Tabac Original 
Mäurer & Wirtz (1959)

Average Rating:  102 User Reviews

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Tabac Original by Mäurer & Wirtz

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About Tabac Original by Mäurer & Wirtz

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Mäurer & Wirtz
Fragrance House

This fragance has been doing the rounds for over 40 years without any signs of losing its popularity. The fragrance is complemented by a very wide range of grooming, shaving and body products.

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Where to buy Tabac Original

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Reviews of Tabac Original by Mäurer & Wirtz

There are 102 reviews of Tabac Original by Mäurer & Wirtz.

Tabac (the EDT formulation) has a clean, soapy barbershop quality that I find soothing. Yes, it is old fashioned but in the most elegant way. This is a choice for applying just out of the shower, or a casual trip to run errands. Nothing artificial to my nose and it is refreshing and inoffensive.
Honestly, I have never smelled Tabac previously over these many years but if I did smell someone wearing it I certainly would have complemented them and politely asked what scent they were wearing. I am so glad to add Tabac to my collection. Thumbs up!

This "thumbs down" review is specifically aimed at the latest EdC batches.
Background: I have been wearing Tabac since the late 70's, when I discovered it whilst living in West Germany. The fragrance is manly, piquant and piecing and, imo, unique. Reviewers throw around the phrase "Barbershop" when describing it, but I do not concur. It is manly and "outdoorsy".
So, I purchased a bottle of the EdC to replace a used-up AS and opted for a spray bottle. Got it online from one of the discount fragrance houses.
The "nose" from the bottle seemed very nice, somewhat less bracing than the aftershave. 3-4 sprays and I am off to start my day. 30 minutes later and I can't even detect the faintest iota of scent. NADA! I re-apply about 6 more sprays. Within the hour ALL TRACES have disappeared. WTF??? I am really pissed. This was a disgrace and unless I happened upon a bad bottle (what are the chances of that?), Maurer & Wirtz have destroyed a real icon.
In a huff, I found a vintage NOS bottle on Ebay and purchased it without hesitation. My fingers are crossed.

Ubiquitous classic that can be found in any drugstore. Finally tried the eau de cologne which the consensus says is the superior version. A reassuring scent, the opening feels very familiar. The aldehydes remind me of fabric softener or marble cleaner which account for the associations of hotel lobbies. Opens up to a pleasurable grey soapy scent, a bit like Lapidus pour Homme but less weird and way muted. Classic stuff indeed. The shaving cream is also excellent with perfect texture for a close shave.

Maybe I'm a man of simple tastes but I love this as a wear at home during the day scent. Brings back memories of my dad from when I was young. Very strong opening but dries down nicely and great for the price.

I have the Eau De Cologne, and it is stronger and longer lasting than a lot of the Eau De Toilette's out there. Tabac is a very rich, natural smelling symphony of notes playing off your skin for hours. Applying to your shirt, it will last for days. Summer heat amplifies it's beauty. And compliments galore! Two thumbs up and 5 stars for this timeless classical legend. Unparalleled quality/price ratio. Maurer & Wirtz has been in business since 1845, and Tabac Original epitomizes the knowledge and craftsmanship acquired over 175 years practicing the art of perfumery.

In some ways I guess it could be said that Tabac by Mäurer & Wirtz (1959) is Germany's answer to America's medicine chest stalwart Shulton Old Spice (1937), and in some ways has held up better in the long run, since it is still very much used in Germany, rather than being sold part and parcel to a healthcare conglomerate like Old Spice then exploited as a brand label until all meaning was lost. In that respect, Tabac is a rare survivor of the corporate bloat and downmarket destruction that has afflicted most drugstore perfumes of yore, to be either replaced with cheapo aerosol body sprays like Axe/Lynx or become a pale veneer of what they once were sold only in gift sets around Christmas. For better or worse (perhaps better or wirtz), Tabac has remained the beast it originally was, so much that it now bears the subtitle of "original" to differentiate it from competitors and its own host of modernized flankers. The smell of Tabac is not really tobacco, but neither is the smell of Old Spice strictly spicy, as both are of that rare breed of men's oriental which borrow much from the orientals sold to women through much of the early to mid 20th century, just with Tabac being intentionally masculine by design (whereas Old Spice was originally for women). The results of intentional masculinity superimposed on what is otherwise an oriental accord conventional for the day includes the sucking out of nearly all sweetness, and beefing up of base notes that appealed to men at the time.

Tabac was composed by Arturo Jordi-Pey, who spent more time behind the scenes at Firmenich than composing perfumes for big name houses, despite being widely-respected as a master nose within the industry, meaning you're more likely to see his name in a book on perfume method than on a perfume. He must have looked at what made Old Spice so appealing to men, then took a look at what men loved about dry leather chypres like Javier Serra's Russian Leather/MEM English Leather (1949), combined them, and embellished them into something unique. The opening is fairly "knock you back" stuff, combining bracing aldehydes, bergamot, petitgrain, spices, and some powdery tones. The barbershop aesthetic is actually really strong with Tabac in this stage, but it's no wonder since this stuff was meant to be an entire men's grooming solution. The heart of carnation is dotted with cardamom, clove, lavender, and geranium, but honestly the carnation/clove (both powered by eugenol) dominate here. The isobutyl quinoline leather of Robert Piguet Bandit (1944) fame is also here, but so is amber, oakmoss, vetiver (for smoke), sandalwood, tonkin musk (or proxy), olibanum, and coumarin (for tobacco). Wear time varies by concentration but the original eau de cologne is deceptively long-legged, while later EdT sprays can choke a crowd if not careful. I'd call this a cool weather scent but if you enjoy Tabac unironically, you probably don't give a damn about when or wear you use it. Like most older masculines, any sense of context has long since been erased with the passage of time (and relevance).

Fans of Clubman Pinaud Special Blend (year unknown) may enjoy Tabac as a rough clove-heavy leather scent with rounded oriental charm, but that heavy plonk of animalic musk in the base removes any preconceived notion of casual use from the start. This was and still is a "man's man" stereotype of a fragrance, coming across surly, brusque, individualistic, and not foolin' around. It's almost amusing to see the Germans "out-America" a mostly-American style of masculinity, but so much time has passed that this kind of thing isn't really stylish in America anymore, meaning something like Tabac might be seen as a challengingly exotic fragrance at best, or unforgivably dowdy and aggressive at worst (much like Old Spice). Wet-shaving enthusiasts are probably apt to enjoy the kind of rough-hewn manliness on display with such a dense and dry, spicy leather accord as Tabac has, and if you want to play into the German leather bondage stereotype, this will also work very well for you. Tabac is sold in the US but never gained traction like some of the Italian barbershop staples did, so while you might see people stocking Pino Silvestro (1955) or Acqua di Selva (1949) stateside (especially in New York city), you aren't likely to find Tabac outside an independent perfume shop that specializes in oddities or vintage brands. One thing is for sure: if your Old Spice isn't old enough, your English Leather not English enough, or your Jovan Musk (1972) not musky enough, Tabac has you covered for the price of a beer. Just remember that this chap drinks Paulaner or Bitburger, and not that pissy American beer, Thumbs up.

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