she grew out of hippie chic) so I would steal her Tabu and douse myself with it to cover up the clove scent. Worked like a charm! Now that I'm in my 40's and my (and her) rebel days are over I still have fond memories of Tabu. I'm too conservative to wear it now (I'm a boring Philosophy girl now) but every now and then I'll spray my only bottle I've had for years into the room, and take a little mental vacation to those old "devil may care days"That's Tabu. Mysterious, heavy, sweet, sexy, independent.
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