Working on tabac, and testing scents for men

I’m working on Tabac Aurea again today, trying a few things before I decide if it is done. I have the major accords done and am playing with details here and there to find my favorite. I couldn’t resist trying a bit of mimosa absolute in it since Tabac Aurea has a leather accord and the mimosa is leathery, but I doubt I’ll use it in this. I’m also adjusting the tobacco absolute level up and down a tad to verify my favorite optimal balance.

Before Christmas I made an annual trip to the nearest Nordstrom and Sephora (an hour drive one way so I don’t get time to go very often), and I tried some men’s scents because I knew I wanted to make Tabac Aurea be unisex. My favorites from that sniffing expedition were Cartier Declaration, Chanel Pour Monsieur, Dior Homme, Hermes Equipage, and Hermes Eau d’Orange Verte. I already knew I liked Terre de Hermes, and from the non-dept store category I love the original two Divine men’s scents, Guerlain Vetiver, FM Vetiver Extraordinaire, and Lalique Encre Noir. I wasn’t as fond of the Prada Homme or Prada iris for men as I thought I’d be; they were pleasant but a bit cleaner/soapier than I prefer.

I saw an article in the NY Times headlines today about the hard times that small fashion designers are having in the current economy, and I fear it could take a toll on the newer small perfume houses too. These are hard times to try to grow a business; most businesses are just trying to survive.

The Make Or Break Season

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  1. Glad to hear Tabac Aurea is getting close — have loved the test versions I’ve been fortunate to have tried!

    I’m going to have to test some of the other scents you mention in this post, since half of your list are ones that are also high on my list (either I already have them or they are on my short to-buy list): Terre d’Hermes, Hermes eau d’Orange Verte, Chanel Pour Monsieur, and the two Divines (I’m assuming you are referring to l’homme sage and l’homme de coeur — love both of those!). The rest you mention I haven’t tested yet, but it looks like I should soon!

    Best wishes and success,

  2. Hi Glenn,

    Glad you liked the Tabac testers! I have to get you an updated one, but it’s not too far from the last one you tried. I’m fine-tuning now. I made a couple little tweaks Friday that I think I may want to keep (not the mimosa, though that was fun to try).

    Yes, those are my favorite Divine fragrances, especially L’homme de Coeur, but the sage is great too. Don’t know how you’d feel about Dior Homme because it’s different from the rest I listed — it’s more sweet and powdery, but it sure is nicely done. On the Prada I liked the men’s iris but like the women’s Prada iris better, and I wasn’t that fond of the original Prada for men. Bet you might like Declaration, and if you like vetiver all those are nice, plus TDC Sel de Vetiver too.

    You can probably tell me some more men’s scents I should be trying. Many fragrance these days are meant to be unisex, but I should try more men’s classics.

    Thanks for good wishes and I’d love for you to test the next Tabac when I narrow it down from these trials I just did Friday. One is in the lead but I’ll sniff again tomorrow (took today off from sniffing Tabac).

  3. Hi Laurie:

    Well, I had a sample of the FM Vetiver Extraordinare on hand and went ahead and tried it after your blog post, and while I appreciate how well it’s done, I’m concluding I’m not much of a vetiver fan! It works for me when it isn’t so strong (like in Timbuktu — at least I only get a hint of vetiver in that), but the strong vetivers haven’t been my favs…

    I was really looking forward to trying Divine’s newest masculine, L’etre aime au masculin, but didn’t like it as well as the earlier two; I haven’t written it off though — I intend to come back to the sample at some point. Actually, it reminded me very much of an inferior version of your Fireside for some reason; that would normally be a good thing, but it wasn’t as good (still too new at this to accurately describe what I found to be similar and what was different).

    In terms of classic masculines, I recently did a couple of blind buys (sort of) that I’ve really enjoyed: Dunhill for Men (1934 version) and the historic Jean Marie Farina (from Roger & Gallet), which was very similar to Creed’s Bois de Cedrat to my nose (and about as short lasting!)…

  4. Vetiver Extraordinaire isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure. It’s quite strong vetiver, dark, earthy, raw. It’s fun if you like that sort of thing; I probably wouldn’t have liked it years ago but have developed more of a love of vetiver over the years. I recently did a quick try of the new Divine masculine too and it didn’t grab me either. It did seem nicely done as all theirs are, but the first two men’s scents of theirs are so great it’s a tough act to follow (Sage is very original and Coeur is such a perfectly blended iris note). I’ve not tried the others you mention but will add them to the evergrowing “to sample” list! Thanks!

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