Reviews of Tabac Tabou 
Parfum d'Empire (2015)

Average Rating:  10 User Reviews

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Tabac Tabou by Parfum d'Empire

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Reviews of Tabac Tabou by Parfum d'Empire

There are 10 reviews of Tabac Tabou by Parfum d'Empire.


The cool, green, damp forest-floor-made-of-cured-tobacco of Tabac Tabou (millesime 2021) enchants me. A horse-stable narcissus on the rolling hills sets me adrift with its agrestic bloom. Agrestic? What does that mean you ask? For a fragrance to give off an agrestic quality means that it suggests that which is rustic, from the countryside, rural and pastoral. Think rolling meadows, fields of wildflowers, pastures, farms, a dell wedged between trees. Some may be put off by an overly agrestic fragrance, expecting something to have elements of antiseptic, "disinfected," with a non-threatening sweetness. On the contrary, Tabac Tabou has the duality of clean and dirty, laid bare and vulnerable.

The green, green grass of home doesn't smell like Irish Spring. Raw leaves pregnant with medicinal oils smell not of Herbal Essences. A dirt road gets muddy when there's spring rain. Flowers, whether planted in the garden or growing wild in the glen will often have just a shade of barnyard funk and erotic skank. Have you ever put your nose into a daisy or chamomile flower? You will know what I mean. Back to the narcissus though, which I might add is quite realistic: it reigns supreme in the heart until the wet, animalic facets of pipe tobacco eclipse them. Tabac Tabou dries down into the Corticchiato signature accent immortelle and surprisingly luminous white musk that contrasts with a rugged leather: perfection. This is one damn good vintage. 


The opening is dominated by a nice, and slightly sweet note of pipe tobacco, which, after a while, shifts to a slightly dirty and spicy character owing to the influx of some immortelle.

A bit later the immortelle grows stronger, and a more animalic and civety background develops, combined with a leather impression. The leather retains the sweet undertone, and expresses a suede like notion at times, but at other moments it is a more tangy leather. The leather here reminds me of Helmut Lang's Cuiron it its brightness and levity; it is less austere and complex than Knize's Ten - at least than my older bottle of ten. The tobacco is also never heavy, creamy or cloying; it is quite different from Tom Ford's heavy Tobacco Vanille, although it is also a sweet creation. The sweetness becomes more honey-like in character with time, without expressing any specific style of honey on me.

At a later stage it all merges into a tobacco-suede-civet mix that is sweet and smooth, with add additional restrained musky touch really just constituting the final animalic icing on this olfactory cake. Hints of dried grass come and go. The honeyed tobacco-cum-suede melange peters out slowly towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection, and five hours of longevity in my skin.

A pleasant leathery tobacco scent for autumn, which has original moments here and then with the skillful application of the immortelle, but some ingredients are a bit too generic towards the end. Nevertheless, otherwise is quite nice, albeit a bit deja-vu. It is hovering at the border between being neutral and good - maybe just a positive score by the skin of its teeth. 3/5


You've walked into your uncle's study where he always smokes, and you sit on his olde leather loveseat and watch him work away. You begin absorbing the musty odors of his unkempt room and you begin to feel to his humanity. After some time, he offers you some hot sugar water and pours honey in it because that's all he can drink after coughing up his lungs all night. Tabac Tabou by Parfum d'Empire.


The Night Café by Vincent van Gogh ,1888


I agree with most of the reviewers here who have generally given this one the thumbs up. The leather and animalic notes remind me of ziblenia base (Firmenich). The honey and tobacco I like too and it's better in the drydown than Tobacco Vanille (Tom Ford) which has just leaves a residue of vanilla, like cheap ice cream. But this one has something of the smoothness of "Old Spice" about it, but is a lot more original than that of course. I would buy this.


Too sweet. Too dense. Too fleeting. Too...

...'disappointing' just about sums up the majority of my experience with tobacco scents. That is, until I encountered Tabac Tabou.

Tobacco leaf is undoubtedly the theme of the show here, not the star. But it is an illusion, a synergy of different components, almost holographic in its presentation - from hues of gold and brown, textures that feel dusty-papery, almost dessicated even and an intriguingly narcotic aroma that seems to evoke those of vintage chypres with its aridity and overall floral-salty-leathery-mustiness.

Great tobacco scents hardly ever project beyond a foot and Tabac Tabou is unfortunately no exception. But it lasts a good 6-8 hours on my skin. And I take comfort knowing the perceived ephemerality of a fragrance seems proportionate to the degree of enjoyment we derive from it. That's probably why we mourn over short-lived gems and complain about tenacious 'scrubbers'. It's all relative.

What makes Tabac Tabou shine for me personally is the nuanced approach the perfumer (Marc-Antoine Corticchiato) has taken to tease out the various facets of the cured tobacco leaf. Worn appropriately it doesn't suffer the weight and density of say Tabac Aurea or Chergui. Corticchiato has in fact assembled a stellar cast of supporting players; 'hay' in particular offers a terrific olfactory frame to hang a tobacco structure on. Narcissus? Brilliant.

In a nutshell? Warm, sensual, and borderline addictive. It may be early days yet but this is shaping up to be one taboo I'd love to break.


Nice cold weather scent. I actually like the animalic notes in this one. Nice touch. The leather and tobacco added with this would make you think this would be a mess. Far from that. Not a full bottle purchase for me, but I would get a decant though.


Smells olds fashioned to me, mostly leather, quite a lot like Derby or Knize Ten and even a bit of Vega from Guerlain. Not worth the asking price PDE makes better stuff.


A burst of burnt sugar immortelle, followed by a honeyed tobacco leaf and narcissus blend - there is the slight sharp, dryness of the tobacco, softened by the sweetness of the narcissus - and finally, a dry down of a dark, warm chypre depth, which is somewhat resinous (think myrrh and olibanum), yet dry and rich.

This strikes me as the sort of scent that used to be rubbed into leather to cure it, thus giving the leather its "scent." The effect is not of tobacco, either in the leaf or cured, but of a superbly rendered leather. Parafum d'Empire should have given it a name involving "Cuir," since although tobacco leaf is included, the overall effect is that of a leather scent not a tobacco scent.

Regardless of misnaming, this is a superb leather. Think of their Cuir Ottoman with all of the harshness filtered out and enriched with golden honeyed notes. Although I love CO, I love TT even better.

Highly recommended. A new scent that actually borders on greatness!


Animalic Opening. The honey note is quite pleasant, adding a faint sweetness that is never too much. This lends an almost caramelizing effect on the hay and tobacco. Nicely constructed, just not my cup of tea. Well done. Thumbs up pass.

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