Tabac to the future

Just a quick post to thank make-up artist extraordinaire Daniel Sandler for taking me on an olfactory journey back to my youth this week. Whilst having a drink with me the other night he produced a small gift  – a bottle of Tabac Original Bath and Showel Gel, which he’d acquired at his local chemist. Now, without giving away too much about our ages, Daniel and I are ‘contemporaries’ and he too remembers the very distinctive smell of Tabac from his youth.

Originally launched back in the late fifties (no, that’s absolutely not the decade we remember it from in case you’re wondering) Tabac has had several resurgences in popularity, principally in the Eighties. To be honest, I’d actually forgotten it even existed anymore until Daniel and I were discussing fragrances from our misspent youth a few weeks ago and it came up in conversation (hence the gift). And the moment I got a whiff of it I was all of 15 again  – with hair and a 28 inch waist and all!

If you’ve never encountered it, it’s a fantastically old-fashioned florally fougere fragrance with notes of neroli, lavender, geranium, sandalwood, oak moss and ambergris. Somehow the shower gel smells just how a shower gel should and the fact that it’s  around all these years later (and probably will be in another 40 years) is a sign it’s still doing something right, so why not give it a whirl?

Roja Dove adds sex to Scandal Pour Homme

Roja Dove is the undisputed King of Fragrance and is one of the most knowledgeable people in the world when it comes to perfume (check out the interview I did with him here). So it’s no surprise that his first ever fragrance for men, Scandal Pour Homme, is a complex, intriguing but eminently wearable affair.

Taking inspiration from the classic Fougère fragrance family (look out for its signature lavender, tonka bean and moss notes) it also has fresh notes of bergamot, lemon and petigrain, along with floral ones (in the shape of jasmine, violet and lily of the valley) and warm spicy ones thanks to sandalwood, nutmeg and cardamon.

But it’s the deep base notes, the ones that develop after some time on your skin, that make the most impression for me. With ambergris (a prized, waxy ingredient that’s regurgitated by sperm whales) and musk, this is where Scandal becomes seriously sexy. And as if to reinforce this fact, opening the beautifully-designed  box itself it like slowly disrobing. The flash of purple you see when the box is closed is just like a teasing hint of flesh and lifting the lid only reveals more! What happens once you get the bottle in your hands is up to you!

Scandal Pour Homme is available from Harrods, priced £175 for 100ml eau de parfum.