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Tabu Dana for women

Tabu Dana for women
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Total people voted: 826
female 25- 25+
male 25- 25+

I have it: 729 I had it: 310 I want it: 160 My signature: 16

main accords
warm spicy
woody
balsamic
amber
musky
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The first fragrance of the house was Tabu, created by Jean Carles 1932. Jean Carles was well known for his wonderful creations made of unusual materials. Before creating Tabu, he was instructed to make a fragrance for a whore (‘un parfum de puta’). Thus, Tabu was created, sensual and shocking.

Its luscious oriental floral composition starts with fresh citrus and spicy notes. The spices in the heart accentuate the beauty of exuberant flowers: jasmine, narcissus, rose and ylang-ylang. Warm oriental base includes amber, resins, civet and precious woods – sandal and patchouli.

Perfume Pyramid

Top Notes
Orange Spices Neroli Bergamot Coriander

Middle Notes
Cloves Jasmine Ylang-Ylang Rose Narcissus

Base Notes
Sandalwood Amber Patchouli Musk Benzoin Civet Oakmoss Vetiver Cedar

Main Notes According to Your Votes

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Longevity

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User votes
poor 4
 
weak 4
 
moderate 39
 
long lasting 39
 
very long lasting 49
 

Sillage

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soft 10
 
moderate 48
 
heavy 59
 
enormous 35
 

This perfume reminds me of  
Basile
3 no yes
Snake Oil
2 no yes
Burlesque
2 no yes
Bal a Versailles
1 no yes

Tabu Fragrance Reviews

rasputin1963
rasputin1963

The "root-beer" smell everyone notices with TABU is the chemical Methyl Salicylate. Methyl Salicylate is a "wintergreen mint" smell, that one also recognizes in things like BEN-GAY, those pink wintergreen candy lozenges, PEPTO-BISMOL, that green-tinted rubbing alcohol, and those halloween wax chewable lips/teeth.

It is not often used in perfumery nowadays-- maybe thought to be a "nostalgic" smell, like the flavors of those old SPICE DROPS from the movies' confectionary counter. Classic Coty L'ORIGAN (1912) also features a methyl salicylate note.

Jul
27
2014
JaxTheMinx
JaxTheMinx

I bought the violin bottle ages ago (based on the reviews on the various bottles I saw here) so that I could relive my childhood memories. I spritzed the smallest amount on. My mom said it's too "old" for me. I am 40. I've just spritzed a bit on my wrist again as it's a cold, dreary day here and it still reminds of my late grandmother - and not at all in a bad way. It leaves you with a warm, fuzzy feeling and yet there is something very sensual in the smokey spices. At first I get a hint of cloves. It does take me back to the days of Youth Dew, Royal Secret and Moon Drops. It also reminds me of warm hot-cross buns at Easter. I might just attempt wearing this to the office on Monday, but only the littlest spritz.The dry-down is so warm and soothing.
EDIT: Today a male friend who is very pedantic and even snooty about fragrances said that it did not smell old or moth-eaten. He considered it a rather soft and sensuous fragrance. This was around 3 hours after first application (and obviously last for the day since no more is required!).

Jul
19
2014
LouisaRose
LouisaRose

I absolutely love this perfume. It is heavy, but not overbearing. I would love it if I could find the 'By Day' edition of it! Haven't seen it in years :(

Jul
14
2014
zkxnyi278
zkxnyi278

Smells on me at first like root beer, but the little barrel shaped candies instead of the soda. Then softens down and there's on top of it baby wipes, clean diapers, and ferrets. fenugreek, musty patchouli, frankincense, hay (like from those trucks they transport cows in), cinnamon (pretty strong at times off and on), sweat, and sandalwood. Get a bit of tobacco then the dippin kind, a bit of cloves, a vanilla kinda amber & some fennel and coca cola. Then the ferrets pop out even more after a good while and are all over in everything like crazy, and it stays like that til eventually (like the next morning) it smells like powdered sugar and cinnamon together. Just how it goes on me though. I'm a guy btw, but I don't think nowadays this would be considered for just one gender, my versace -pour homme- when its past all the top notes and such smells like herbal essences conditioner in the pink bottle (the ones that dont look like fish), this is much more masculine to me. I really love it except for the baby wipe smell, if it lost that and had bunches more civet and some more musk it'd be like holy grail smell wise for me. oh also theres cream soda

Jul
07
2014
Searro
Searro

In recent years, I've become shrewdly exclusive in the type of fragrances I actually purchase for my personal trove. And incidentally, many of these colognes and perfumes are vintage designs with powerful and complexly-layered formulas.

About a year ago, an extravagant elderly lady friend of mine caught my nose with her sweet, lightly spicy perfume. When she told me it was Tabu by Dana, I was taken completely aback! Because Tabu sits on the bottom of the Walmart fragrance shelf, beside White Shoulders and Exclamation. A 2.3 oz. bottle is no more than $10.00, yet this perfume is just the right soft balance of white musk and anise, for a scent that's feminine and exotically retro, simultaneously.

One can also see this fragrance being associated with the sort of sensuous call-girl which Jean Carles had in mind at its creation in 1932. There's even a touch of cinnamon that nearly sets Tabu into an oriental class of fragrances, but is thankfully nowhere near as overpowering as Estee Lauder's reformulated--and to this reviewer's nose, repugnant--Youthdew.

Bottom line: yes, Taboo is somewhat dated, but still classical; sweet, yet tasteful and understated if worn with reservation.

Jun
19
2014
scented hubby
scented hubby

I have seen Tabu described in some downright RUDE comments as cat piss, sweat and roach spray in these reviews. It would be my guess that the ones making these comments think that Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson are producing classic scents. I am happy to see that the overwhelming majority of people leaving reviews actually know what a classic perfume really is! Tabu definitely is a timeless beauty!

Jun
16
2014
ialwayssmellgood
ialwayssmellgood

If it was not so sweet I would have bought a bottle. I hate civet, but I can barely detect it. I like it!

Jun
11
2014
YogaRose
YogaRose

As far as a fragrance goes, I'm surprised its as inexpensive as it is as the quality is top notch. Oriental, incense, rich.
Beautiful, and although the history of this classic deals with being a "naughty" brothel girl, I associate it in more of melancholy way.
I believe my grandmother that passed on in 96 might have even worn this. Melancholic, but beautiful.

Jun
07
2014
Hellenna
Hellenna

Well, I don't know what rootbeer smells like. But on my skin Tabu smells of rich, syrupy, spicy, sweet oranges. Warm and intense, there's jasmine, musk, patchouli and sandalwood. It's cozy, it's complicated, I like that. It's at it's best when it heats up.

May
03
2014
susiebashse.
susiebashse.

Received my eBay purchase of a semi vintage bottle, not sure how old. Bought blind after reading about it on this site. I love it.... Took me right back to my teenage visits to the hippy shops on Cockburn Street Edinburgh...incense, patchouli, illicit smokes and Afghan coats. I am so enjoying my little perfume adventures into memory and imagination. A nice way to travel on a budget.

Apr
25
2014
firstinthedance
firstinthedance

Spicy, smoky incense, roses, soap, rootbeer. Adult but playful, seductive but strangely innocent, heady, deep and dark, yet sweet and clean. Tabu is one of my favorites. She is an enchanting contradiction.

Apr
11
2014
bonnie52
bonnie52

Tabu is my favorite perfume! I always have at least 20 scents on hand and Tabu is always one of them! Warm, spicy, mysterious, classic, timeless…It has great longevity. I just love it! It's my signature scent.

For those of you who say how bad it smells, Tabu has been going strong for 82 years and I don't think it will go away any time soon. How many of the new floral/fruity scents will have such longevity?

Apr
09
2014
HB-C
HB-C

I like this, it's so warm and comforting, but I don't tend to wear it very often because I'm not really sure when to wear it and I find Paloma Picasso much easier to wear. One tiny spritz goes a long way, and it's lasting power is fantastic.

Apr
07
2014
bronwen80
bronwen80

Heavenly!! I didn't think I would like this at all based on my past recollections but wow I'm in heaven!! Soft citrus upon opening that dries down to a warm, sensual clove and amber scent on me. It is such a wonderful feminine scent that could take the right woman from the office to dinner and beyond. I guess it is true what they say, " To appreciate Opium one must first understand Tabu".

Apr
02
2014
jeffersonfaudan
jeffersonfaudan

it somehow smells like green tea and jasmine tea with some peaking rose in the background combined... strong and lasting... massive headache on the first spray but the dry down is beautiful and addictive... when i wear this, i spray a bit of victoria secret vanilla lace to add a little zest... the scent is very deep, and warm and dark...

Apr
01
2014
scentedkub
scentedkub

I kept reading about Tabu on here, and I ran across a small violin shaped bottle of it at Walmart for $0.75 at Christmas and decided to give it a go, you know...just to see what the buzz is about. I try it, and I get the spicy rootbeer smell, that people refer to. It's odd, but I really like. I don't wear it out often, not because I find it too feminine, but because I almost don't want to share it...LOL...I used to apply it kind of timidly after a shower, now I apply it like an after shave, heavily and sloppily sort of slapping it about everywhere. I'm looking forward to putting some on tonight. For it to be a cologne concentration the sillage and longevity beats some EDTs I own. For the price and availability, it can't hurt to give it a try.

Apr
01
2014
pipergirl
pipergirl

I tried this today completely expecting to HATE it. Tabu used to turn so sour, bad on my skin. Revved up cloves and spices, funky civet - just sickening. I knew what to expect but I wanted to see if it was still as bad as I remembered. And, wow, I'm stunned to realize that I...LIKE...this now. It's like a mellowed, aged Obsession w/o the vanilla. Sort of an ambery spiced brandy (or rum?) scent..I don't know that I would call it sexy/dirty. But this is not bad at all. I stand corrected.

Apr
01
2014
fire2heart
fire2heart

I remember back in the 80's my grandmother gave me a bottle of Tabu and the powder for my birthday. I was a rude teenager and actually told her I didn't like it and asked if I could exchange it. She let me and didn't show her hurt. She was a good woman and grandma and I kick myself for being such a brat!

I didn't even consider owning Tabu thinking I would hate it since my tI hated it as a teenager but my tastes in perfume was ummm... young.... But in reading the notes on here, it's right up my alley so I tried it on in a store. It intrigued me so I ended up buying a bottle.

I don't know what magic happened between trying it on in the store and the bottle I now own because I went from liking it to falling in love with this juice! I detect some citrus in the opening which reminds me a little of Jean Nate on it's drydown, but it is very short lived and then it goes straight to a beautiful incense with peaks of cloves. I'd love to find a vintage bottle but from my research on eBay many people are calling theirs vintage but it's not and/or they are jacking up the price so much that it's criminal to me. No matter though, I'm quite content with the current formulation.

If someone wants to swap with me their tabu powder, soap, cologne and/or perfume, hit me up!

Mar
30
2014
2746cstreet
2746cstreet

I can't wear Opium or Youth Dew. Something in them, I think the tolu balsam, turns bitter and acrid and just awful on my skin. Tabu, I think, will fill the void this has left me with.
The first time I tried Tabu I was maybe 15 and I thought it smelled like sweaty cloves and unwashed nethers, to be honest. Well, things have changed. Either me or the perfume, but it now smells like Necco wafers without the slightest hint of butt.
In a way, it reminds me of Vivienne Westwood's Boudoir but warmer and spicier with less vanilla. Smooth cloves and creamy sandalwood, mild nuances of ylang and orange. It's simultaneously comforting and skanky.

Mar
17
2014
lorililly
lorililly

I remember smelling this on my mom's friend when I was in junior high. It was her signature. It was elegant just like her. Later, I was working at a nursing home and another girl let me try some on during a lunch break. WOW! Whatever I was wearing that day faded in comparison to this! It's heady and spicy! I bought some later...and my husband hated it. It is easy to be heavy handed with it, and if a bottle of it "goes bad", it is the worst. Scent. Ever. (trust me, I have smelled the soured version on some older ladies...not good). A couple years ago, I bought another small bottle. It is not the same, not as exotic. I did find a tester at K Mart of the more classic version and it smelled like I remembered. Now I think of it as a comfort scent..not something I would wear all the time but fun to try now and then....reminds me of my sweet, now passed kindergarten teacher passing out crayons and paper to us...my mom's friend and her elegant clothes for Sunday mass....a cold crisp fall day and a warm sweater.
UPDATE: I just bought a bottle after reading reviews on here and I LOVE IT! I probably will wear it more often in cooler weather, but the husband that hated it is no longer in the picture and now I buy what I like! A little still goes a long way, so my current bottle will probably last for years....

Mar
13
2014
Thomasania
Thomasania

Tabu is the end all be all of my perfume wardrobe, I could easily surrender ever bottle I own to anyone BUT not my TABU. Tabu is the first perfume that I can bring into my memory. My mother wore it and she was not sophisticated or sexy. She was a woman who prided herself in being an everyday hard working woman. She started fires in the fire place, cooked Lima beans on an old pot belly stove, she baked cakes without recipes and shopped in every thrift store within a 100 mile radiance. She raised six kids on a limited income.
But on Saturdays .. She would fill her bath tub full of Calgon and her transformation would take place. Instead of smokey rooms, our house began to smell like a variety of florals. My mother would soak until the water was cold, enjoying her time.
After she was dressed ... She would reach for her bottle of Tabu, and that hard working woman softened into a beautiful classy and sexy lady. Tabu made her transformation complete... The weeks work was done and she would let the strong aroma of Tabu fill up every room in the house. It was intoxicating. It was beautiful and it made her beautiful.

Fast Forward many years and my mother is lying in her bed battling out her last days. On her dresser is a bottle of Chanel 5, Shalimar, and Tabu.. Those three bottles, placed on a tray, facing my mother who had reached a point where she no longer could handle the smell of anything.

A day or two later, my mother passed on. All the rituals were fulfilled, all the visitors came and left and slowly life was returning to a form of normalcy. I remember that at that moment I was taking down medical equipment, hurting and grieving, when I smelled her. The smell of Tabu literally filled the room. She wasn't there, no one besides myself was even remotely close to the bottle .. But I still smelled it so strongly it brought me to tears.
It was such a beautiful scent.. And it was like she was passing it onto me. It could have been Chanel or Shalimar but it wasn't it was Tabu.
From that moment on Tabu has been engraved into my being. I own several bottles of various reformulations, sizes and concentrations. I love them all. The dark amber colored juice is soothing, it is sultry and it will transform you if you let it.
Even today, that cheap $5 bottle at Walmart retains enough of its original beauty to let its scent transform you.
Dont be fooled... magic can happen in ugly tacky bottles, that are lined up on clearance shelves , because every scent despite the cost can transform us to some degree. Tabu has that kind of magic.

Mar
11
2014
rasputin1963
rasputin1963

(nose: Jean Carles, 1932). Classic Oriental. Another Depression-era drugstore number that I admit I love. Where EMERAUDE is breezy, sandy, ineffable and transparent, TABU sits and glowers obtusely, opaquely on your skin like an Art Deco ring: you see colors of coral against black and jade. It has attitude, concept; it has blue-collar chutzpah, like a Clara Bow or young Joan Crawford shopgirl. I love the methyl salicylate (rootbeer-like) note that mingles with indolic, wilting spicy flowers, dark patchouli/amber, a nostalgic pinetar and a soupcon of musky skank. You have to wear TABU with the same shameless, importunate glare that it itself generates.

TETE: Bergamot, Orange, Neroli, Coriander, spice notes
COEUR: Clove bud, ylang-ylang, rose oriental, jasmine, narcissus, clover
FOND: Patchouli, civet, cedar, vetiver, sandalwood, benzoin, amber, musk, oakmoss

Mar
04
2014
ren
ren

Tabu!!!! My late mother's signature...she never changed to any other fume...it was so GREAT on her and as a good Leo she had that personality that is needed for a perfume like this.

I always bought her a bottle and it was just PERFECT! She smelled like Heaven...now that she is not here with me (but actually she will always be with me!) I miss her so much...one day I might just get one of these heavenly fumes and feel her next to me..in my case I always loved this fume but never used it because it was her signature...maybe she will smile from heaven at me, while wearing it.=)
For any strong woman with a strong personality this is a perfect gourmand and it has great longevity and sillage! Who cares if it's Antique? haha It's AMAZING! Men will roar grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

Feb
25
2014
ginawadsworth
ginawadsworth

Oh how I adore this perfume. I come back to it again and again, and wear it almost every night. It is so comforting to me, and I just love the fact that I can smell the powdery dry down on my pj's . It has really captured my heart and taken the place of AE which has been reformulated in New Zealand.

If I had to choose one perfume out of my collection to keep, I think I would be obliged to chose this.

I don't wear it to work as some colleagues don't like musk and this can be a tad overbearing.

I have even added patchouli oil to a bottle as personal twist to this, which makes it wonderfully smooth.

Tabu is iconic, and laconic ......... one of the truly greats

Feb
23
2014
Christina0065
Christina0065

I Loved this when I was a teenager and I recently revisited it and still am in love with it. It's one of those "either you love it or you hate" it fragrances.

Feb
20
2014
zzMaja
zzMaja

One of my old, old favorites, but it is definitely strong. The sillage can last too long at times. I personally don't like to wear the same perfume more than 2 days in a row. When I wear Tabu, I find I can still pick up the sent the next day on clothing, scarves, etc. I find that my husband really seems to notice when I wear it and he does love it. I notice that others have said that their mothers used to wear this perfume and so did mine. Wow - I would say this little treasure is a classic

Feb
17
2014
ForrealMe2
ForrealMe2

I have a vintage bottle from 1966 with the black cascade type shape that drops down with the gold metal cap and this smells amazing to me...you can smell the spices like cinnamon and patchouli which over time makes it smell slightly like chocolate..it is very resinous,very oriental because of the woods and the amber which makes it feel very comforting and warm..but i have always loved orientals and gourmands the most..it has a more vintage smell..really from another time...I can't believe how well this fragrance has kept together over the years...it makes me curious as to how it smells now..i really do want to try a more recent bottle...its rich and yet powdery soft as well...

Feb
16
2014
Victoria1002
Victoria1002

I was intrigued by all the reviews and decided to test it in a discount store. I thought I hadn't smelled it before, but as soon as I sprayed a TINY bit on my wrist I immediately recognized it from time spent in church with ladies who wore too much of it. Almost immediately I got a sharp headache behind my eye. I shopped in a cloud of this fragrance and it was not a pleasant scent to me! I drove home with the windows open (2 degrees F. outside!) and as soon as i got in the house i stripped down and threw everything in the washer, coat included. I scrubbed my wrist with everything I could think of, baking soda, vinegar, alcohol...and still it lingered strongly and painfully in my head. The only way I could get this scent out of my nose was to carry around and sniff an open pickle jar all evening, which works pretty good btw. The next day I suffered with an ocular migraine. This one is NOT for me, but I salute all who can wear this well. It is a great price and has an unprecedented staying power :)

Feb
16
2014
Anassa
Anassa

very very similar to opium YSL but neroli here is much more present especially at the opening.

Feb
15
2014
Daisycat18
Daisycat18

Tabu constantly gets looked down upon as not being one if the "in" fragrances like Chanel 5...but it never fails to sell out and is constantly in demand. I love it and the coffrets put out allow you to "layer" the scent to prolong it.
A warm and sensual fragrance that is mysterious and beguiling. I put thus scent right up there with the classics. It goes with everything but shines at evening and night on hot summer days. It turns heads and gets compliments. Its sophisticated, sensual and romantic. I love it

Feb
09
2014
Jerrythecat
Jerrythecat

Based on the comments of my dear Fragrantica experts, I decided to go for a blind purchase on Tabu. I never heard of it before, and it's complexity and longevity on the market surely meant that this is quite a thing!
Tabu is what I would characterise as a classic, like the old and first print of a book that you have enjoyed a long long time ago.
When I received the box, and chose the bottle in the shape of the violin, I could read at the back "oil made in the USA, assembled in China", and I originally thought I had made a mistake (at £8 for the bottle no big deal) as Chinese perfumes, no thanks!
I gave a few good sprays on my hand and decided it was not for me. Then a few weeks later, I sprayed once on my chest and each side of my neck and there it was! Something herbal, flowery, almost like the smell in old barber shops when there is that rum scent floating in the air.
Do I like Tabu, yes. Do I love it? No. Would I buy it again? Probably not. Depends on how our journey together is going to be. But I suspect Tabu has not revealed all its secret yet...

Feb
08
2014
Debra1
Debra1

Tabu works for my Chemestry, I do not find any harsh screem in your face sents with this fragerence, some of the ingredencese in it if Dana, didn't construct Tabu with such taste and ballence would really be skanky. How where Dana's of Tabu go off base, yes Tabu is Seductive, but not in a obnoxious way, I would not think of this sent as a Street Hooker, May Be A Very High Class Call Girl. It is so Well Balanced that is has some Class, on me it semlls expemsive, seductive, but it has some refined sweetness to still be feminine, in a va va va voom way, Gypsy would have been a Good Name For this Wild Mysterious Sent. On me I get The Powdery Slight Tasteful Sweetness. Amber deepend by Benzoin, which gives it a root beer vibe, spices and a slight tint of rose, it's much like another one of my Favorite Orientals Tajour Moi also by Dana, only that one has a French Accient, like a lot of well knowen French Favorites like Arpege, and an opening introduction you have to forgive for a few minutes, but the 2 Dana sents are very similar. If your body chenmmistry jives with it Id highly recoomend Tabu.

Feb
07
2014
piggyluv
piggyluv

Warm, spicy amber, jasmine, root beer, Tabu is beautiful on me. Can it be over-applied? Yes, but so can any perfume (take note all you Daisy lovers). Is it 'old lady'? I was at a funeral yesterday for a dear friend who unexpectedly passed and I kissed a lot of 'old lady' cheeks. They all smelled fabulous, and unlike their younger counterparts, were properly groomed and dressed and had the class to leave their cell phones in their purses. From now on, when I read the description 'old lady' I'll know it's code for 'classy'. Edit: Hollie +100 :)

Feb
03
2014
Hollie
Hollie

dh1 (#1 dry-humper?) you are rude, insulting and overly critical. Perhaps find another venue to vent your personal frustrations rather than openly insulting an entire crowd of people that you know nothing about.It's one thing to pick apart a scent and express your distaste for it but to ignorantly attack fellow site members is going too far.

Feb
03
2014
rococozephyr
rococozephyr

ROOT BEER!

That was what I hollered the first time I tried Tabu. It starts off with a bright, fizzy sweetness that somehow manages to be dark without being at all heavy, and is perfectly reminiscent of root beer to me. It's sexy, but a naive, fickle sort of sexy, like a teenage girl who's discovered her sex appeal like a new toy and wields it with all the finesse of a sledgehammer. It's your best friend's sister licking a lollipop with what you swear should be criminal intent; it's the tug on your belt like a leash and the taste of sugar and weed in a kiss with too much tongue. It's the kind of sexy that's less about the pleasure of skin on skin itself and more about the bright, giddy thrill that comes with knowing someone wants that pleasure with you.

Eventually, it dries down into a slightly less sweet amber with a thick, sexy dollop of musk. Where Tabu's first phase is a coy, bubbly high school girl, this second phase is that same girl coming home after a few years away at college: smoother, more self-assured, and MUCH filthier for it. She hasn't learned subtlety so much as she's learned that wrapping a man around her little finger doesn't take all that much effort. The lollipops and fishnets of old have been replaced with stilettos and corsets, weapons she wields with a deadly accuracy. She flirts less, has a lot more sex, and knows exactly what she wants. One might call her a greedy lover, if her company wasn't such a pleasure regardless.

After a few hours, you ends up with spicy, warm woods, not as aggressive as the earlier phases and with a feel that's more sensual than outright sexual. Our girl's all grown up and figured out how to pass for something resembling classy, though she still finds the notion of "class" a bit of a bore. She's a beautiful woman in a room full of many, who doesn't seem to be doing anything in particular to stand out, but stand out she does. There's something unique about her, something warm and gently sharp that draws you in and frightens you all at once, but most would never see her for what she is. Her game's refined to the point where she barely even has to lift a finger to get what she wants; men tumble into her web of what they believe is their own accord and beg to do exactly as she wishes.

I've worn Tabu out with friends exactly once and, when asked, their unanimous opinion was that is smells "old." Too heavy and too spicy, they all said, though it was still hanging around the lighter, "root beer" phase. I take this as an indication that if you're the sort who tends to describe scents they don't like as too "old lady-ish" or "perfumey", you're probably not going to like Tabu. If you want something warm and sexy and absolutely unsubtle, though, it's definitely a scent to check out. Considering what it goes for at the drug store, there's no excuse not to give it a try at least once; even if you don't like it, passing the bottle on to a friend who might won't mean much of a loss.

And in case you hadn't already heard: it's strong and lasts FOREVER. It usually takes near to twenty-four hours and a shower for me to get rid of it entirely. Because of this (and the fact that I know quite a few people find it outright repulsive), I usually reserve it for nights spent curled up inside and don't actually leave my flat wearing it very often; when I do, it's usually when I've been smoking or if I'm planning on going out with people I know will be smoking. If it has no other merits, the fact remains that very little Tabu can stand up to A LOT. It won't convince anyone you're a "good girl", but it's an invaluable tool if you need to cover up the smell of something illicit.

Feb
03
2014
jht4060
jht4060

A powerful and controversially beautiful scent with a long history. The advertisement images over the years are enough to make you want to try this perfume. The 1930s tuxedoed violin player sweeping the gowned piano player off her feet. 1940s and 1950s variants of icily elegant women with the violin-piano image as a painting behind her head (or next to her or being painted by her), evoking her inner thoughts. A 1950s image of the head of an immaculately groomed woman with her eyes closed and her finger clenched between her teeth. The 1950s Toulouse-Lautrec inspired women hiding their faces. The 1960s woman biting a flower petal. The 1970s (?) woman with an aggressively direct come hither stare (and interestingly much older ones that are similar in theme, I guess that stare is timeless). The 1990s naked male model sweeping his painter off her feet. Each one, in its own cultural context saying just one thing, and you don't need a PhD to figure out what it is. It is a complete history of attitudes toward sex for most of the 20th century.

Then there is an amazingly brash and rather different ad for Tabu face powder from 1946 that purports to show four women's drooping wrists pouring Tabu into a powder tin, but clearly has in mind four male members urinating. Wow, how that got past the censors is beyond me.

Jan
28
2014
ann.sundwall
ann.sundwall

I love Tabu too...but to me there is a significant difference between what is available at Walmart today (it has what I identify as the "papyrus note" which slightly deadens it for me) and the vintage which is rich and intoxicating with a distinct "sassafras root" (aka root beer) note. I'm not a snob about reformulations, but they do make a difference... for good or ill.

Jan
25
2014
Hollie
Hollie

Tabu is one of the cheapest and most stigmatized perfumes out there....BUT...it is also one of my absolute favorites. I'll preface my review with this though; there are so many beautiful fragrances out there that other people can wear that just end up smelling awful on me. Maybe I have weird body chemistry. I am in my thirties so I didn't wear this during any other generation....apparently my Mom wore it in middle school ( in the sixties) when it was very popular. Now it sits on the drugstore shelves....a little hidden gem..if you're into it.So many people don't even bother to give it a chance, which is fine by me as it keeps the price and popularity down. I also think that it really does NOT smell good on everyone. I've smelled it on certain people and it really comes across as a powdery (sorry ->) "old-lady" smell. On the right skin it is pure heaven. On me it smells of Rootbeer barrel candies,amber & vanilla. It's more complex than that though.It's deep, rich and a little smokey and my husband and son love it on me...that's a bonus! Whenever I wear it, I feel like a Gypsy! It's comforting and just feels like home. Out of the 200+ perfumes I own, this is in my top ten! I also want to add that I don't get a lot of civet from Tabu. I don't mind civet but I see the comparisons with Bal a Versailles, which to me has a very prominent civet note. To me they are two VERY different perfumes. I like Bal a Versailles but I LOVE Tabu.

Jan
25
2014
jujy54
jujy54

I have some modern Tabu, in the violin shaped bottle. I had the EDc as well as the parfum; they are not quite alike. This is a review for the parfum since I gave the EDC to my brother.

I find it a comforting winter scent, of all things. There is a ginger vibe, and the slightly sour honey note that emerges late reminds me of the top notes of Caron Acaciosa. I don't see a note they have in common that can explain this. It's a note that, whether Tabu or Acaciosa, I have to be in the mood for. Thing is, while Tabu is winter to me (and I regard it as straight ahead Oriental rather than Flori-), Acaciosa, a balls-to-the-wall extroverted floral, is all about summertime, whther graciously sunny or out-and-out sweaty.

Jan
25
2014
lanuitblanche
lanuitblanche

My experience was exactly like Laure_lei's. I so wanted to like this! But it was the first and only perfume that made me gag, and I mean physically GAG! I started coughing and getting an instant headache. After an hour of trying to breath it in with a straight face (I tried to give it a fair chance!), I just had to wash it off with some extremely strong scented soap. Perhaps my batch had turned... I will update my review when I try it again, :-(

Jan
24
2014
mary.dinoface
mary.dinoface

This perfume is uber strong. Power is good but not for me! This reminds me of a gypsy woman lol I dont y, it just does. Smells very strongly of the earth.

Jan
09
2014
Mortazuma
Mortazuma

Trouble you can smell a mile away...literally.

It doesn't need to be said, the description on this page about the perfume pretty much gives you an idea what this perfume is all about. Even though it comes from a refined source, someone well experienced in the art of olfactory delights, this fragrance smells unapologetically unrefined. It's like a catcall, pretty much. Very primal, wild, lecherous and yet, vivacious, bubbly and flirty.

I can very much understand why this fragrance may have been the inspiration for other perfumes. It is the scent of a wild one that some people want to possess and tame. And although others HAVE refined this diamond in the rough in so many different ways, Tabu is still the raw version, dirty coal and all.

I personally, do not like this fragrance on me. It provokes mixed feelings. It smells cheap but after the drydown, I can't stop smelling it. The only thing that came to mind was something like Pink Floyd's song "Young Lust". It has that rather sleazy overtone to it but is catchy if it is in you to rock & roll that way.

Jan
08
2014
LeahJane1972
LeahJane1972

Exotic spiciness, warm woods, musk, and just a little toch of flowers. Seductive, intimate.
This is liquid lust, of course.

Jan
07
2014
WendyMH
WendyMH

Root beer, brown necco wafers and a touch of licorice. Even though I didn't wear Tabu at the time, the scents offer a tumble back into those years of not quite being a teenager, but not being a child either. In all honesty I don't see myself wearing it out, but I have a little bottle saved in the back of my perfume cupboard - tucked behind my 'worthy' Tom Fords, M Micallefs, Chantecaille and l'Artisans. (I sometimes imagine them SCANDALIZED by Tabu's enduring place, slinking around behind them in tight jeans, holding a furtive cigarette). Tabu, when I want to close my eyes and get back that feeling of being quite young, you're the one I open up.

Also, I love that it was one of Frida Kahlo's signature fragrances.

Dec
23
2013
Laure_lei
Laure_lei

This was my best friend's signature scent in high school, and it smelled incredible on her and I LOVED IT. On me it was the single most disgusting thing I've ever smelled in my life, and it Wouldn't. Wash. Off. Cloying and sickly-sweet, it lasted forever even after showering and nauseated me the whole time. This was actually the scent that taught me perfumes can smell completely different on different people, and to skin test for a day before buying. :(

Dec
09
2013
kiristarr
kiristarr

Tabu caught me a bit off guard, to be honest. I expected a typical heavy, spicy, vintage fragrance, but I find it quite unique. It seems as if, from moment to moment, each time I sniff my wrist, a different note stands out. From the first moment I sprayed on Tabu, until this moment hours later, the predominant scent is one of cocoa to my nose. Something about the way the spices, cloves, etc. combine with my chemistry, makes this a surprisingly gourmand scent on my skin. (Perhaps I have a bit of whore's blood running through my veins. Wouldn't surprise me a lick.)

Dec
08
2013
eirenelisa
eirenelisa

I like to smell this but I don't like to wear it. It smells like Necco wafers and leather with nice bitter incense. Similar in mood to Fancy Nights, which is one I would rather wear. This review is for the modern splash.

Dec
08
2013
Kewl Breez
Kewl Breez

I bought this for my mom as a gift in the 1970s but as she was never a perfume wearer I confiscated it, and wore it on occasion. I haven't smelled it for many years, but because of its drugstore provenance began to think of it as a "diner" type of scent. These reviews make me want to try it out again ... I remember it being quite strong with amber notes.

I wonder what ever happened to that bottle that sat on my dresser in 1976.

Dec
07
2013
Tracyarts
Tracyarts

My body chemistry brings out the best in fragrances that have dominant spice, amber, wood, powder, and musk notes. With Tabu, I'm definitely in the "love it" camp.

Upon initial application there is a very unpleasant note, it almost smells like decaying leaves. Fortunately it disappears within minutes. Then it's all about the spice and musk. I get that powdery root beer candy note, but it's just on the edge and not a predominant note. It stays strong and full on me for about an hour, and then I'm left with soft powdery, woodsy, and spicy notes that linger until I wash it off.

A little goes a very long way. The only bottle I have right now is a mini, and two dabs is plenty. One on each wrist, then I touch my wrists to my throat and the back of my neck. That's all it takes, any more would be overpowering.

Dec
05
2013
FridayJones
FridayJones

I bought a bottle of Tabu a couple of days ago for two reasons:
1) I seem to have the best luck with old, big fragrances -- Shalimar makes me swoon, Anais Anais might be my signature, La Perfume de Therese kept me in my room all day, smelling myself. Loud, weird things (and on me, Anais Anais smells like the Temple of the Leather Monks, so it is definitely loud and weird) make me very happy. I was curious to smell something from the days when "civet" was a perfectly normal thing to smell like. So Tabu being not too much remixed from its 1935 form sounded like a good invitation.

2) It was created to be a perfume for a whore, and well, I am a whore. A sex worker, I mean, I'm not being metaphorical. I was curious what fragrance crafted for me would be like. (And with the price tag, who could resist?)

Ironically though, I bought it in between two appointments, and didn't want to risk smelling like catshit while working (This made me wonder about the historical brief for the scent -- generally speaking, a working girl has to be careful about wearing loud scents while working, because you can't send people home smelling like sex goddess. At least, not everybody.), so I couldn't blind spray it on myself. I took out a handkerchief and gave it a spray. I got...

BENZOIN. lots and lots of medicinal, vanilla root beer cola BENZOIN. like hey, I hope you like Benzoin, cause WHAM here's some more! There was something almost childish about the smell -- it reminded me of my teenaged favorite CO Bigelow lipgloss (Vanilla Cola Mint, long since discontinued) . It smelled like a soda fountain from nineteen fifty two. Where was the musk? Where was the sexy, dirty animalic smells? Where were the spices and the heat that everyone kept talking about? I was disappointed, but consoled myself that I should not really expect that much from something that I spent less than twenty bucks on. It's not that I dislike benzoin, but I hardly need to reek of it. When I got home, I sprayed it on some fabric again, with the same result.

It was only this morning (after a couple of days consoling myself with Guerlain's Vetiver and its lovely, dank earthiness) that I decided to give it a go on my actual skin. I sprayed very lightly, once on each wrist (I usually put more on, especially in my hair, but I wanted to be able to wash it off easily if need be), and sat down to wait. A miracle! My body chemistry seems to have sat right on the benzoin accord, tamping it down to a reasonable level. Twenty minutes in, I have some of that warm spiciness that the reviews promised (it's almost a comfort scent, in the current gourmand/baking trend, but it's held out of being a dull gingerbread candle by the now-bewitching benzoin) that's velvety and just complex enough that I want to keep sniffing. There's no real animalic edge yet, but I have high hopes for the dry down.

Update: I was completely right about the dry down. On clothing, it stays cool and full of benzoin, but on my skin after a few hours, it definitely got a lovely musky (civet-y? I don't know enough yet about perfume to distinguish well) edge. I wore it to a work party and cashed in like crazy -- definitely a witty, sexy scent.

Dec
04
2013
MsDana
MsDana

I love this one. It is a sensual & warm fragrance. I get a lot of the amber & spicy notes in this, which I adore. I love the violin shaped bottle as well. I think it's creation is hilarious! I am trying to imagine the meeting in which Jean Carles was informed to design a perfume for a Whore and It makes me giggle! I do not think this perfume smells cheap, or whorish lol. I would describe it as a soft & warm fragrance with a bit of an edge to it. It is lovely.

Dec
03
2013
kyl77
kyl77

This is one of my all time favorite perfumes. I own several vintage bottles as well as different strengths (i.e. perfume, eau de toilette, cologne). Beware the current reformulation of the cologne, which comes across as bare in places. It's worth it to find the vintage juice if possible. I have a pristine bottle from the 1960's, which smells of heady rich flowers paired with the strongest base notes known to woman. When I wear this I feel like an old time movie star in a fur coat. Warm and glamourous.

Nov
30
2013
spartan
spartan

Women, Be carefully when and where you decide to use this Juice! It has real effects on the opposite sex. Its A Dirty Little scent and Will Definitely get you attention, I have to clear my head after breathing this in! This Juice is Sex in A bottle.. No Seriously if you want to pull A Wolf away from the pack this will to the trick. Any Hot Little Brunettes wearing this shoot me A note, Dinner & Drinks are on me! LOL..

10/10

Cost 10/10 Amazing value for the price.

Nov
29
2013
pinkandsatany
pinkandsatany

it's a pleasant warm spicy scent, not quite as sexy as others were describing. it's a tad "dated" smelling, but still nice.

Nov
29
2013
Jillita
Jillita

We're breathing in the sexy oriental musk trail of a dark-haired woman. 1947. Her lacquer red pumps strike a dark pavement illuminated only by flickering neon. Her youthful but knowing eyes scan the inside of an all night bar with purpose. She enters the bar and removes her coat, revealing a worn and clingy blue rayon frock, and arranges herself in a bamboo lounge chair. The men observe but don't approach. One of the men looks like he knows her and doesn't want to.

She produces a Lucky. Dim lights above play on her raven hair as she lights her smoke. Her dark red lipstick rolls its paint on her cigarette as she takes a good, long drag. Her wary eyes barely register the men as they watch her.

She wears a white lily in her hair, and while its large moonlight hued flower is majestic, it's also now past bloom.

The bartender walks over with a whiskey sour. She barely registers thanks as she accepts the greasy glass of amber colored poison and casts the blood colored cherry out of the liquid before she downs the drink.

It's been a long time since she set foot in a church, but tonight she's redolent of it and some ancient purification ritual. Right. Incense, and something else...something animal and profane. She sets the glass on the table and considers ordering another.

The door to the bar opens. A man whose face is hidden under a dark hat enters.

He gives the dark haired woman a long appraising look.

He approaches. And cracks a non-smile. "Say, doll, what is that siren call of a perfume you've got on?"

She replies, "Tabu."

He says, "I'll say."

She smiles suggestively. He sits down next to her. She's young but world weary, aloof, yet the smile is inviting. Pure and impure. Just like her perfume.

Nov
21
2013
Scout
Scout

Over the weekend, I picked up a holiday gift set of drugstore classics; it's a box of one-ounce wonders: Navy, Tabu, Chantilly, Heaven Scent, etc etc....7 in total, all for $10 USD. What a great way to try the ones I haven't tried for less than the cost of one bottle.
Intrigued most by Tabu, I opted to test this blustery cold mid-autumn day. It's dreary out, all the leaves are down; there's just the smell of ozone outside and no earthy autumn warmth. It's windy and chilly.
I'm first smitten with the violin impression and shape of the bottle. How unique. Gypsy perhaps?
I open the bottle and am greeted with the most surprising sweetness. No alcohol.
I dab a bit on my wrist, then a bit on my neck. That's it.
Already in 10 minutes I am enveloped with warmth. I am SO SURPRISED. This stuff is stunning. It's a cologne for crying out loud! How can it be this intense and strong and sweet and projecting??
Immediately to mind the dark heady 80s vibe: Youth Dew, Opium, Raffinee, with a dash of Poison.
Now comes the floral, oscillate with citrus. My heavens, GORGEOUS
then, MMMM...not sure, here's a little old church lady scolding the coquette...but that vixen, she triumphs, back to sensuality....
Amazing most is that it unfolds and morphs and projects in dimensions. It's not linear, and the notes don't clash. Sometimes when you get this much going in a perfume, the notes fight for attention and turn into cacophony. (See also: Georgio Red). This is deep note complementary harmony, played around a central orange and floral heart.
I'm also liking that this is strong and sweet and "spicy," but isn't gourmand. I find sickly strong vanilla almond chocolate gourmands that try to lure men with food to be so wrong on so many skins. Food belongs in the gut, not the skin. I want my man to think of cuddling and sex, not cookies. To that end, this fragrance just might do the trick.
Well, if this fragrance has done anything, it has completely annihilated any assumptions I could ever make about price point, preferences, and style.
I do not do well at all with the Opiums of the world, but I can do this. Certainly so on a cold day like today. And I feel one hundred percent underdressed in my khakis, t-shirt, and sweatshirt with wooly cap while donning this scent. My heavens. I should have dressed for the occasion!
Playing along with reviewers' stereotypes of the fragrance, and the bottle....Mom once (jokingly?) told me that our Hungarian ancestors were gypsies....no wonder it is striking a chord with me...... :)
Post Script - Believe the reviewer who said this is dreamy -- I have a mountain of work to do today, and all I want to do since dabbing is take a nap!!

Nov
18
2013
Lilah Veil
Lilah Veil

Tabu is the type scent that will separate the people who love you from the people who only say they do. Your true loves who despise it will remain close even with a mention of loathing it and will find it beautiful on you because you are wearing it. The rest will scoff or whisper behind your back they are glad you are gone while using an aerosol spray to rid your reek from the room. The women who love it but haven't the nerve to wear it will admire you for having the chutzpah to dare such a whopper as Dana Tabu. That is my introduction.

My grandmother had a stash of this in her collection when I was young and I thought it the vilest plague ever I whiffed. Strangely though, every time I used her bath my nose was drawn to it. I could not keep my nose out of the wretched stuff to save my life. It was horrid yet mystifying. Scary, raunchy, downright gross, yet enchanting and so intriguing I could not stay away from it.

Skip up many years to now. I recently decided to revisit it after years of wearing no fragrance due to other people's allergies, headaches, sensitive whatevers, etc. I have come into my own. I admit without shame I adore Tabu. For as many years as I have considered, coddled and submitted to other people's puniness, they can now have their turn tolerating my love for fine fragrance and Tabu is one of them: Old School, Naughty, Raunchy, Sexy, Alluring, Enchanting, Delicious, Aphrodisiac, Heady, Pure Essential Heat. If there is truly such a scent it is captured in this fragrance. The smell is ancient hardly in the "old lady" powdery way. This one is a spicy sucker punch from ancient times. Sweet clove, incense, amber divine with a hint of citrus (mandarin? neroli?) The stuff of ancient queens. I am sitting here now in my tacky house robe with no makeup. I am wearing Tabu. The exotic warmth from my wrist is radiating upwards to my nose and I feel like the Queen of The Nile. Tabu IS taboo. It is dare and danger in a cheap, unworthy bottle. It is not for kids, tweens, modern fruit punch/bubblegum/ smell-one-smell-all celeb fragrance design lovers. For mature, spicy, oriental frag lovers like myself, Tabu is to fine fragrance like opium is to weed. It should never have been a dime store frag. It deserves to be housed in a small vial of pure gold, capped with the finest diamond adorned by a silk tassel hidden in Nefertiti's favorite vase. Divine for a dime. Exquisitely beautiful... for those who dare.

Nov
15
2013
carolg
carolg

I love this fragrance. Which is stronger; the Cologne or the Eau de Cologne ? Can anyone advise me please as there are so many different bottles. The latest are the cello shaped ones selling in the UK

There seems to be no UK contact for Dana fragrances. The contact email for Dana USA takes eons to respond to emails, if ever, at all.

I hope someone here can advise me once and for all which is the strongest pls

Nov
09
2013
Tine1world
Tine1world

Something not mentioned here in the list, wish I'd purchased the other discounted bottles;
is Tabu Red. I love it. It's a lot like 'Red Door'. managed to score this at 'Target' on sale after Christmas this year. It came in a coffret with gold make up bag and deodorant, and not too cheap smelling either. Nicely cut bottle too. I paid 9 Aus dollars for this. A month later they were under 3 Dollars.

Only wine is cheap.

Inexpensive perfume is not always cheap?

Cheap perfume well, no matter what price. It evaporates the purse.

Cheers T.

Nov
09
2013
Radchick
Radchick

Tabu is a sweet, warm, spicy scent. This is not skanky to me. If you are a fan of scents like Youth Dew, Cinnabar, Opium, and Obsession, chances are you would like this too. The biggest difference to me is that Tabu is far less woody than most of the other powerhouses of this genre. Some people mention a Coca Cola or root beer note about this, and I agree it is there in small amounts if you look for it. On me, this starts out strong and potent, spicy from the very start, and I can actually smell a hint of orange blossom. It settles into a warm, soft mix of blended spices with the tiniest hint of civet. I can’t smell the patchouli or oakmoss at all. This scent is all about the spices, I’d call it a spicy oriental rather than an oriental floral, since I’m not picking up much in the way of floral notes. Despite the cologne concentration, this is still a strong one. Use with restraint as it can be a punch to the nostrils. My review is for the current formulation, in the same bottle shown here.

Nov
07
2013
wistfulmaiden
wistfulmaiden

I can see why many people despise Tabu, its extremely strong and often even applying a normal amount is too much. I too knew a tacky older woman who would douse herself in this and was a smoker, her smell and appearance together was something I wish I could forget!. But when used very sparingly, I mean a drop or two, it can be mysterious and intriguing on the right person. Not your sunny cheerleader type of fragrance, best reserved for antique dealers and Eastern European- accented ladies.

Nov
06
2013
Tine1world
Tine1world

There's so much here. What a delight. I used to wear this as a teen, no matter that it was so much like my mothers heady Estee scents. Youth Dew etc. She didn't somehow punish me for that, rather treated me a mini her. Loath that should I turn out to be like her. I must have been a little fat slut hey? Anyway. I wore it because it was inexpensive, and heady. I covered up my obnoxious sweaty teen activities, sadly not intimate ones, but I was a super active teen, super active body permitting mature perhaps a tad over ripened woman. It stopped me from feeling hungry all the time. It was like the buttery cinnamon semolina porridge we ate. Just to be told . 'We had nothing but porridge to eat after the war'. Blah Blah. Post war baby boomer and still booming out bloody loud and proud. I do not own a bottle of this any longer, but I recall it's in your face scent. Everyone knew of this Tabu in the 70's, and to think my first bottle of perfume that I bought at the age of 12, with my own funds, as I had had fragrances that my dear old mother purchased for me, and no doubt was encouraged to buy for my self by her. Was Chanel No 5. Which incidentally I ended mixing with some other stuff. I can't recall now to make it stretch. But Tabu I will never forget. It's still inexpensive and still available. In fact I'll go check it out again next time I visit the pharmacist. OOO I forgot to mention the gingery foody Avon stuff too at the time. It's all we had and knew of. Along side Revlon's Charlie, and Jontue. Not mentioned on this site. Lentheric's Musk. Anyway. Enough rambling. Cheers T.

Nov
06
2013
jht4060
jht4060

Dana Tabu smells great - rich dense civet-laden spice and resiny amber. The base in particular lasts forever and is amazingly rich and well balanced, though you have to like civet to appreciate it. Most niche perfume noses would kill to create something this great, alas if they did it would smell like... drum roll please... a twelve dollar bottle of Tabu.

How can anything so cheap smell so good asks Alexandre. With the exception of some high end perfumes that use expensive natural extracts (rose or jasmine absolute, etc), ALL perfumes are cheap to make. Their consumer price is not determined by production cost - it is determined by perceived worth and, at the highest end, simple exclusivity. Perceived worth is shaped by many factors, some of which are very expensive for the perfume companies to influence. When Doutzen Kroes is paid a million dollars to be the face of perfume X, or the forms and process for a complex new bottle are made, somebody has to pay. And guess who that is? (I'll give you a hint - it ain't the ghost of Coco Chanel.) Other factors that contribute to perceived worth are where the perfume is sold, "reputation" (largely a word of mouth and media created entity), perceived novelty, and perhaps even the actual quality of the scent. Nobody except a few insiders at the big houses know the truth (and they will never tell), but I will venture an educated guess that the cost of fragrance materials in the typical middle range perfume is less than 1% of the sales price, probably much less.

Back to Dana Tabu (and many other drug store perfumes). Reputation - fair to poor. Place of sales - the lowest of the low. Advertising costs - low to none. Production cost - low. And there you have it. We can rest assured that Dana is making money on Tabu because that is the nature of free-market economics. This is not to say that all drug store perfumes are excellent - they are a rather mixed lot in my opinion. See my review of Elizabeth Taylor Passion for Men for my list of excellent inexpensive scents (mostly masculine).

I love perfumes above all for their olfactory mind warp, but they also present one of the purest forms of luxury economics, which is fun to think about. And rant about.

Nov
06
2013
Alexandre
Alexandre

I wonder, how can a perfume be so good and so cheap? I hope it stays that way forever! As one of its advertisements "Copiously charged with intrigue." Pure truth, continues to cause various emotions, TABU, the "forbidden" perfume! I do not ever sick, animalistic love that smell, pungent spices, mixed with amber and orange ... Makes me smile ...

Oct
25
2013
EmilyTheStrange
EmilyTheStrange

This is a rather long review - but hey, we're talking about a rather taboo topic here (See what I did there?).

"Good old Tabu" - this is often sarcastically said by women when they pass this $5-10 fragrance in chemists here in Australia, while often rolling their eyes of course.

I'm not sure about the rest of the Western World, but here in Australia...Tabu has a hilarious yet terrible reputation (yes, along with Jovan's White Musk and anything with Yardley's name on it). Let's just say that in Australia, Tabu is not considered a masterpiece of any sort and is definitely not considered worthy of being in any Perfumista's collection LOL.

But guess what? I'm about to live up to my username (I can already feel the wrath of messages I'm about to get from my Aussie Frangrantica friends hahaha - sorry girls, but I've been seduced by Dana - again LOL).

I *LOVE* this stuff, and if one was to look at my perfume Wardrobe - they'll see my tastes are somewhat eclectic when it comes to perfume...however most of my treasured scents don't fall under the category that Tabu does...and that category is what I like to call "Dimebeat".

By Dimebeat - I mean Trampy. Sexy. Rough. Unrefined. Dirty. Nasty. Red Light Special.

This perfume is all of those things...if we want to get technical then fine, yes it's oriental, yes it's spicy and yes, it's drugstore. It lasts forever, it's silage is up there with higher end perfumes and it's projection is downright intrusive - however it's a freakin' classic for a very good reason. Tabu doesn't pretend to be a soft, modern scent that every woman in the world is going to have on her want list...on the contrary, Tabu is a perfume most women in my country steer clear of. But it's all part of it's charm to me :)

Is Tabu dated by most peoples standards? Yes. Is Tabu cheap and nasty in a lot of peoples minds? Yes. Do women like me who keep coming back to it give a damn what others think about Tabu, or ourselves for that matter? No way! And Tabu is made for people like *that* - and that's the way I like it personally.

Tabu is what it is - and it makes no apology for that. Neither do those of us who wear it proudly. Frankly, it's attitude in a bottle...and the way perfume is going these days (*cough* safer and safer) - I hope this one is NEVER discontinued.

Oct
19
2013
evesoho
evesoho

I'm a bit surprised to see there is no leather in this. I know I have a reformulation, but Tabu reminds me a little bit of vintage Houbigant Chantilly (later remade by Dana).

There is a sour and rubbery tinge to this perfume, for me, although I also get an overall pleasing impression of this perfume. Yes, for a drugstore perfume it's certainly dark and attractive in the drydown. The creaminess (really smoothed out by civet) of the amber is notable in this fragrance. I imagine this is the main appeal of Tabu, and I don't begrudge anyone for loving it with that in mind.

Do I think it's a *good* perfume? Definitely debatable.

There are many "dislike" votes. I was inclined to vote "dislike" because I don't really want to wear it, but I can't help it. I like it. The reason I don't really want to wear it is because Tabu feels dated. On the other hand, if I were dressing up for a one-off, fun event and wanted a sexy, vintage "feel" to my black velvet ensemble, without florals, I'd look no further. I can see Tabu emanating from the dressing rooms backstage for a burlesque show. Yes, it smells a little bit like Dita (not the perfume, but the impression I get from the person when she's in character), or those dancers from the bygone era before her.

This is also a comfort scent, yes? Smells a bit like ice cream, sometimes. :)

Update: I don't know, I had to wash it off before my piano tuner arrived, lol. I felt it was inappropriate.

Oct
08
2013
sidewalks
sidewalks

I think a lot of the times TABU is overlooked. Overlooked because of its history, because of its associations (puta, really?) and because of its pricepoint (hello Walmart discount bins!)

TABU is a masterpiece. It is so well made, and it is such a distinct fragrance. It is one of my favourites and I will always have one in my collection. It's dark, and sexy.

Hint: Go vintage. Just divine. A new vintage bottle can be had around $40. Best deal ever.

Oct
04
2013
Elviel
Elviel

I find this perfume very deceptive; somehow the more I put on the less I can smell it.

Using just the tiniest bit (difficult with the hosepipe like spray on the cello bottle) enables me to smell this fully.

Using that tiny amount this starts with a lovely orange zesty spice and then settles into a smooth, slightly rosy, woody amber with a hint of a sweet vanilla.

The little bit of musk is nice (not too soapy) and the clove and patchulli give a 'twang' now and then.

I bought this a couple of years ago and although I kept trying I did not get on with it at all. Only now do I find that for my chemistry I was using it all wrong and using just a tiny dab is best for me as that gives me a creamy, slightly spicy, rose and amber/sandalwood.

Eau de Cologne; Cello Bottle; Approximately 2011

Oct
01
2013
BetterJuice
BetterJuice

I'm a newbie to collecting fragrances. I didn't even have buying a new scent on my mind yesterday. But just out of curiousity I checked out the perfume display case at CVS and there it was: a lone bottle of TABU.

Back in the day this was one of my mother's favorite perfumes, along with Youth Dew and Cinnabar. I associate these kind of amber scents with her but the only perfume I own that comes close to the kind I used to buy her for Mother's Day and Christmas is Victoria's Secret Rapture.

Anyway, I hadn't smelled TABU in years but since CVS had it on sale for $12.99 I thought I'd give it a try. I got home at about 7pm, sprayed it on my wrist and almost immediately got teary-eyed because the fragrance reminded me so much of my mom.

Since I'm a lightweight when it comes to patchouli, I admit I had to wimp out a bit by adding a vanilla-scented BBW lotion to my arm to temper the scent a bit. (Oooh, TABU is no joke!) But as the evening went on I just fell more and more in love as this fragrance developed on my skin. I guess I inherited my mom's body chemistry because it smells as beautiful on me as it did on her.

Next morning, the TABU scent was still there and only showering removed it. Wow, it is a rare fragrance that lasts like that on me!

I love TABU and my perfume collection could never be complete without it.

Sep
11
2013
valbona.bergman
valbona.bergman

This is definitely something i have smelled before, someone in my family must have had something similar or this exact cologne! It mainly brings the figure of my grandfather to mind, i must say it is more masculine than feminine. My version of it is a vintage one not the reformulated. Reminds me of orthodox churches and a bunch of old couples walking together. Incense is all over. Well it was a blind buy, i was curious since i read so many good reviews and i had high hopes, but i learned my lesson :) I have to pass on this one...too bad though because i hoped that 1930s whores would wear something more representative!

Sep
10
2013
gishgamesh
gishgamesh

My favourite perfume of all time thus far! This is just perfect and I can't get enough of it. Sweet without smelling like a candy coma. Pure old world glamour with richness and depth. I wish they would make this in a parfum or EDP concentration as I find the edc very fleeting.

Sep
05
2013
franciemr
franciemr

I have just discovered this incredible website and have been looking up some of my faves and decided to check out Tabu. In the late 60s and 70s, when I was teen and in 20s, I thought this was the perfect "seduction" scent. If it was a first time seduction, I would always follow the "secret" a maternal aunt (who was considered the "wild one" of the family)from Italy shared with me when I was around 15: Always place a drop of fragrance in both creases of the groin if it was going to be a "special night when a special someone would visit my special flower." She gave me my first bottle of Tabu. I was first shocked by this secret that I was instructed not to tell my Mom and wondered about it until....And yes, to this day I follow that advice with my fragrance. I think I need to go out and buy a bottle of Tabu as it has been years since I used it

Aug
30
2013
ZELJO
ZELJO

wow, thats strong, and so affordable, if you are in the strong ones lover and dont want to spend a lot of money this one gives you all you need for very little, its in the aromatic elixir,opium,chanel 5 vein for less than half of the price of these, a big times fragance ,like coming from Hollywood golden era

Aug
26
2013
michelle.p.stpierre
michelle.p.stpierre

Hey sister, go sister, soul sister, go sister!

This would be the perfume Marmalade wore in old New Orleans or the Moulin Rouge back in the 30's. Although reformulated, it's still a classic sex in a bottle scent. It's very much like a cross between Opium and Old Spice for men, at least on my skin.

A little goes a long way and it's so very sexy and alluring! Wear this when you want to vamp it up.

Aug
24
2013
vintage_scent
vintage_scent

I was treated to the most lovely memory today. I bought a two-pack mini of this...just happened to see it sitting there...and decided to buy it. I had brushed it off a while back because I tested it at the perfume counter and didn't think it smelled the same. But wearing it today, and giving it half a chance, I was brought back to a wonderful special Aunt I had growing up in the 1980's. We just hit off when we met, and were close from then on. This was her signature. She was so special to me and she pulled this off so wonderfully. She had dark brown hair, (that she dyed even darker), a California tan, a deep voice, and a feisty personality with that 'I can do anything' attitude. Oh how I miss her. She could do a somersaults and cartwheels well into her 70's, and loved to flirt with the young grocery carry- outs. I have never seen a perfume suit someone so well.

I am so glad I bought this heady, strong vintage, bold, not afraid to be who I am perfume...I will wear it when I want to think of a wonderful memory with her. It's Gorgeous! Just like she was...

Aug
04
2013
MLK
MLK

I have always found this to be a more affordable version of YSL's Opium & it's sister scent, Estée Lauder's Cinnabar. I wore this throughout my Uni years when I couldn't afford the more expensive versions mentioned. It's still very nice, warm, spicy amber that is easy on the price. Always a good purchase.
Update: I bought 100ml bottle at the chemist for $12.95 the other day and I still love it! and what an absolute bargain.

Aug
03
2013
boruvka44
boruvka44

EDT: I don´t think it smells expensive, but it does smell 100% like Sanu Babu shops (India & Nepal), especially the incense corner - sandalwood, sandalwood and more sandalwood, with the typical dirty sweet spicy amber.
There are many orientals, but this one is pure ethno.

Jul
29
2013
Ben's Aldehyde
Ben's Aldehyde

I just got to try a vintage formulation of this stuff, and yes, it is rather different.

It smelled so faint when I first put it on that I though it might have gone bad. But after a few minutes on my skin, it bloomed. If modern Tabu is boozy honey, the vintage is juicy rose and candied carnation.

The clove is noticeably more prominent, which perhaps accounts for the carnation feel. The honey and animal notes are also smoother -- less coarse. Overall, it smells more luxurious (read "expensive"). But it also smells more of baby powder than the modern formulation, and baby-powder smells are a problem for me.

Refined baby-powder perfume vs. coarser, less powdery perfume. For me, it's a wash. Still, I'm glad I got to try the vintage version. It's lovely, even though powder isn't my thing.
_______________________________________________
@ cwolf: Benzoin has a smooth cola smell, and peru balsam smells sort of like chocolatey root beer. I believe both are traditionally used in ambers and orientals. Perhaps that's what you're smelling?

Jul
24
2013
cwolf
cwolf

I can't believe the shocking reputation this perfume has - I think it smells beautiful, unique and expensive.
To me it smells like a mix of spicy chai tea and vanilla coke. I wish I knew what accord made that "coke" note. Its beautiful, sweet, spicy and woody. Quite uplifting, slightly citrusy. People say its an old lady smell, but that's just the whims of fashion - for some reason this one has sort of been maligned as a cheap old oriental and not a classic. I bought mine at a dept store in NZ for $25NZD for 100ml! Yes, very cheap, indeed. The box says it is manufactured in Australia - I have no experience with the EU or US manufactured versions. Its my go-to day time scent when I want to feel a bit fancy and a bit vintage.
To me, its like a less-sharp version of Youth Dew. Similar notes, similar concept.
Sillage is enormous and longevity is rather excellent. I have a yellow scarf I spray it on - on that it lasts 3 days.
This, and Shalimar are my two all-time favourite fragrances.

Jul
23
2013
Ben's Aldehyde
Ben's Aldehyde

On me, this isn't shockingly spicy. It's boozy, musky honey. Under its influence, I become a drowsy bee.

It's a bedroom scent alright, but it doesn't scream "whore", it screams "nap time". Applied sparingly, it's a simple, inexpensive comfort, good for easing insomnia and stress. But do apply sparingly -- a little dab'll do ya.

Many amber incense chunks smell suspiciously like Tabu, and of course Tabu's low cost gives it a "cheap" reputation. But there's more to life than smelling exclusive and expensive. Sometimes you just want to smell cozy.

(This review is for a modern formulation. I hope to try a vintage formulation sometime soon.)

Jul
21
2013
ginawadsworth
ginawadsworth

Further update, has become my signature scent to replace AE. It has good lasting power, sillage and most of all, warms up on my skin during the day. ie if I work up a sweat, I can smell it again. It also lasts in my clothes which I have really missed since AE has been reformulated. My husband likes it, and a lot of people are scared of it. (secret weapon potential!!!!) For someone who is not confrontational by nature, I know all this hype about what your perfume says about you is just nonsense. Wear a perfume for you, and for no other reason. You don't have to apply so much that you scare the neighbours etc, but perfume is one of life's little pleasures, so indulge in whatever you fancy often and enjoy.

Of interest is that I am using the version made in Australia

Jul
18
2013
RUDOLFO512
RUDOLFO512

I really hate to write negative reviews but I have to with this one. Back in the early 1980's I used to carpool with 3 women to work. One of the women wore Tabu and I could smell her as soon as she came out of her house. Mind you this was at 7:00 am. Once in the car the smell was so strong I almost threw up a couple of times. I do not like this fragrance at all. Sorry :(

Jul
17
2013
nyoka
nyoka

Just a short one. When I apply this, it is all that's its said to be in a GREAT way. Hubby even likes it BUT< it only lasts about 30 minutes on me. NEW formulation! I still love the sultry stuff tho!

Jul
17
2013
bananas
bananas

Utterly beautiful, seductive, timeless & addictive.....
Nothing left to say.

Jul
17
2013
Yourfoxiness
Yourfoxiness

When someone releases a fragrance that's supposed to be a "sex bomb" perfume, this is what they're aiming for! This was the blueprint for the sweet, sexy frags, however Tabu became a fixture before the fad. Rich, grown up sweet resins & amber bring to mind a perfumed body oil, I smell orange, clove, cinnamon, carnation, jasmine, ylang ylang, incensey smoke, a hint of tobacco, & all the while a civet so present it smells like you're lying on a bed of furs! Where is the whip? Tabu is hedonistic sensory overdose. Nothing is withheld here. Patchouli, vetiver, & civet ground the warm base & cumin provides a touch of that "sweaty" note that is used well here to round out, a sexy, dirty classic thats managed to captivate generations. Shes not classy, shes just sexy in that vampy, hapless way that she just cant help it. If you don't like red lipstick & adventure, you probably won't like Tabu! I'm a new fan of this sexy, dark, spicy classic. Tabu would shine with a leather jacket, or under Salome's veils! There's not even a pretense of good girl here, & I love it!

Jul
09
2013
PLUMPIE
PLUMPIE

I adore smokey orientals and this is a mixture of Toujours Moi (which is divine on me and has more of a beeswaxy honeyed quality), Opium and Obsession on my skin with a touch of Avon Imari but mixed in there somewhere is a unclean sweaty note (think its heavy Jasmine and orange blossom as I get the same thing with Arpege I don't get along with Jasmine when its combined with a load of orange blossom so well) and a mixture of mothballs. A very 'naphthalene' note appears soon after spraying and lingers all day until the bitter end. A strong ashtray type note also lingers. I have enjoyed this on others and an sad this cheap and cheerful oriental doesn't work out for me but I will stick to my Obsession and Toujours moi over this. But worth a try if you tolerate smokey incensey orientals as it might work for you.

Jul
02
2013
AngelaChase
AngelaChase

A fragrance for a whore? Lets not forget we're talking about the 1930's! The whores back then were not the starving, dirty, toothless, disease-ridden, back-ally trash we consider whores to be today, no! The whores of the 1930's were a thing of luxury that only money could buy and where every wife was jealous with envy of their life-style while knowing of their own husbands deepest desires to enter a whore house!
A whore of the 1930's lived in a lavish house with other women, run by a house mistress who treated her girls like gold...and if any man entering her home did not do the same...the house wife would make sure he was unable to ever come back "You hurt my girls, I hurt your boys" and she was not talking about his sons *Wink*!
These whores were fed the best foods, the finest wine...their bodies draped in the finest of silk, satin, lace and cotton, while their beautifully-crafted wigs and hairstyles, adorned by accessories of real pearls and crystals were the only thing innocent before showing the slightest hint of an open leg to view the newest high-healed shoe that took a mans eye up her baby powdered leg and to a glimpse of her fish-net stocking and garterbelt before she walked forward to reveal that her womanly curves and décolleté were covered in the most expensive body oils, powders and perfumes!
A whore in the 1930's was a woman who could walk down the street and watch, as the people would part like the red-sea...all eyes on her and her only...while heads turned to stare and others to look away...all thoughts were the same...thoughts of hate, love, desire, jealousy, pure envy and sexual fantasy! A whore of the 1930's held all the power in her hands, in every situation she came upon and THAT was a gift she was able to give herself!
THAT is was "Jean Carles" had in mind when creating a perfume to capture a whore during that time period! This is a bottle of a woman's sexuality, pure fantasy and the openness of sex for power, held in a female hand!
Those who were closest to "Miss Marilyn Monroe" say her now iconic look was inspired by the women of the whore houses! And the way she transformed her walk and talk came from those same innocent but powerful women who used sex, cuteness and a fake dumbness to undermine any male in her presence!
This creation has changed since it's original release...but I see it as a good thing! The overpowering body powder has been taken down to a soft baby powder so there's nothing over powering about this anymore! This is definitely a pure Oriental with added Jasmine and Sandalwood to keep it's ultra feminine and deadly femme-fatale feel about it!
Because it's been changed and dulled down, it does have a tender-motherly feel about it now that does make it perfect for all women and perfect for night time to show that soft yet vamp, vixen side all women should unveil about themselves to experience life!
Perfect for both dry and moist skin types and does not mix with skin-chemistry.
Will fill a room but not over power or drown anyone out.
Long lasting, up to 8/9 hours and never changes scent to show off different notes...it's the same from start to finish making it a very unique and signature scent when worn!
No longer a one spray wonder like the original, it can now be worn on both sides of the neck and wrists, even the cleavage to keep that air of scent flowing around you like a wall of self confidence!
The new bottle design is the most fitting of all the bottles since it's original release...it now looks like an elegant, flower/seashell made from pure crystal, that you would have seen sitting on the dresser of rich women whose lives were defined by the finest of life's riches!

Jul
01
2013
Joeysgirl
Joeysgirl

This scent always reminds me of my fiery Maltese neighbour when I was a child in the 70's. She was a smaller framed woman with dark skin and a perfect black beauty spot above her lip. Smouldering ebony eyes, killer lashes and always wore a head scarf like a gypsy, but pulled it off as being ultra stylish and ahead of her time. With big hooped earrings, her faded denim jeans, tank tops no matter the weather and kick arse platform wedges, she oozed sensuality and ballsiness and BOY was she loud. We could hear her screaming at her kids and her husband from a block away. I remember her being so different from all the other Mums in the street and when possible, I'd love to stand next to her to get a smell of her vampy liquor - Tabu!!!

I guess if someone asked me what this fragrance reminded me of, I'd have to say Carmen!

Jun
07
2013
ginawadsworth
ginawadsworth

Further to my earlier review........................ I sniffed, purchased and have succumbed to this delicious scent. I adore perfumes, but with a recent hit from good old recession I have had to curb my passion and started to look at oldies and goodies. This is the first one I have bought. I have also treated myself to the deodorant and shower gel. What decadence at such an affordable price. I have never been able to do this before with more pricier scents, as I could not justify the expense and extravagance. Now I have it all, and feel virtuous about not having broken the bank with my purchase. With the introduction of a limited edition Tabu 1932, I hope they continue to make this delicious version. Maybe a late discovery, but oh, such a good one!

Jun
04
2013
dayzeedk
dayzeedk

I recently purchased Tabu for the first time - the one in the bottle style shown on this page. I love it so much that lately I don't want to wear any of my other fragrances! For me the experience is like a warm, sweet, spicy, sensual hug. Mmmmm...yummy! :)

May
25
2013
zoop1
zoop1

i just received it after a blind buy and.... this is great !! i was a little afraid to get a loud perfume, but it's not it's feminine, sensual, warm and cosy, the kind of scent i'd like to get wrapped into on a cold winter day! in fact i spritzed and went under the sprits so ijust got the right amount.

May
22
2013
jibsoz
jibsoz

Oh I use to wear this when I was young out to night clubs or on the wards as a student nurse.
I loved it.
A few years ago my brother bought me some as he remembered mr wearing it when he was young - he's 9 years younger.
Funnily enough it was on another nurse.

May
09
2013
Deppaholic
Deppaholic

It ain't what it used to be in the 70's. But I still love the memory of the old. The new is so cut throat :( Dang...used to be a lovely winter fragrance. Good times back then :) Midnight mass, running with the girls to all the church services Christmas Eve. Long winter coats, and young and our wholes lives ahead of us. Where did the 70's go :( Best music, best clothes. Ahhhhhh....hhhhhaaa (bee gees)

Apr
28
2013
ginawadsworth
ginawadsworth

Wow, what a powerhouse. I have always liked the spice and powder mix but never tried it on my skin. Absolutely amazing, wafts of superb sillage as I walked down the street. So much so, I had to tone it down with another scent on top. However it was still there peeking out in the background. I think the tester bottle may have delivered a hefty punch. Definitely on my list for the future.

Apr
26
2013
VanillaTabbyCat1963
VanillaTabbyCat1963

Tabu, you will always be next to my heart, my fragrant soulmate, tender, ever lasting.. You have an opening that literally blows one away. Unconventional and daring,I feel like a decadent aritocrat playing Russian Roulette when I say what the hell and give myself a big generous spritz of you. The real and original spicebomb. A gormand scent from 1932. Big, deep delicious spicy root beer accord-current formulation A masterpiece, created by genius Jean Carles at dimestore prices.
I recently found out my mom wore this as a teen-young
woman, which surprised me because she dislikes strong perfume, and like the rest of my frumpy backcountry New England family, never was big on perfume for perfume's sake. My grandmother, who was very sensitive to any and all scents, must have flipped out smelling this exotic concoction. Ha!
I was born free-spirited and always went my own way. My thoughts are my own. I have always had an affinity for blouses and jewelry from India, always with my lipstick and eyeliner and never without perfume.
Tabu, one of a kind, misunderstood, from another place and time, has always been my soul sister.

Apr
26
2013
Brahmsfourth
Brahmsfourth

What a wonderful scent for a senescent vampire hooker!

Apr
16
2013
smartcookie38
smartcookie38

I found Tabu Red Heels.Does anybody know about it?

Apr
08
2013
smartcookie38
smartcookie38

On the practical side,it would be interesting to know which versions of Tabu have been reviewed so far on Fragrantica.I am a collector and have started a blog on Tabu and Jean Carles' perfumes and own10 different types of bottles.They all smell different apart from two really awful ones which smell like cockroach killer.I kid you not!That juice could kill small animals too.It gave me a mighty migraine I could not shake for a week.Both bottles.The real shock came when I looked at the bottles and boxes very carefully and discovered they were made in.....Barcelona.More of a hint with regards to how old they are:manufactured in the EU.One of the bottles looks identical-label and all, with the squarish,black nipple cap bottle.The one that I guess we all refer to as the vintage Tabu.The latest versions/formulations available now in UK come in 5 types of bottles-3 available on Cheapsmells and 2 on Fragrancedirect.Apart from the cockroach killer of course which adds 2 more types of bottles.The Cheapsmells ones:two are manufactured in the US:the cello,83ml bottle and the one pictured on this page & the third one in Australia.These three don't smell alike either.Don't know about the ones on Fragrancedirect-on the shopping list at the moment. In case you were confused which one should you put in your shopping cart! I personally think that the cello bottle and the one pictured on this page are the best of the latest formulations.As far as the REAL ones-I'm lucky enough to have a few good bottles smelling DIVINE.Unique beauty is what comes to mind in terms of the feeling I get when I wear it.

Apr
05
2013
nikitajade
nikitajade

OOOOOOHHHHHH, the cloves and oranges and jasmine and spices. This is what you'd expect of a fortune-teller--the scent of Esmerelda. This is a scent for whirling around a fire with coins on your ankles and Spanish guitar. It trails behind you, and it's unforgettable.

I get the root beer, but not the kind you can buy at the local gas station. This is the old fashioned in-the-barrel sassafras beer. I've been searching for you my friend, and all this time I passed you buy in the discount bin!!!

It is definitely one to be applied with a feather light touch. Spray around your knees and let it waft up to greet you. A well-intentioned neck spray may knock you out.

Mar
13
2013
deliberateangel
deliberateangel

I love this perfume. My grandmother and mom always loved it. I didn't pay it any attention until I read reviews online and it definitely sounded like something I would like. I tried it on and was in love instantly. It smells very much oriental and very much sexy and dark. It does remind me of Youth Dew but it's not as strong and way sexier. I also reminds me a bit of Angel in a way, as in my opinion, they are both unusual orientals. Tabu however, down't have any food notes I can detect and doesn't dry down to a sweet, sticky base.
This seems suited for an older woman but I can see someone in their twenties pulling this off well. I see a darker, edgier type liking this. I cannot imagine a perky or conservative person wearing this. I can see a bohemian type, gothic type or even a rocker wearing this well. Lust from the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is a dead ringer.
On myself, it starts out spicy then gives way to a lovely amber, orange blossom, incense, patchouli, clove musky goodness. Whoever described this as golden was dead-on. It stays rather close to the skin but if you spray on too much, it could fill a room. One small spray is really all one needs. One spray and I can still smell it on my skin the next day after a shower. I can see how this scent can go "cola" or because of the musk go "skank."
I don't find this perfume lewd, trashy or cheap smelling. I think it's rather complex and beautiful. This is womanly and doesn't smell like candy or fruit or light florals plus aquatic notes like a lot of today's perfumes do. It smells old fashioned but not in a stuffy old school "I am wearing grandmother's perfume" way. I find this almost has an air of sadness. It is also somehow warm and cozy to me.
I think this scent may depend on your body chemistry. I don't get an old lady scent or obscene from this either.
I feel lucky this smells wonderful on me.

Mar
12
2013
lmlovespapa
lmlovespapa

THESE REVIEWS ARE VERY MISLEADING...this perfume smells nothing like Youth Dew which is loud cacophonous and just gross, or Opium which is a spice/silage BOMB Tabu is the most sensual smelling perfume I've smelled all year, I blind bought this expecting not to like based on reviews BOY WAS I WRONG, this is soooooooo sexy I can see why this would have been made for prostitutes because this concoction is very alluring to men, this is by FAR the best blind buy ever, no man stands a chance around ANY woman wearing this. starts out smelling of a spicy root beer vanilla potion then dries down quite powdery for a perfume that came out in the 30's this smells pretty modern yet classic.

*****5 stars all the way

Mar
08
2013
lizzie12
lizzie12

.40 years ago a friend gave me Tabu for Christmas. That same day a group of us got stuck into a couple of bottles of vermouth. And of course drowned myself in Tabu as the day progressed. Ever since, Tabu to me smells like boozy vermouth breath!! I have recently bought a mini bottle am currently wearing it (Tabu, not vermouth) and trying to wean myself back on to this classic scent! I don't smell slut, just rich classy worldly lady.

Mar
07
2013
RosesPeriwinkle
RosesPeriwinkle

I got a vintage bottle (circa 1950's) and these are my thoughts. I don't know if some of the top notes have deteriorated or if it's just the original composition, but the "root beer" note isn't there. Instead, there is a blast of neroli and spices which mellows into the woody base pretty quickly. The base is spicier than in the modern formula (the cloves last longer) and the musks, not being synthetic, feel more expensive. There is a bitter resinous note (the benzoin?) that I don't notice in modern Tabu. The staying power is enough to last all night.

But truthfully, I prefer the new version on my skin. I wore some from my modern bottle before going out last night, and I could still smell it on my wrists and hair when I got up this morning.

Mar
01
2013
antfarm
antfarm

Modern cologne formulation: a cheap-smelling perfume. Tabu Dana cologne puts the "ass" in "class" and smells like the breath of a horny drunk person. I wouldn't wear it, but truthfully, I don't mind smelling it from time-to-time.

Vintage cello-shaped bottle: a cheap-smelling (in the best way imaginable) perfume for women with a lot of class

Feb
19
2013
ivi rose
ivi rose

I smelled some of this at a perfume shop about a month ago and it was awful, similar to furniture polish. I could not smell any of the goodness that others had raved about.
Then I saw a vintage colgne in a black glass bottle and bought it off of ebay for a good price. Very interesting. I wasn't gaga over it at first. It goes through a plastic rose stage on me, that I didn't quite like.But then it was sweet and powdery in the drydown with a hint of spice.
But what I really like is that it drives my husband wild. Oh he doesn't make a comment that I smell good or anything like that. It's just when we start hugging he can't let me go and he just gets randy.
This made me like the scent even more. he he.
I just won two duo sets of the cologne and bath oil. vintage of course. Hopefully this will last awhile.

Feb
11
2013
SandraV
SandraV

My second review...the first time I tried this on I almost gagged:the civet was so strong and it wasn't quite like anything I had ever smelled before.Well I let it sit for awhile and tried it again-time just worked with this one and I really liked it.It makes me think of vanilla Coke which I guess might not sound all that appealing but somehow it just works.Granted I can't wear this in the warmer months:I live in the South and the humidity wrecks havoc on a lot of perfumes but in the cooler months it's divine.You absolutely have to use a light hand with this one-I have the little cello shaped bottle and dab just a bit on each wrist.I guess I got lucky as it lasts for a good 8+ hours on me.I think part of the problem is it's origins and it's easy to get a negative idea about it...it definitely smells like sex in a bottle but I love it!

Feb
07
2013
RosesPeriwinkle
RosesPeriwinkle

I've been trying this all week. When I snuck a sniff at the store, it was damp and mossy. The first day I wore it, it felt off, like I was borrowing someone else's scent. Then, it seemed masculine and I asked my boyfriend to wear it as well. A week later, I can't get enough of it. Smoky-sweet, incensed, and a little synthetic, it's very Californian. As an "exotic blonde," it could almost be my signature --if I had the attention span to stick with one fragrance!

I bought the $6 package with two mini's. I gave one to my mom last night. She's always worn Imari, and sometimes Opium. Maybe that's why I like this so much (and why it initially felt like I was "dressing up" in someone else's perfume): it's like these but different. I'm curious if she will like it.

Feb
06
2013
drugstore classics
drugstore classics

I am in SHOCK.

For two reasons.........

My previous review stated my admiration of anyone who could pull off this heady brew. But the cold weather brought out an entirely different side of this beauty. Now she's Gorgeous on my skin!

So I went to my Walmart and bought some. TWICE. Hence the second shock.....

The first bottles were minis and had leaked inside the packaging. The scent of Tabu mixed with the paper and dye of the labels was not unlike an angry skunk! I kid you not.

So I returned the minis and bought the 1.5 oz cello bottle ~ adorable! But at the first squirt I knew something was wrong. Four or Five squirts later it was Very Clear. This is NOT Tabu ~ not the Tabu I knew from my recent testing. Formerly, I could wear 2 sprays and fill the room with my sillage! This is barely noticable an arm's length away. Horrible!!

To make matters worse, it's clearly been reformulated as well. Not only thinner, it's just not the same rich scent. I refuse to wear an ugly perfume, even if it does come in a beautiful bottle!

So back it goes. And I'll be buying the cheap looking bottle shown on this page, which ( at my Walmart currently ) is obviously old stock.

Update ~ The new stock of Tabu in the ugly bottles smells identical to the old, so for now I am breathing a sigh of relief. But it is something to keep an eye on, as formulations change so rapidly these days!

Feb
05
2013
nighthob
nighthob

Just tried Tabu for the first time, and I smell like an incense factory. On me, the patchouli dominates, and there's something else in it (coriander, maybe) that smells like star anise on me.

Wearing this reminds me of being a trip to San Francisco that I took as a young woman. I smoked clove cigarettes and made out with some guy I met at a drumming circle at a park near Haight-Ashbury. Tabu will be my go-to fragrance next time I want to remember my "dirty hippie" days.

Feb
03
2013
cmoca
cmoca

Smells like incense to me, I absolutely love it. I wish the longevity was there too, but I don't mind re-applying this one. ...around the house too :)
(violin shaped edc one)

Jan
29
2013
krayonkid
krayonkid

I remember seeing this perfume at our pharmacy and was always intrigued by the fact that all I could make out was that it's called TABU. I've passed it millions of times before and never gave much thought of it afterwards. recently i saw this on fragrantica in the box that suggests 'People who like this also like' and dicided to have a look.

I was beyond pleasantly surprised when I read up on the scent, and inner freak-o-meter peaked when I read whore. This was litterly a case of I had to have it!!
I went and bought it the next day. I still have to spray it, and I have no real reason not to, but I am almost scared I would get swallowed whole.

What i do find interesting is that my bottle is not an EDC, but an EDP? and the bottle does not resemble any of the pictures I've googled.

i will edit with a review soon.

Jan
24
2013
shannonny
shannonny

Bequeathed a 1/2-ounce, violin- or cello-shaped EDC. Not sure what forumulation it is, but if you know, and you'd like to swap, please let me know. I would keep it, because I like warm, woody, scents, except it was Mom's signature. I remember watching her splash it across her wild 70's curls and run it through with her fingers and shake her head like a lioness, before finishing her make-up and heading out the door to her job as a "cocktail waitress" at the Magic Castle private club in Hollywood. How can I compete with such a memory?

If you would like to swap, please PM me. I do otherwise like rich, incense-y, dried-fruit, serious, lovely, even kind of sad, old-fashioned fragrances.

Three months later: Changed my mind. Maybe because my hair is longer. I'm keeping it because the incense is so sweet and my mom is bequeathing me all her old fragrance! I'm SO excited to get the package! She says that like makeup and heels, perfume is a thing of the past for her. (She lives on a farm now.) So it's my responsibility to carry on the Tabu tradition. I'm up for the task!

Jan
07
2013
Thatkid
Thatkid

My adopted grandma would buy this for me during the Hanukkah/Christmas season. It would come in a glass shaped liked a violin. I remember standing at my locker and dabbing it on and some people thinking it was too strong and others thinking it was quite nice. It's been about 7 years and this Holiday season 2012 my grandma gave it to me again and I REALLY enjoy it. It has a soft powdery scent to it that it gentle. Unfortunately my boyfriend is extraordinarily sensitive to smells and he doesn't like this at all. So I wear it when he isn't around.

Jan
02
2013
DastardlyGal
DastardlyGal

Reminds me of my 5th and 6th grade Math Teacher who wore this as her signature scent. It smelled good on her, and ONLY her, even though I wasn't a fan of it particularly. When someone else wore it, made me sick. That is my memory of Tabu, my Math teacher.

Dec
28
2012
Museumgal
Museumgal

This is a very warm spicy scent on me. The amber is most dominant and lingers the longest. A great scent for going out and cool nights. Not for every day wear. Great lasting.

Dec
22
2012
la_clope
la_clope

Tabu moves me. It really touches me. I had worn it ten years ago, i felt lukewarm about it and swapped it away, quickly forgot its existence. and one day in the last week, i heard it was calling me to wear it, yes, it called my name. i felt obliged to try it again after so many years. i sprayed it on, and i was sitting there, almost crying. stunned. spellbounded. like meeting my soul sister. i can't find words. words failed me.

on my skin, clove, incense, musk and civet dominate. incense and civet are the two strongest notes i get on my skin and i am lucky that my skin chemistry chose to pick out and amplify these two notes as they are my favorite notes. there is some smoke from the indian incense note i get but not too much, there is some powderiness from the musk note but again it's not too much, just the right amount for me.

every perfumista knows that everyone smells different from the exact same bottle of perfume. it's your character, your presence and your aura that chose the perfume, or, it's the perfume who chose you? or perhaps, both? this solely depends on your point of view. according to Serge Lutens, a vile person smells vile, whatever or whichever perfume she/he wears and i like his dramatic explanation.

spicy? very! animalic? very! bohemian, mysterious, wild, complex, oriental, decadent, deep, dark, fierce, brooding and at the same time, simple, warm, hearty and cosy. i'm afraid i'm in love with it and there is no way for turning back. no offense to all the non-brunettes, as we all conjur images for each perfume we wear, i personally think this sultry, exotic, smoldering perfume is more of a dark hair women type of perfume. i purchased the 'Dana Classic' edc violin bottle version.

thank you member 'Mouchoir de Monsieur', your review is so poetic and poignant, i have had a great time reading your beautifully written review, i was enchanted by the story of your special sister. and i cried inside of me a little when i saw myself from the story of your beloved one a little. thank you.

Dec
06
2012
Zenobia274
Zenobia274

Before most of you incredulously screech "Tabu?!", let me remind you that this much-maligned perfume has been around the traps since 1930, so it's obviously got something going for it. It's amazingly inexpensive, but anyone who loftily poo-poos it...I recommend you give it a try and if you like it wear it, especially if it likes you.

It's a no holds barred oriental and blends the usual jasmine and rose with buffers of patchouli, orange flower, bergamot, clove & various mystery spices..there's no escaping it. Tabu is not a perfume to be toyed with. Definitely R-rated, on some unsuspecting skins it becomes positively X-rated! Hint: if you like it, but feel it's a little too strong - then spray it along your legs and let the scent deliciously waft upwards...ooh la la!

Dec
03
2012
Assiduosity
Assiduosity

Guided by your responses to the the thread 'what made for women fragrances can or should a man wear?' A tale from my second day of wondering from the world of men into the unexplored country that is the land of female fragrances.

Having been welcomed gently into this realm by Shalimar, urged by many fine Fragranticans I broke, or rather broke into the Tabu.

The bottle is cheap, the packaging is crummy (though encouragingly lacking in ingredients), the liquid is the colour neon amber would be if such a thing were possible and the strength is Eau de Cologne.

The first shock: the power and quantity of spray. Then: the juice keeps its colour, that electric topaz, on my skin: a treacle splash dripping down from my wrists.

A brief scream of orange and then... an olafactory transportation. It is twenty years ago and I am in Camden Market in London. Not then entirely consumed by the soul eating juvenile tourists of the World, but still a place with genuine edge: where drugs can be scored, propositions made and accepted, vintage clothes tried on and vintage hippies regarded close up. Perhaps the Haight-Ashbury or the seedier parts of the Left Bank near Rue Mouffetard carry similar remembrances?

This smell is benzoin, not days or weeks but years of incense sticks and cones and resins of all kinds burnt day and night. The odour has invaded clothes, hair, furniture and is the smell not of a place or person but a way of life.

A way of life worn out by too much free love and cheap intoxicants, too many written off mornings and hazy afternoons, a clutch of failed marriages and innumerable hopeless way out business ideas.

If this was created as the perfume of a whore it is now the scent of a sixties slut now in her sixties - dangerous, dirty and morally broken.

But ah, there's more, the caravan carries spices too a little coriander, definite patchouli and maybe clove.

The effect is heavy, soporific and very unclean - I run my fingers over where the scent was sprayed and expect stickiness, a layer or film of filth - but no, there's nothing there. Perhaps the corruption is inside.

Remarkably, the dry down and later stages serve to increase the silage or at least the persistence of Tabu is impossible to ignore for me as much as anyone who comes my way.

This is a poem for fellow travellers, for people likely to be convicted of un-American activities for those on the wrong side of the law even if they were born on the right side of the tracks.

As to whether this lady goes for women or men - that's as irrelevant a question as it would have been in a commune in Big Sur in '69. Besides she's a whore - you pays your money and she's yours.

I won't be asking Tabu around regularly, she'd scare away too many friends and the family would disown me. But even in what must be her latter years, and I suspect a former shadow of herself, on an afternoon where I have nothing to do but read Gurdjieff and The Joy of Sex and contemplate my own navel she'll make great company, and god what stories.

Beside once you've broken a Tabu... there's no going back.

Nov
29
2012
julieanneh
julieanneh

I have heard lots of opinions about Tabu and am a firm believer in testing yourself. I tried it and on my skin and it smelt like smelly socks that someone tried to spray with cheap perfume, not pleasant at all on me. I couldn't wait to wash it off. Sorry, maybe it smells better on other people?

Nov
28
2012
karlovonamesti
karlovonamesti

Tabu has obviously been reformulated numerous times since its inception in 1932, and it was originally made by one of the world's greatest perfumers, the same man responsible for Canoé, Ma Griffe, and Miss Dior. Today's Tabu is surprisingly easy on the nose, kind of an oriental breeze of sassafras, spices, benzoin, and amber.

It's an EDC concentration and doesn't blow your sinuses apart upon application, but rather fizzes with a bright citrusy root-beer accord, nicely spiced with clove, cinnamon, coriander, and a touch of jasmine and patchouli. The sweet ambery drydown is simple but nice and still well-wrought. It reminds me of Old Spice. Tabu is a good inexpensive oriental that doesn't really smell like a drugstore scent. It smells warm and peaceful, and is certainly something both men and women can wear with ease.

Nov
23
2012
EMonika
EMonika

Today at the pharmacy I tip toed to this bottle of Tabu. I had so many preconceived ideas about this one, because of the price and so on..
I sprayed it on my wrist, and I raised an eyebrow? What the..?
This somehow opened up so sweetly on me it smelled like granny smith apples, orange and amber!
I saw that this perfume was made for a whore.. and I must say it certainly acts like a whore! This is whorishly sexy! Like a woman who walks past a man and sets off his primal instincts? yeah.. I get that!
This is more forgiving than coco chanel... she can be abit of a prude sometimes.

The drydown becomes more sensual and I get abit of heat from this one too! Its spicy, sweet, unisex, not too cloying, sexy.

Do try it when you can, I'm glad I picked her up and tried her out :)

Nov
20
2012
soonflower
soonflower

I just picked up a violin shaped bottle, EDC concentration.

It does smell similar Youth Dew and Opium but doesn't have that depth of those two.

But still it's a great aroma for those who love orientals.

Nov
18
2012
rickyrebarco
rickyrebarco

Oh, lovingthealien, you said it all. Well done!! And I so totally agree with your review.

In its orginal vintage forumlation this was a beautiful, shockingly new, yet amazing oriental. An archetypal oriental without which there would be no Cinnabar, no Opium, no Obsession. This one opened the door to Oriental opulence and a bit of 'darkness,' too.

This scent has great memories for me because my favorite aunt used to wear it. Of course her perfume choice met with great disapproval by her mother and her sisters. But she didn't care, which made me love her and the perfume even more. I remember sneaking into her bedroom and opening the bottle to take in deep drafts of scent into my lungs. She would put a little on my wrists before I went to bed so my mom wouldn't know.

Tabu is like a warm comforting blanket of memories of love and audaciousness. I love wearing my vintage Tabu and the memories it brings.

I have a particular love for the animalic nature of the scent. It reminds me of good animal smells- horses, cattle, sheep and lovely short haired dogs. I know there is no specific leather note in Tabu, but it still reminds me of broken in leather saddles that have soaked up a lot of delicious horse sweat over the years and the warm wonderful smell of burying your face in a horse's neck and just breathing in that glorious horsey smell.
Or the wonderful warm toast smell of my little Italian greyhound's silky head with a little bit of eau do chien thrown in. Glorious.

I do admit that I do not wear Tabu outside the house. I don't want city folk to be following me saying, Phew, what is that smell? So I wallow in Tabu at home and long for the delicious scent of horses, whippets, and Italian greyhounds. I sleep with visions of civets dancing in my head.

Nov
11
2012
TanteSimone
TanteSimone

This finally made it to my collection. It's one of those fragrances I never really wished for because with all the reformulations going on, there's a tiny chance that I'd find a decent bottle.

The moment I smelled it, I got a blast of Opium, the unmistakable rootbeer note, a layer of resins, and the powdery drydown of Shalimar. Tabu is all the nice things you can ever ask for in an oriental.

On me, it is dense and powdery, with a bit of cola. But on my mother, it smells more rounded and softer---like a combo of Joop Homme and Fields Notes From Paris by Ineke. We can share it and people will never be aware that we are wearing the same fragrance.

Tabu is an acquired taste and the secret is dabbing. The spray it comes with is mighty strong, never a good thing.

Update: Because I like it a lot---I hoarded and bought 8 bottles of the EDC for like peanuts. <3 Tabu.

Nov
08
2012
kattassah
kattassah

Theoretically, based on the list of notes, I SHOULD like this scent. But whether it's a reformulation, or just a bad bottle, I can't like it. The first whiff just blows my sinuses apart and then dries down to a fruity vanilla marshmallow. I was hoping for at least a touch of cinnamon or cloves (anything spicy) but no such luck for me. I'll stick with my Cinnabar.

Oct
30
2012
kamisis
kamisis

que dire de tabu,au premier jet,mon nez c'est froncé j'ai senti une odeur de vespasienne, quelque chose de sale, même d'assez ignoble étant une habituée des parfums vintage et sachant que l'odeur initiale n'a souvent rien à voir avec le rendu final, j'ai donc laissé tabu s'installé sur ma peau et là je dois dire après quelques jours que je déteste ça sent définitivement l'urine et le parfum basse classe beurk. je précise que j'ai la version Cologne en forme de violon et sur l'emballage il est noté fabriqué au usa emballé en chine.dommage au vu des commentaires positifs j'aurais aimé connaitre la version vintage car celui ci pue litteralement

Oct
25
2012
vld
vld

Cannot like this. I smell no gourmand. I only get a cloying sharpness, a chemical hardness that gives me a headache right off the bat.

Oct
25
2012
gemdraco
gemdraco

This is my favorite perfume. I remember having it in high school, and then just got away from it, as we do.

On me it starts off a little sweet and dreamy, but in about a half hour it deepens to a lovely warm, spicy, slighty smoky and definitely delicious scent. It makes me think of gypsy fortune tellers at a carnival. They would wear Tabu. And I wear Tabu. It has an almost edible quality to it that gently wafts up and around me. It's subtle and alluring. Certainly sexy. But not overpowering. Funny that I did have it in high school, because to me it is not a young girl's scent. I think you need to have an air of confidence and smoldering appeal to pull off Tabu.

Oct
22
2012
Alexandre
Alexandre

I confess that I had a certain prejudice regarding this perfume, it felt ordinary even without ever having experienced. Here in Brazil, many have this idea in relation to Tabu. I make that mistake! But recently I was able to redeem myself with Tabu, when after reading a forum members weaving true "poetry" about him! I decided to buy a bottle and a passion was overwhelming and the best, for an unbelievable price! Many confuse with YSL Opium! It is striking at first after a while it becomes subtle, soft ... Very spicy and woody, I love the color of the liquid ... Well I guess unisex.

Oct
14
2012
lindsayyasdnil
lindsayyasdnil

Marvellously dark and rank and resinous and beery and mysterious - that's Tabu! Its the smell of aged Ladies wearing too much panstick. Tabu is "troublant" - youngsters gag because they are accustomed to "clean smells" - laundry musks, watery fruits and sorbets - they don't want to smell old, or of old things (smoke, damp wood, creosote) - they want to smell like they've just stepped out of the shower. And that's great but its also dull, dull, dull! Tabu dares you to smell like you've been on the razzle all night, before you've been on the razzle all night! Shameful, but delicious. If only there were a pure parfum or a solid perfume concentration of Tabu...

Oct
11
2012
lovingthealien
lovingthealien

It's such a shame this has received such a bad reputation and has been subsequently cheapened beyond all reason. The vintage Tabu is one of the most gorgeous and daring orientals ever created(and by the master of daring orientals, no less). Full of character, it is earthy and aromatic while retaining a distinct animalic signature. Very much like the great Narcisse Noir and Bal a Versailles, this fragrance plays a dirty game with sweet orange blossom and civet. This isn't nearly as dirty as either, but it does have a more literal dirtiness to it. While Narcisse Noir is panties/sandalwood in the drydown and Bal a Versailles is burnt sap and dried spit, Tabu is a soft, complex earthy blend. Its patchouli/benzoin accord brings your nose to the earth, with the earthy qualities of vetiver and oakmoss adding their influence. It is a bit murky like all of Jean Carles's creations, but that is the true spirit of the oriental fragrance.

In the end you have an immediately recognizable fragrance with excellent sillage and longevity. Unfortunately, like the fragrances of the great house of Coty, the price was dropped too low, the fragrance became too available, it developed a reputation(despite the "quirky" reputation it already had), and was subsequently abandoned by all but the few diehards with sentimental attachments and the people with whom this fragrance was ultimately associated.

Tabu was groundbreaking, and without it we would not have had masterpieces like Bal a Versailles, Spellbound, or Organza.

Put a little slut in your heart.

Oct
10
2012
lemonfreshjoy
lemonfreshjoy

I'm thinking of getting this again. For autumn and winter. In a world of neverending fruity florals, I'm dreaming of something warm, spicy and a little powdery. Just for a change.

Sep
23
2012
Rizaldo
Rizaldo

Classic!!!

Sep
23
2012
Dixie Diva
Dixie Diva

Oh does this one -- and Ambush -- bring back memories. In high school my girlfriends and I spent hours in the big drugstore in the next town prowling the perfumes -- testers are a wonderful thing. We always came back to Tabu and Ambush. Usually worn by our mothers (and/or any older sisters) they were our idea of an adult perfume -- sexy, sophisticated, sensual (although we probably didn't know that word). And the names themselves evoked the glamorous grown-up world we couldn't wait to enter. Alas ... being teenagers, our mothers refused to let us buy -- because the names themselves (not to mention the scents) were too "adult" for 15 year olds. But I'm not 15 any more :)) Sadly the original Ambush is no more. But Tabu is still here. Reading the reviews here has inspired me to finally go buy it. Sometimes the fragrance you loved "then" is just the one you need now.

Sep
16
2012
mystica
mystica

My long anticipated blind buy finally arrives.

That's a review for the violin shaped bottle, EDC, Dana's Classic.

I can't help myself but imagine what Tabu once was if the vintage version was different in regard to depth, longevity and sillage... That's certainly an old world perfume, tamed into a soft musky drugstore fragrance leaving the trail of a glorious character intact.

It somehow evokes Youth Dew, but rather its little sister yet to grow up.

Sexappeal, there; sensuality and softness, there; but beware, it's not something a usual audience would appreciate.

It evokes very strong emotions. It's depressive. I need the correct mood to pull it of, otherwise, I start imagining the old Victorian graveyards, ivy colored marble floorings of the Middle Age churches, a day in the woods in a cold winter day, a by-gone era, and I feel quite melancholic. That's the perception of an ex-goth; it can be different for you.

If you like Opium and Youth Dew, you'll certainly like Tabu. But just don't expect the depth of the two.

Tabu is good to experiment with, to occasionally enjoy. It can get you interesting feedbacks.

Sep
11
2012
Smelly Mama
Smelly Mama

This is the first ever ''fancy'' perfume! My parents purchased it for me, when I was 14. (Over 18 years old) It was a VERY strong perfume for most teens..but I wore it anyhow because my parents gave it to me. lol
I almost feel guilty to this day admitting I wasn't too fussy on it. It was just too musky and spicy for me back then. I haven't worn or smelled it since my teens years. I really have no idea how I would feel about it now. I just know back then, I really disliked the 'strongness' [not a word..I know lol] of it. Maybe I'll try it again...one day. :)

Sep
06
2012
Lumiere
Lumiere

Today is so windy and cold. Maybe even stormy in the sea. Tabu wrapped me up so nicely with the cloud or warmth, spices and wood...definitely plays well in this weather. Plus.

Sep
06
2012
kay_dee
kay_dee

my late mom used to wear this... i dont remember much except that it's spicy & woody (after all i was just a kid then).. i know that she loves it very much

Aug
31
2012
Goodfortune5758
Goodfortune5758

I believe there is a group of us that all had that bottle for the Junior high dance.
Memories in a bottle. Can't say a lot for the scent itself.

Aug
22
2012
jeanbean7777
jeanbean7777

I admire the artistry of this perfume. I bought a bottle today for the sale of trying it on My skin. My friend has a boyfriend that bought her this perfume and insisted she wear it on dates. He found this perfume a major turn on. So, I smelled it out of the bottle and was disgusted......anyways, I recently bought ny own bottle and squirted it once on My wrist. I found it overpowering for about a half hour. Now its spicy. Im wearing it on a summer evening and I think its just ok. I think it might be better in the winter or fall. I think the colder it is the better this will smell. Again, spray lighly.....for some reason i swe this perfume going well with wool skirts and cashmere sweaters. It has a certwin sexiness and its definately very familiar of a scent....even though no one really wears it anymore it is classic and I do think it has its charm. The powder of tabu would be very nice.

Aug
13
2012
Annelien1987
Annelien1987

People please, this is not available in my country (what a surprise). Could one compare this to Obsession by Calvin Klein, my alltime favorite perfume? I would do a blind buy but I'm not sure.

Aug
12
2012
AngieGCarp
AngieGCarp

Smells like rootbeer...

Aug
06
2012
VanillaTabbyCat1963
VanillaTabbyCat1963

It took me years,until my early fourties until I crossed paths with with Tabu. Several years ago I made a very happy move to California. The place had a very positive effect on me, I fell right in step with the slower pace and relaxed attitude. I never did feel right with the stiff, judgumental attitudes and conventional ways of the northeastern U.S. With Tabu's reputation preceding itself, I never felt compelled to even so much as test it. It's got to smell like synthetic flowers and alcohol with that musky smell I hate. Then somehow I discovered Tabu was a spicy Oriental. One day at Walmart I picked up the purse twofer, and for six dollars love it or not, I would finally have an opinion of this shady lady.

I realized this Tabu was anything but ordinary, and actually very unique. I began to wear it as a inexpensive option to my Opium, it gaining my full respect and then me becoming besotted with it's full blown exotic beauty. It fascinates me that Tabu was developed 40 years before Opium; before fancy advertizing campaigns and promotions. Throw in a rumor or two about its inspiration, and you have two masterpieces-one delegated to streetwakers and the other to socialites

Jul
28
2012
lara0905
lara0905

I have a cello-shaped small (15ml) vintage bottle probably from the 60-70's without spray with the marvelous and much reviled gold-brown liquid inside.:)

I'd say, Tabu is the queen of drugstore classics. Given the name, this perfume daring and sensous, definitely has a kind of naughty charm. The scent is intoxicating mixture of the spices and flowers, initially sharp and almost pungent but after the harsh beginning it's transforms into a mesmerizing honeyed spicy floral blend.

The smell of Tabu is thick and it's almost tangible. The narciccus boldly shine through on the warm, balsamic base, on my skin this combination is literally smells like honey-dipped florals( narcissus, rose and jasmine) covered by oriental spices(cardamom, clover and vanilla). Drop by drop, minutes by minutes the animalic features comes forward(musk, amber, civet),gives the musty and "sweaty" quality to the scent,-but not in a bad way. As it's cured to the skin, it's lives a soft,dense and rich trail of balmy sweetness.

Tabu is not for shy girls and not for everyone for sure. But a must try for oriental lovers and those who like old-fashioned voluptousness.Personally I really enjoy to wear Tabu,and strangely I found it very classic and elegant in some way.

Tabu is quite powerful fragrance( even it's an EdC) but worn lightly it's could be charming and mischievous.:)

Jul
08
2012
QuiltFinger
QuiltFinger

Tabu is a marvelous, complex and truly underrated fragrance. I received this in a Dana for ladies sampler, and it's the first of those fragrances that I tried, perhaps due to the charming cello-motif bottle.

Unlike contemporary fragrances this are superficial, shallow and one-dimensional, this marvel is deep, robust and complex. I find the hooker connotations/inspiration/associations to be quite hilarious. If it was indeed inspired by a lady of the night, she would have been a sophisticated, high-class, high-priced femme who is intimately familiar with the ritual of absinthe drinking, the practices of opium dens and the needs of virile men.

Although it's classified as an Oriental floral, it is deliciously rich and has distinctive warm, gourmand notes that can heat things up on a chilly fall or winter night.

Once applied to the skin, the full nuances are revealed. The amber notes paired with sandalwood are superb. Warm vanilla notes from the amber waft in the air for hours. The personality of the fragrance reminds me of a crème brule. You must break through the strong exterior before the warm, soft vanilla custard notes are revealed. It's timeless, classic and oh so sexy. I love Tabu.

Jul
06
2012
pfcs
pfcs

I still love Tabu, although I haven't had any for awhile. I wore it in my twenties when I couldn't yet afford Estee Lauder. Tabu is one of those scents that is so very affordable because it is no longer the latest thing. How nice for those with little to spend because it is a luscious, sexy oriental, no matter its' age!

Jul
01
2012
Lumiere
Lumiere

It took me a while to overcome the first shock when i sniffed it from the bottle. It is a gift set, cologne and talc, made in australia, under license from dana.

Then I sprayed on a woolen scarf. It is warm, deep cherry that settles quickly ingto woods. Even laqcured timber-maybe cherry timber, who knows. Incesne, sandal, overall it ie winter dark evening, a bit sad and elevated feeling. Reminds me of church and solitude. Similar feeling but along different lines I had with Ispahan.

I am proud that I could overcome such resistance to Tabu as Old smell. Along with Tea Rose, while Tea Rose is a good old scent, this one is bad (in an intriguing positive way) scent.

I really doubt that if I wear it, anyone who knows my collector's passion for perfumes, recognise it.

It is sweet in a non-sweet way fragrance. Gives confidence and warmth. I think it would take well to layering with anything that would add some top notes, a little bit lighter and flowers.Otherwise, one take take courage and wear it confidently on it's own.
EDIT: Now I know of someone who is 19 and loves this scent in colgne. All house smell of it when she uses it. LOL. I don't dare to use so much:)))

Jun
24
2012
fishmerised
fishmerised

If you like Joop Femme I'm sure you would like Tabu. It's a richer and deeply sweeter frag but the dry down is identical to my nose. It's worth a try as Tabu is the original "dirty" perfume and is far less expensive than Joop.

Jun
13
2012
Lushylori
Lushylori

I hated this stuff for years and I have like 5 small bottles that just collected dust on my vanity but after being exposed to so many scents that are fruity floral and smell the same as each other,,Tabu has given me a nice break lately :)
My two boys love the scent actually.Today I might let them squirt a few sprays on because I think a boy could definitely get away with wearing this one..
I love the history behind this perfume...Its quite amusing...

May
27
2012
The_Entity
The_Entity

Im 23 years old, I rate this better than any stuff currently being released. For me, this is very similar to Timeless by Avon, but this is much stronger and deeper. Good price tag too. This is definately among one of my favourites of all time.

May
18
2012
L2003
L2003

My Tabu just arrived... A 100 ml spritzer bottle apparently made in Australia.

WHAT a scent !! On my skin it is a deep dark smoky, incense, spicy scent. Actually it makes me think of Coco Chanel (which is lighter), or Obsession (female)... Of course each skin is individual, I know from my experience my skin brings out more of the spicy notes than the sweet ones.

Anyway - I do not experience it as overpowering or cheap at all, just so.... Difference to the modern frags that all smell like candy or fruit to me (and I do not like smelling like food)... It is the dark-depths vs the superficial-glitter in my opinion.

This is a perfume for a woman (possibly also for a man), rather than a girl (or a boy), I'm glad I found it only a few weeks before turning 40 :)

A right-of-passage into Tabu ;)

May
10
2012
kuanyin4
kuanyin4

I just got a little bitty bottle of vintage Tabu in a combo buy on eBay. I laughed about getting it, I am 56 and had never tried it. I think I remember my mom long ago saying it was vulgar and I never gave it another thought other than as a cheap tacky fume. I put it on today as it was the last one I hadn't tried. It's beautiful! This does not smell like cheap drug store stuff. It is has depth and breadth and longevity. It is brazen, but not overly. I loved the sillage, with wafts of scent throughout the day. It was raining, it was Monday, and I went to work such a good mood! Scent has such power, and this made me very happy. I should tell my mom....

May
07
2012
L2003
L2003

After reading about the frag, and the poetic review by "le mouchoir de monsieur", I ordered it online anosmic...

I am completely fascinated by the spicy-oriental frags (Samsara Guerlain, Joop Femme, obsession CK, Chanel No5).

Can't wait to get it - but I ordered anosmic before - worked out great !!

May
05
2012
perhapspersephone
perhapspersephone

I remember Tabu . I remember hating it. After reading these reviews I wonder why did I hate it . My sister would even buy it as a gag gift !

What the heck, it is cheap . After reading all these glowing reviews it seems worth revisiting . Maybe I will find a new treasure !

Apr
19
2012
nananessa
nananessa

OMG I have loved this fragrance since I was a mid-teen in the 60s. This was one of my first fragrances & I wore it for probably a decade.

These reviews posted here on this one are so good, & bring back so many memories...

When I put it on, especially for dating, I always felt super sultry & seductive with it. It was as if I was spraying on "Here comes trouble!!! Femme Fatale!!!"

Apr
12
2012
parfumesigne
parfumesigne

Hmmm... I ordered Tabu after reading all the reviews - good and bad, and because I wanted a spicy fragrance. I Thought I would recognize the smell (a lot of you write that Tabu was your mothers / grandmothers scent) But I don't think I have ever smelled it before - I don't think that Tabu is a very common perfume in Denmark.

It's not as spicy as I thought it would be; it's sweeter, and then it has this special smell - a smell that I have never smelled before in a perfume: It smells like american candy (I'm not kidding!) My mother in law was american, and every Christmas we had different kind of american candy (her family sent it from the US) and as far as I remember, there are three major flavors in american candy: Cinnamon, peanut butter and this Tabu-like smell/-flavor (a bit like camphor, maybe, a sweet and mild camphor, but camphor)
Is it the smell of patchouli?

It's strange, but I think I like it.

Mar
31
2012
le mouchoir de monsieur
le mouchoir de monsieur

Here's an interesting story, and an important detail, both of which seem to make Tabu even more bewitching. While it is not at all probable Jean Carles was in reality asked to create a perfume for Ladies of the Evening, according to all and sundry, he most definitely achieved something remarkable, and lasting: "Un Parfum Eternel." My experience with Tabu is limited to the following story: My mother took a young girl under her wing when this poor orphan, who had not had an easy life, had been sexually abused by her older brother since she was 6, and on top of all this misfortune was not exactly "Spoiled by Nature" as the French would say. (She was not, externally, a Beautiful Girl.) This girl, who by happenstance came to be a kind of sister to me, grew into a fierce rebel, and not at all in the usual manner popular at the time. She was very much her own creation, and followed no form of eccentricity previously known. She was an Individualist. For all the years I knew her, which were many, she only ever wore Tabu, and professed an undying love for it. My memories of the scent have the universal theme of: Incense. Everything about this girl smelled like incense. After my mother passed away, we remained staunch friends and allies. Naturally, my true blood sister detested her, and many in my family found her odd, to say the least. She continued to have a strange life. For 22 years, I lived in Paris, and she lived in California. We would write each other letters, as people did back then, and I would always know I had a letter in my post box from her before even opening it because I could smell it through the grate of the metallic compartment. She visited me several times in Paris. The first time, she made an entrance into my apartment, which was a kind of penthouse on the 8th floor (7th per French standards) and declared herself to have been so traumatized by the journey that she barely left the apartment for her entire sojourn, which, if I recall, was a lengthy one, over the course of which she would sit for hours, entire days, on my rooftop terrace and read. All kinds of strange things happened to her. Another time she visited, we got locked into Pere Lachaise Cemetery and had to spend the night hiding in one of the vandalized crypts for fear of being attacked by the vicious guard dogs who roam the vast terrain after hours, ready to kill. She only enjoyed things that were tainted with tragedy or sadness, but she was very intelligent. At one point, near the end of our relationship, she had been living in a ramshackle shanty town type clapboard house in the hills outside of Los Angeles, not far from where the Manson Family famously converged. Upon moving in to this house, which was a weekly rental, she found in the kitchen cupboard on an uppermost shelf a box of ziplock bags left behind by the previous tenant, which she left undisturbed and had been using off and on for quite some time, as It was one of the supersized 1000 count ones that you can find in the US, until one day, she reached up to grab a plastic bag, and found that there were none, yet the box was still heavy. Removing it from the shelf she found it to be packed full of stacks of $100.00 bills, totaling close to $50,000.00. Very diligently she made inquiries to find the previous tenant, who had been evicted, and never succeeded. After two years, with this money, she bought a small plot of land in the desolate, dry hills outside of Los Angeles, and built a kind of tree house on it, where, to my knowledge, she still lives, unless she finally drank herself to death, or committed suicide; Two gestures that had been veritable plots over the course of her life. When I think of Tabu, I think of her, and how, wherever she went, or whatever she touched, would afterwards smell of incense. The interesting detail about Tabu that nobody here has thus far pointed out is the French play on words inherent in it's title. Jean Carles, Dana, and the entire context of this perfume is French, so we must assume that the choice of this piquant, cheeky title, now legendary for all the wrong reasons, was then lost on no one, as it appears to be today, which surprises me. The word "Tabu" in French is spelled "Tabou." The pronunciation of this word is very distinctly different and not at all subtle when compared with the French pronunciation of the written title of this perfume, which, in the spirit of Emile Zola, has become so tainted by phantasms of drunken, smoky debauchery. When spoken in French, the title "Tabu" sounds perfectly identical to an accusation, equally salacious and befitting of it's dark reputation: It means, very simply, "You've been drinking!"

Mar
04
2012
Lakambini
Lakambini

In the first few moments after spraying it on my wrist, Tabu smelled sharp, stale and rank. As the minutes wore on, it began to change, acquiring a smoky character, like incense; the smell of fragrant burning dissipated after about a half hour, leaving a pellucid brown spicy-yet-still-incense like quality. My husband thought I’d gone insane: I kept my wrist to my nose, constantly sighing and mmm-ing with delight. It took me back to my travels in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia – reminding me of those fragrant temples with rising smoke and intricate patterns in the old wooden walls. An hour and a half into putting it on, my sensitive eyes smarted somewhat and my nose felt stuffed up, but eventually it passed (I get the same reaction in a spice market), and was probably due to my foolishly rubbing my wrists over my whole face! I never knew a drugstore brand could be so trippy, so intoxicating.

Feb
26
2012
Robynlovesperfume
Robynlovesperfume

Oh my goodness, I think I've just created the most gorgeous scent on the planet mixing Dana's Tabu with another fragrance. It's so good, I almost can't believe how delicious this is!

Since my last review on Tabu, I've had good days and bad days with it.... That is, some days, it smells like a rootbeer float, while other days, it smells WAY too spicy with only a *slight* mix of rootbeer float. Because of this, I had been getting very frustrated with this perfume, because I desperately wanted this fragrance to smell the same to me each day(is that too much to ask for?).

So, I kept coming back to it, trying to figure what it needed on those days when all I seem to smell are a bunch of spices. I finally decided that what it needed was something very powdery, and something very vanilla-ry. In other words, a vanilla baby powder. But what other fragrance could I use that **just** smells like vanilla baby powder? As I was looking through my perfume wardrobe, there was one perfume in particular that stood out, and that one was Kenzo Amour.

So, I sprayed 1 full squirt of Kenzo Amour EDP on my wrist, then 1 full spray of Dana Tabu over it. What I'm left with is a SUPER rootbeer/vanilla float, with literally the most perfect amount of spices! This is so good, I am almost craving a real float right now! :D

Because this combo worked so well, I'm going to try a few other vanilla fragrances to combine with Tabu and see if it fairs any better(like Cinema & a few others). But I'm almost doubtful anything will work better, as I don't think there's much improvement needed in this Kenzo/Tabu combo. I am finally MORE than happy with Tabu, and I do believe I'm ready to claim it as one of my top fragrances, no joke. I love Tabu. :-)

Feb
25
2012
clrieger
clrieger

Talk about olfactory memories!Tabu IS my grandmother. She was small, spicy, and appeared larger than she really was. She would love the options out there now since Tabu was such a unique fragrance "back in the day." Long-lasting, I can still smell it on items she left me 22 years ago kept in a wooden chest. For me, a floral lover just venturing into the non-floral realm, this will be my second outing after Angel. I hope to try it when I see a tester next time at the drugstore. It appears lighter than Opium, which is often overused (a little goes a long way). If Tabu does not work for me, I may still buy a bottle for the memories.

Feb
17
2012
SuperPookie
SuperPookie

I have never had a chance to smell the vintage version which from others decriptons must be entirely differant.
On me it's a pleasant ,somewhat powdery scent with very little lasting power. I like it but I was hoping for the sexy, wild perfume that I'd heard about.

Feb
17
2012
ecofreak2001
ecofreak2001

This frag is unique...I guess that it could be too much for the average perfumaniac. On me it smell very ethnic; first you can smell the incense & musk and later it leaves a powdery smell. When I use it people ask if I'm using incense. I guess you just have to be in the mood to use it...:D

Feb
07
2012
rosembloom
rosembloom

I am wearing and enjoying Tabu today. Warmth , spice, rich animal scent that comforts me when down. I mostly wear this one at home when in a no-nonsense mood ( i be da boss type of thing!). Today, it seems to be more powdery than agressive and I just love. It surrounds me in a haven of intoxicating notes and mossy goodness which remind me of the wet earth after a good downpour. I also have Tabu Woman... the pink square bottle .. baloon me if u know it please because i cannot find it here xxxx good day dears!

Feb
03
2012
Shydaniels
Shydaniels

I really want to like this scent, because it's interesting. I do like the smell straight out of the bottle, but I have to be in the right mood to wear it, because the drydown on my skin leaves kind of a black licorice tinge that's a little off. But I have worn this after using Bath & Body Works Sensual Amber body wash and had people telling me how wonderful I smelled. Maybe the extra amber is the key for me.

Jan
20
2012
Coutureguru
Coutureguru

Where to start??? This one holds a great many memories, not all of them fond. Firstly, the manager of a super fragrance outlet near me has become quite a good friend. She too is a fragrance junkie and has been in the industry for some 35 years. I pop in when I am in the area, as I did today, and we spend some time shooting the breeze and testing frags :o). The topic of Tabu came up (we were talking about Orientals and the demise of the once incredible Opium) and although it's been unavailable in South Africa forever, she pulled out a tester of Tabu from the dim recesses of a cabinet. We both took a spray ... UMMM ...
I started singing at a very young age and by my mid teens still had a very good mezzo soprano going on. My voice coach was an elderly woman of ample propotions, who in her youth had sung Opera all over the world. Tabu takes me back to her placing bricks on my chest and then having to exhale without them lowering ... all flavored with the rich, ripe stench of Tabu!! Even I reeked of it when voice coaching was over LOL.
There is a scene in a movie called "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge" in which a sultry Halle Berry struts into Otto Preminger's office with a red rose tucked behind her ear and declares "I am Carmen Jones". If movies had "smell-o-vision" ... this is what she would have been wearing. This is probably what many a brothel has smelled like :o). Delightfully common and a whole lot crass, Tabu is not for everyone and certainly not for me. I do, however, admire those who can pull it off without coming across as a two dollar hooker or an elderly voice coach :o).

Jan
19
2012
LadyGNotGaga
LadyGNotGaga

Oh My Gosh. I have only recently begun NOT utterly hating this perfume. Maybe because I associate it with the eccentric on my street as a child--you know the one who had 15 cats and chain-smoked and tanned until she looked like a leather bag...she wore so much of this, you could literally smell her anywhere in the same building. To make it worse, the smell was always mixed with a cloud of cigarette smoke.
Only recently a lady at my job has worn it and guess what? It smells pretty nice on her. She has the right body chemistry, and she doesnt bathe in it. Funny how people wear the same scent so differently. But, to be fair, anything mixed with stale cigarette smoke and cat urine will not smell very nice.
Id definately never wer it myself but then I dont like Opium, Obsession, or anything that could possibly incite large wild cats to a sexual frenzy (civet oil). But for some people, that works. To each her own.

Jan
12
2012
Grottola
Grottola

This review is off the current Tabu.

I have nothing against animalic fragrances. In fact, I love them. Unfortunately, I don't really get anything animalic out of Tabu - in fact, I get a putrid, "burnt" lavender sort of note, paired with some cheap head shop incense. Maybe the vintage stuff is better, but the stuff they're currently marketing is, for lack of a better term, horrid.

Jan
12
2012
geekweevil
geekweevil

I love this one. I have both the modern version and a vintage version, both have their own merits. The vintage version is a little less IN YA FACE.
Tabu is sharp, animalistic, palpable.
I'm a big fan of what some people refer to as the 'Old Lady' type perfumes, less of a fan of modern. If my Nan would have worn it, I'll pretty much be guaranteed to like it.
I wear this one to parties cause it's strong and sultry and it makes me feel confident to get out there and party!
For this reason I don't wear it to work! (for a similar scent, but less sultry for work, i use Bal a Versailles)
I recently had people over who were trying on my perfumes - someone scoffed at the fact i had Tabu cause that was what old people wore. Apparently. But then she tried it on, and stated in amazement it was really good. Well Duh. You don't get to be that old and not be really good!

Jan
03
2012
hlhenderson
hlhenderson

Smells like an affectation. Insincere, trying to be sultry and mysterious but failing at it. Instead, it's matronly, liquor-like and eccentric. (Well, I once knew a strange man who wore this. Maybe that's why I find it eccentric.)

Jan
02
2012
Robynlovesperfume
Robynlovesperfume

I have had a small bottle of Tabu for a very long time..... Pretty much since my middle teens, to be more accurate. I've never been fond of it. I've always found it overly spicy and strong.... that is, until today. What a discovery, what a shock, what a (MUCH more than) pleasant surprise Tabu had in store for me.....

Tabu opens up incredibly spicy and strong, MUCH too strong for my liking. This is the very reason why I never gave it a fair shot all these years. However, today was different, because I actually had time to go through many of my perfumes and re-test those I don't particularly care for. Immediately after I applied Tabu, I figured to myself, "Yeah, same as usual.. too spicy. Still hate it." But after about about 3 minutes(I kid you not!), I started to smell something so gorgeous and yummy, much like the strong smell of a rootbeer float mixed with a small amount of spices!

Fast forward 45 minutes later: I can still smell the strong scent of root beer here, so it is here to stay(unlike my beloved Hypnotic Poison, which is such a diluted poor excuse). This is everything I wanted Hypnotic Poison to be. I thought I found my signature in Hypnotic, but due to its lightness, I am seriously re-considering this now.

The ONLY problem I have with Tabu is the very, very beginning when it is first sprayed. It smells overly alcohol-y, very strong, and overall, quite cheap. However, if you can just wait under 5 minutes for the top notes to die down, then this may just thrill and surprise you as much as it did for me.

Jan
01
2011
Lillith
Lillith

I love this scent. It's starts out warm and almost like a spiced root beer if you know what I mean. As it progresses the scent becomes slightly more floral with a tiny hint of powder. The dry down is woody. Patchouli, amber, sandle wood, and oakmoss jump out at you. The civet brings it back into focus making sure the more luxurious scents surrounding it dont overwhelm it. Gorgeous scent that lasts a while.

Dec
25
2011
rosembloom
rosembloom

If one consults my perfume wardrobe, they will be stunned to see such a 'dated' frag there: I actually bought the re-formulation today and am very glad I did! It is a softer version of Aromatics Elexir, Opium and Magie noire all mixed together to create a somewhat doubtful yet mysterious potion of pure animalic seduction. Funny I smell none of that cat pee: only patchouli, Nag Champa incense and civet. It could almost be called aldehyde-like for its sharp green opening notes and tart from the orange and bergamot: you can actually imagine smelling those fresh rinds. Then, the floriental quality emerges, full of wonderous incence , intoxicating flowers and musky notes. It smells simply lovely on me though the first spritz is quite harsh. But to my delight, a creamy note harmonizes all the rawness with benzoin and musky woods. I guess it's just my skin chemistry that greatly agrees with the frag: I'm told I smell Classy, elegant, modern and mysteriously inviuting (men) when wearing it. Far from being the slutty scent some expect! I often wear it when in a Shalimar , Cinabar, Opium kind of mood. :D Since the sillage is awesome and the staying power even more so, it is to be used sparingly though it is a cologne (mine). plus, it is inexpensive: if you give it a try and do not like it, you will not feel cheated! xxx

Dec
24
2011
kellseng
kellseng

I had this when i was a teen..thought it was soooo sexy. I remember old man in pub smelling my neck and identifying that it was Tabu and how sexy it smelt...i went straight to the toilets and washed it off never to be worn again...bring back some creepy memories!

Dec
17
2011
paganpurge
paganpurge

I bought this as a blind buy. But since it was only 3 dollars (for a mini) I couldn't pass it up. I have wanted to experience Tabu for a while now so I was really excited to try it. The first spritz was harsh to my nose. I am not sure if it is the civet (I am relatively new to perfumes but have been reading up on notes) or what but I almost instantly disliked it. I didn't want to base my final opinion until it developed on my skin for a while. The scent never did change into something I could even learn to like. It almost seemed to be fighting against my body chemistry (if that makes any sense, lol). I am sure Tabu smells heavenly on others though. The only plus (well, it is a con for those that do not like the scent) is it is super long lasting. I can appreciate Tabu as a classic but I can never learn to personally like it, unfortunately.

Dec
17
2011
Kharnak
Kharnak

So i managed to nab a Vintage mini of this.
Smoooooth Powdery Sweet, Spices blend with the powder seemlessly. Almost Anise/Licorice like. This is complex. Smells like a Trashy European Burlesque House, or the toilet they'd have. But in a good way.... The Anise dries to a bitter Green rooty Vetiver Patchouli. Orange, Cloves, Amber, Benzoin... the Resin gives that powdery dry sweetness. Heck, pure sticky Benzoin resin itself can be a fragrance all on its own, and Tabu has a LOT of it. Tabu is quite masculine, i can easily pull off wearing this....Ha! I was probably a Whore in a past life.
It's Vaguely similar to YSL Opium, i give you that. It is rather dated. Projects like all hell from far away, This cuts through cold Dry Winter air like a knife.
Later... I just keep thinking this is so Masculine.. the Cinnamon SandalWood Clove/Vetiver.. it's like a hotel lobby Cigar Lounge. I'd love this as an Aftershave! The SandalWood gets strong, smelling a lot like... a 99cent store's incense section. Just like sniffing into a package of Sandal incense sticks!
Now the DryDown is the best part...
When trying perfumes, try this, Always sniff the spray tip FIRST. That's the perfume that's been drying down for a long time. Some of my favorites, All have that strangely "beyond sweet" mustiness. That.. is the Civet. "Weasel Grease." That musty Erotic "skin" smell. Tabu, Chanel no.5, YSL Kouros, Antaeus, Obsession, they all have this.
Tabu is for Mature gals. An Independent and bold Woman.
Update: This Tabu reminds me a lot of Jovan Sex Appeal. Except Tabu is more powdery Sweet, while Jovan's has that Jamaican curry powder smell.

Sillage: Tremendous, clear across the room
Longevity: 24hr+, oily male skin

Dec
15
2011
sky76sky
sky76sky

New Tabu is really rather tame - a warm & spicy scent that belies its puny price tag. Imagine Opium, Obsession & Cinnabar & then add some Oscar & you are getting there. If you like oriental with a punchy base the sticks around you may well want to try a squirt. Don’t expect anything amazing but you may be pleasantly surprised. Vinatge Tabu is a whole different lady.

Vintage Tabu is perfectly "puta". The bottle I sampled from is tall, rectangular, with a large plastic lid that screams 80s but the woman I see is very much a war-time gal.

The first few minutes are unpleasant: the spray head squirts like a water pistol....& no-one wants to swim in Tabu. A fierce bergamot, bitter peel & coriander blast tinged with burnt Bakelite & a strange tang of vodka & sour tangerines assaults you with plastic handbags. Ugh!

I persevere.

5 minutes in & she starts to settle – cinnamon, dry woods, powder, & a touch of clove. But then the claws come out. Civet has never been a great friend of mine & here she arrives, paw-in-paw, with an oakmoss overload. The combination of civet, oakmoss, sappy green stalks, patchouli & coriander provide an uneasy scent-impression: dirty, damp fur coats….stale smoke…...waxy red lipstick…..soft face powder……wet cobbles on a dark night.

Tabu is 2 women: a split. She has a daytime job but works nights, too. She is soft & womanly with a warm, homely huggy feel & yet the steely “other woman” is hard & dark….haughty, naughty & definitely not to be trusted.

Tabu’s lasting power & sillage is formidable. She sticks around until the morning ….donning her soft, sweet attire & another coat of face powder & lipstick….back to the huggable, lovable lady.

For me, vintage Tabu is too disturbing & dated but I can appreciate the scent & the story. Wearing it I am out of my depth & spinning back in time. Vintage Jicky I have tamed, but vintage Tabu has her own agenda.

Cheap ? Yes. Tacky? No. Tabu is not to be sniffed at.

Dec
15
2011
MJ101
MJ101

I just picked up a small violin shaped bottle, and have just put it on. This doesn't smell trashy at all to me, it smells of spices and root beer ! Of course this is just the start, I will be back a bit later to edit (so far it is pleasant , not outstanding, but not the loud garish scent I was warned about)

Dec
13
2011
id
id

A bit strong at the opening, but the blast of spices turns into soft sandalwood (plus civet) scent very fast. I can also feel vetiver amber and patchouli. I like this scent a lot. It is not sweet and there's no vanilla what is a plus for me in fragrances. Nice (versatile) sillage, superb longevity. Best for colder seasons as autumn or winter. Unbelievable price.

Dec
09
2011
lemonfreshjoy
lemonfreshjoy

I laugh when I think of Tabu. I've loved perfume since I was a little girl. When I was six or seven, my parents got me my first bottle for Christmas and I loved spraying it everywhere. Little did they know, that perfume was created for hookers. LOL. No regrets here. It's too strong for me now, but I can't deny that I loved Tabu.

Dec
06
2011
cryptic
cryptic

The cat piss comment reminded me of a recent one that compared Bal a Versailles to the smell of animal intercourse. I loled, even though I love the stuff.

People dismiss the idea of different skin chemistry, but I swear by it. How else can one explain the way some skin discolors when it comes in contact with silver or gold jewelry and other skin doesn't? Civet and other animal notes are rank on some, and awesome on others...that's all.

P.S. I'd get the cat to the Vet pronto if his urine was the color of Tabu.

Nov
15
2011
Alexandre
Alexandre

Confesso que tinha um certo preconceito em relação a este perfume, achava-o ordinário mesmo sem nunca ter experimentado. Aqui no Brasil, muitos tem essa concepção em relação a Tabu. Que erro fui cometer! Mas recentemente pude me redimir com Tabu, quando após ler em um fórum os membros tecendo verdadeiras "poesias" a respeito dele! Decidi comprar um frasco e foi uma paixão arrebatadora e o melhor, por um preço inacreditável! Muitos confundem com Opium de YSL! Ele é marcante a princípio depois de um tempo torna-se sútil, suave... Bem apimentado e amadeirado, adoro a cor do liquido... Acho bem unissex.

Oct
26
2011
takeasniff
takeasniff

I think they have reformulated this one because my friend used to wear it to school that is how I started wearing it. Now, there is a cheap smell about it and no my nose has not changed I can definitely detect a difference in this maybe they changed the civet to synthetic so now it smells sinthetic or changed the sandlewood. It used to be very smooth but now it is just musty.

Oct
03
2011
mypersonalharmonics
mypersonalharmonics

I had the rare luck to see and touch a 1930's mini-flacon of Tabu. The real deal. The antique.

That happened at a friend's place who is an antique collector and wanted my help to read some obscure..."bottle-labels".

He also had Lanvin and Schiaparelli's perfumes and various ingredient-bottles from Grasse...I felt like handling gems.

Sep
13
2011
SimplyGolden
SimplyGolden

I adore Tabu. There's something so exotic and intoxicating about it's fragrance. It's very spicy and warm. It makes me feel good and sexy every-time I wear it. Tabu has always smelled too expensive to be sold in drugstores. The fragrance is similar to Opium. I'm constantly being complemented on how good I smell. So if you want to try a sexy and exotic fragrance I recommend Tabu. Get ready for the compliments! This fragrance is not for the timid.

Sep
12
2011
Aquatic Amethyst
Aquatic Amethyst

URGGGHH! I finally got the chance to smell this at CVS today--they had a tester!! At last, I know what it is that makes my mom make a face, that makes fragranticans wax poetic or vitriolic about this scent!

Upon first spray, it was even more 1980s than Dune (which I know is inaccurate because it originated in the 1920s or so, right?)--it was very in-your-face, overpowering, headache-inducing, and hyper-feminine. And then as I stood there with all those test strips in my hand, chatting with the salesgirl, the CIVET made its grand entrance. PHEW!! Boy oh boy! Cat pee in a gritty dark alley, right where the lovely lady in lucite heels is standing and soliciting! I'd hate to know how it would mix with skin when it mixed like that with paper!

I'd say you need a strong stomach and a tendency to NOT have headaches if you want to wear this. If you are the least bit sensitive, stay away!

Aug
21
2011
Jillzilla
Jillzilla

Extremely sweet and incensey in the beginning...oh how I wanted to love this one! But after it had completely dried down and I was catching wafts of it off my wrist, it began to make me nauseated. There was too much of something in the base, or maybe there was something missing. If I had to guess, I'd say there was too much civet in the base for me, and I was missing the balancing effect of the spices, which appeared in the top notes and contributed to the incense effect, which gradually evaporated away.

I can definitely see why people appreciate this one, though!

Aug
11
2011
krmarich
krmarich

It is a classic 20th C standby for so many! It has questionalble morals and an unforgettable nature. The civet was so prominent that is is almost "pissy". It has lot of patcholi and vanilla, that creates this timeless bohemian feel. My sister used to douse herself with it in the 1960s. The spices always made me sneeze.

Oddly, it has been the one scent I used to detect at funerals worn by ladies who wanted attention, along with Youth dew and Opium. Perhaps a bold oriental was the only thing that commanded attention, I guess. It is like a trashy Shalimar or Emerude. Perhaps as time goes by, its so much more. It is a classic and somehow remains intact. With all of the modern regulations, this is amazing!

Celebrity=Bette Davis

Aug
04
2011
takeasniff
takeasniff

I find this and Safari by Ralph Lauren are similar for me. I like it. Tabu was one of my first perfumes my Mum got it for me and I used to wear it all the time. I would have people in the street stop me and ask what was I wearing. Tabu also has different editions here in Australia. There is a diamond one and a saphire one and I think a ruby one. They smell more fresh and floral. They are not as easy to get or as successful as the original Tabu. There is a lovely bottle that came out as a special edition which I had but I gave it away to my Nan. This to me is a little like obsession by Calvin Klein too. I use it still sometimes but I only spray a tiny little bit. The perfume is nicer than the edt. I know some people think it smells dirty but I don't I think it just reachs that line and doesn't cross it. It lasts farely well and is cheap and easy to get.

Aug
02
2011
LEANNEC
LEANNEC

TABU was my mums favourite,was informed that yer couldnt get it any more! Did try few times 2 look 4 it but had no luck,until now!
Cant wait 2 ave my bottle of tabu,B in memoary of my MUM R.I.P XX

Jun
08
2011
PSILOVEFRAGRANCES
PSILOVEFRAGRANCES

TABU is a wonderful old scent, full of pizazz and rich with spice. I have loved it for decades, and I didn't know it had been reformulated. I haven't sampled the "new" version. I have an old bottle that I bought about 10 years ago, and it's still pungent and fresh.

TABU always gets my attention (or at least it used to). I don't ever smell it anymore. I guess women have stopped using it. What a shame, because it's a one-of-a-kind scent, along the lines of YSL's Opium. TABU is rich, spicy, a little heavy, and just smells divine when used sparingly. It's strong, to be sure, so one or two sprays is enough. It lasts all day, and the drydown is superb, smooth, fragrant, and spicy. The sillage is quite good too, and this fragrance doesn't stay close to the skin at all. People around you will notice it, even after only one light application.

Over the years I haven't detected TABU that often, but when someone is wearing it--what a nice surprise! This could easily be a signature scent for the right woman. It's difficult for me to describe a fragrance in words, so all I can say is, this is a true oriental fragrance, spicy yet smooth, pungent yet not cloying unless over-applied. Sweet, yes, and rich in the style of a bag of rich spices from the orient. Just an exotic scent, intoxicating and warm.

I haven't sampled the new version of this classic, but I'll seek it out just so I can make a comparison. Why they would want to change it, I can't imagine, except maybe to try to appeal to younger women.

May
08
2011
nonnative
nonnative

My first description word would be: vulgar and beautiful. But more than this original, bitter and dense at the same time, sensual and strong. But unfortunately not longlasting on my skin, a pity.

May
02
2011
viewdemonde
viewdemonde

As far as the prostitute lore goes. I guess that if you're wearing a strong perfume, a man can find you in the street in the dark and you'd get more clients that way!!

Apr
02
2011
eilismaireg
eilismaireg

I tested the vintage EDT of Tabu today - how the memories came flooding back!! I don't find this scent 'shocking'- it reminds me of Bal A Versailles with the added note of Rootbeer. It's actually a very pleasant smell but does somehow remind me of the dreadlocked tramps who live in Glastonbury all year round. I would have definately worn this as a goth teen but nowadays I think I'll get my Nag Champa fix from Shalimar who is a little more 'ladylike'!!
Aside from all propriety - I may still purchase a bottle for reference, after all, it's one of the greats!!

Mar
13
2011
TankGirl
TankGirl

I found Tabu in the other day at a local drugstore. Not the usual drugstore with a 100 employes and sophisticated stuff, but those old drugstores that belong to a 80 years old lady and that have all products piled on the shelves. I guess you all have one of those in the corner of your street...
Tabu was standing there, a pocket version with 16ml for something like 2 euros, I had money in that day so I bought it.
When I was leaving the drugstore and sat down at the subway station, I opened the bottle and putted it in the back of my hand. Suddenly everything started to make sense, I was dressed like a junkie in a good day, wearing too much make up and waiting for a train in one of the most creepy subway stations in the old city of Lisbon. Tabu is the perfume of an easy life, a cheap and easy life, it makes me think in the word "dude". If big lebowsky would wear a perfume it would be Tabu - cheap, easy, not fashion at all...
I remember beeing a kid and my dad used to work in a part of the city that was full of prostitutes and junkies and Tabu makes me think of those toothless, blonde-dyed-hair-with-5-months-roots ladys that used to smoke and drink beer in the bars where my dad used to work.
I like Tabu, and I like it because it is so shockingly easy, so absolutly available...
It might me the perfume of a prostitute, but that is just a problem if you are blind enough to not see the beauty behind the beast.

Sillage: Massive
Longevity: 2 Days on my skin and clothes
Personality: A girl that knows shes crap but makes the most of it ;)

10/10

Feb
26
2011
Ekove
Ekove

Reworking

---//

Presentation: 4/10
Uniqueness: 4/10
Value: 4/10
Longevity: 6/10
Projection: 6/10
Scent: 3/10

Overall: 3/10

Feb
09
2011
Bigsly
Bigsly

I tried the new formulation a few years ago and didn't like it (used it as a bathroom scent a few times), so I sold it ("root beer" note was strong and irritating). Recently I was able to obtain an old bottle of the EdC, which I think is from the early to mid 1960s. It's really nice, just strong enough, and the projection/"sillage" is right on as well. At first, there is an odd, but pleasant note which I thought was oakmoss, some floral element, and perhaps some amber, but oakmoss isn't listed so I'm wondering what that is. Anyway, the great thing about this fragrance is the dynamism. Notes come and go, and seem to almost swirl around. None are too strong and there is no "synthetic" quality to it. If you consider yourself an aficionado or "perfumista," and can get one of these (vintage) at a garage sale, do it !

Jan
30
2011
Indigirka
Indigirka

The problem with (new; haven't experimented with vintage) Tabu, on me at least, is that it simply *is.* It's just a unilateral smell without discernible notes. It's a powerful smell and not an unpleasant one (nor particularly "whorish" - if I had to stereotype it, the "old lady" label resonates more strongly, but of course that's because of my memories). At first, it only smells "like perfume" (like the cheap perfume I remember smelling since years ago, specifically) and "like Tabu." It does evolve over time and improves. I notice the cola/root beer scent others mention. But it's not a note I can pick out, distinct from the rest of the Tabu scents; it's that the whole concoction morphs into something more closely approximating cola.

Tabu is also a distinctive scent; it's widely available and has been around forever, making it a nostalgic scent for many. I personally associate it with one of my old ballet teachers and my neighbors' mother, both of whom may or may not have been quintessential Tabu women in their own ways: the former was a strong, visceral yet classical artist, and the latter was sort of brash yet fabulous. Both were heavy smokers, not subtle and somehow not exactly "modern," and both were sources of fascination to me in early adolescence. The neighbor's daughter and I were friends, and we would try on her enormous earrings from the '70s and '80s in her bathroom, where a residual Tabu smell had permanently taken residence - this was when we were in middle school in the late '90s, when huge earrings and loud scents and "big hair" (which her mother also had) were decidedly out of style. To us, they were "so out they were in," and everything over-the-top was a source of fascination. Tabu is burned into my memory alongside memories of these times: pleasant impressions of growing up.

All things considered, I'm going to keep trying to make this one work somehow. I like the idea of having a favorite widely-available drugstore Oriental. I almost hope the issue is that the bottle I picked up at the drugstore is an inferior reformulation; that it's not that my skin chemistry doesn't agree with Tabu in general. I'd love to try vintage Tabu sometime.

Jan
21
2011
rednut
rednut

I love this fragrance. Its a spice bomb and i've never smelled anything quite like it. The top notes are strong but for me, not overwhelming. After about an hour its a lovely floral spicy smell and the dry down is fantastic - lots of sandalwood on me. Its spicy, strong and sexy. Truly a fantastic fragrance if you are bold enough to wear it.

Jan
20
2011
boardbat
boardbat

i like it. its woody, smokey, musky and exotic. all those wonderful scents dry down to a nice powdery fragrance of the above notes. i think its pretty timeless.

Jan
14
2011
cloyd42
cloyd42

I would LOVE to meet the grandmas who wore this--they have to have been incredible women. I just snagged a vintage bottle and am having more fun than a well-behaved person should. The vintage version opens with a lot of spice and neroli. Almost immediately the musk and amber comes up--warm and elegant. About 10 minutes later the civet shows up, and make no doubt about it, there's civet. About 10 minutes after that what I swear is a sweet vanilla comes up and I'm currently enjoying alternate waves of ambery civet and root beer of all things (the combination of vanilla and spice).
Half an hour later: this has now settled to a warm amber-sandalwood glow with definite oakmoss and civet; there's a soft powder note that seems to pull the composition together. I'm enjoying it very much but I could easily see someone absolutely despising it and I can't imagine wearing it in an office. If you're adventurous or enjoy a bit of scandal you should try this perfume. I can't speak for newer versions but this is an undoubtedly unique perfume.
Sillage: medium to close
Durability: 4 hours and counting
Fabulosity: all the way to awesome
Whore factor: Courtesan not streetwalker
Price to value ratio: very good

Jan
03
2011
larali
larali

So this was made for prostitutes?... I am laughing so hard. My best friend in high school wore this. She always stole my boyfriends. And I always thought it was her winning personality!!

Dec
29
2010
havanadaydream
havanadaydream

Tabu , 2 words....my Mom. Anytime I had friends over , male and female it was always "Oh your Mom smells SO GOOD". My Mom is a blonde and back then had a butt that looked like well J'Lo's so in retrospect she was a blond bombshell but demure. I have told her over the years she has worn it so long that I believe it is IN her skin permanently. It smells like a million bucks on her. Very soft , warm , sexy and a tad powdery. I cant wait to go tell her it was made for hookers , lol. She'll flip. If you are into spicy , sexy , warmth try it. BUT a lil spray and walk through it. I always thought it smelled like Toujor Moi but better ? Ode to Mommy !!!

Dec
18
2010
nonnative
nonnative

I have been waiting for ages to smell tabu. You know, it is not sold in Europe and I had to wait my sister to have holidays in ny to get my precious bottle. Finally this evening I sprayed it for the first time. I wasn't disappointed and this is rare for me, I get disapointed very easily by scents. I wanted tabu because of the prices it won, for the animalic description and the potent longevity. A very strong and original opening followed by a spicy patchuly. A classy old style parfume. It smells expensive and it's one of the cheapest bottles I own. I had forgotten it was initally designed for a prostitute ... but it maches even this image. How can it be? I don't know but I like it. Now I'm so happy it isn't sold in Europe as I'll be the only one to wear it around my friends.

Dec
12
2010
guest_
guest_

I'v used Tabu for about 35 years and I love it, and it suits me, some of my friends have tried it but it not the same on them, it must be the chemical make up in our bodies, so I was lucky with it.
Like some of your other ladies I find it hard to get as well.

Nov
27
2010
guest_
guest_

I like Tabu even though it isn't my favorite perfume. I find the history of its creation to be intriguing. I had always thought that it had a nasty edge to it. I prefer to wear heavy fragrances, and Tabu is certainly one of those. It must be one of the heaviest fragrances around. Tabu is inexpensive, yet it doesn't smell particularly cheap. That is because when it first came out, it wasn't cheap perfume. Another reason why I like it is because it's really old. Because of that it has an old-fashioned smell to it. A lot of people hate Tabu, so to each his own.

Nov
23
2010
JonCologneSplash
JonCologneSplash

truly the best smelling perfume/cologne ever ever ever ever..this is the smell that I love on my wife, even though she isn't fond of it, generations of woman in her family have worn it and I adore it

Nov
16
2010
sherapop
sherapop

What is that distinctive smell? Could it be the trail of the civet cat in heat I hear howling in the distance? No, it's Dana TABU.

With all of the lively controversy circulating about, I've been wanting to try TABU for quite some time. Happily, nyoka sent a sample my way. What can I say, really, that has not already been said in one way another by both fans and detractors alike? The designer really did manage to produce a "let's get down to business" brothel-ready perfume! I'm impressed, in some sense.

Thick, brash, and in your nose, there's no beating around the bush with TABU, an animalic oriental much more blunt than Bal à Versailles, which in comparison seems like a genteel Victorian perfume perfect for prudes!

I cannot say that I dislike TABU. On the other hand, my civet needs will be covered for the foreseeable future, and certainly this lifetime, by a 2.5oz bottle of JOY edp, which sits undisturbed, in all its beauty, in my armoire.

Oct
07
2010
guest_debob
guest_debob

Very spicy, warm and woodsy. Can't imagine why it would be for "whores".
I love the sultry spices and woody notes. There is clove in this which gives it a very distinctive smell. Very aromatic. It's something I would like to wear while hiking in the woods or exploring a redwood forest. Perhaps a wood nymph would wear this.
It has very good strength, you will smell this all day. I am never without a bottle.

Oct
07
2010
Happyme2009
Happyme2009

Horror in a bottle!
I do admire the history behind it, the lasting power, the longevity of its existence. I keep my mini just because, but I would never ever wear it.

Oct
07
2010
peewee
peewee

I don't mind if it is considered a perfume for whores. I love it. Very rich and intoxicating . In my opinion, this is the way perfumes should be.

Oct
07
2010
guest_Miss Delicious
guest_Miss Delicious

I am a fragrance lover/"expert". TABU is my signature fragrance since 20 years now. I love it. It's a masterpiece and very special and borderline feminine/masculine. That's the tabacco smell. The sumptious fragrance is not very sweet. For a well trained nose it smells NOT cheap,ladies.
Unfortunately it seems to me that the new bottles I bought in the last months via Ebay have a "reformulated smell." Not the same as it was twenty or ten years ago.
I miss something. Can't describe it...
It lacks the WOW-effect and the depth now.

Sep
17
2010
cisco
cisco

I just bought a vintage bottle and the first spray almost drove me to washing it off. However, after a short amount of time,it mellows out to a classic oriental. Perfume does not stay around this long that is without merit. As Sissi says, this is no shy girl. I just love the spices. Actually, I think this is the most classic oriental I own. As this to me is a Winter fragrance and an evening scent, this is going on my Winter evening roster. Good for you Dana!

Sep
17
2010
Lady Love
Lady Love

This smell like a light and glamorous version of an incense stick. The type of smell Cleopatra could have used.

Tabu is a fragrance so underestimate, people must realize this parfume has over 70 years in the market, just incredible!! and this is the reason why we should give tabu a chance, forget prejudices and the old lady tipe thing, we are talking about the fragrance that later will inspire Opium, Youth Dew, Obsession.

I liked a lot and people need to know this is a cologne, tabu doesn't smell as overwhelming as I read in some comments. I think is Soft, powerful and lasting.

¿Perfume para una Puta? Al fin alguien se atreve a decir la verdad. Es mas que sabido, que las fragancias muchas veces apuntan a lo mas animal y sexual del ser humano. Tal vez la palabra puta es muy fuerte para las sociedades, pero todos somos seres de deseo y sexuales, de eso no cabe duda. Me parece muy original inventar una fragancia a raiz de ese pedido, es mas, muchas mas se hacen en funcion de esa idea, pero no se dice.

Sep
07
2010
greengrl
greengrl

This is a great fragrance that gets a bad rap. If you are not a fan of oriental scents, I can see how you would not like this. With the civet, spices and cloves I would suggest this as a fall/winter fragrance. On me the clove and spices are very prominent without being nauseating. Please keep in mind that a little goes a long way with this one & its very easy to over do it. It is such a great buy!

Sep
01
2010
Yumm
Yumm

I just bought a vintage black bottle of Tabu. It smells different from a new bottle of the same stuff. Not sure you can find a bar of Tabu soap from the 60s that still has any fragrance, but those were thick, creamy, and the smell lasted for a couple of days. I like Tabu because of the sweet edge and, on my skin, it reminds me of no other cologne. It smells warm and spicy sweet. The vintage Tabu smells better than the new. Never knew it was made for putas. Mom would never have approved. Morocco here I come.

Sep
01
2010
Kiku
Kiku

Poor Tabu. Perhaps it's inevitable that a perfume (allegedly) created for whores would be mocked and reviled: the mother of all sillage, brash and loud. An "old lady" fragrance, the one our grannies wore when they were young, it made them feel so naughty! Tabu has lost it's shock value but the old whore is still one hell of a lady, one of the greatest orientals. From it's citrus and spice top, to it's heady Asian flowers heart, to it's warm sandalwood base it's still a mysterious and sensual scent that says,"I'm here!" This is not a perfume for the timid, it's for the woman who will not be ignored.

Aug
28
2010
sunshineandroses
sunshineandroses

I used to have a cute violin shaped bottle of this . I remembered the ads with the lady at the piano and the man with the violin embracing. The ads were great and the violin shaped bottle was a great way to sell this at Christmas.
The problem was that I could never wear this stuff. Just deadly on me. Some say that the vintage is better and I wonder if maybe it ages and improves over time. Tabu has been around forever so someone must be able to wear it . Tabu is truly taboo for some of us !

Aug
18
2010
Catbiscuit
Catbiscuit

If you really think about it, creating a perfume known by the masses to be the domain of prostitues is a marketing disaster. All of a sudden, wives and mothers everywhere have olfactory proof that thier husbands and sons are consorting with ladies of the night. Tabu by name, taboo shouted from the rooftops.

This is potent stuff upon opening, very brash and alarming however it quickly settles into a quite linear, very dry spicy mix. This is clove-rich, patchouli-strong mixture with a sweet backbone. It is quite pleasant with monster sillage. It is sexy in a very earthy, smokey way. I can definately see this being quite scandalous back in the early 20th centuary. It holds no punches and makes no apologies. It is hot and dirty and on the right woman it would sizzle.

For my part I find that Tabu is still very wearable in modern times yet while it doesn't have the same shock value that it once had, it still has the power to make me feel quite uncomfortable about wearing it out of the house.

But the real question is: Does Tabu kindle the fire in an economically viable male's pants? I really have no idea so I ran it past an expert XY witness (ie Mr Catbiscuit). He started making polite noises about buying me Chinatown to wear instead...

Aug
18
2010
Sissi
Sissi

When it was first released in 1932 it shocked and 78 years later since it's
release it stills managed to shock it achieved immortality in a roster of classics like Chanel no 5 L'air du Temps
Joy Shalimar L'Heure Bleu & youth Dew.

If you want a perfume that makes you want
to stand out and take control this is the one this is not a shy meek little
wallflower of a scent it's Assertive
Loud Demands your attention in a dry spicy and smoky kind a way of if your a
person who is or likes perfumes that does not want to make a wave skip it!.

when first sprayed to my skin i find a
lot of Patchouli in a spicy fragrance
which is a bit interesting and makes it dry and smoky but i really like is the
Sandalwood mingles with orange and spices with the dry down of coriander
for it's powder texture and of curse i can smell Mr Civet with all his Animalistic Glory. i bet June Miller
wore this while seducing the Authoress
Anais Nin.

the drydown becomes more earthier with the presence of orris patches of musk and mossy undertones of Oakmoss

but i admire is the design with it's
noirish deco goth Logo TABU Channels
Bogart to it finest the flacon simple
and elegant i love the color of the liquid it reminds me of a evening sunset
over Los Angeles in the 1940's.

this perfume is rich & luxurious But i
don't understand why is it so cheap on the price and made it in to a Drugstore
scent this perfume deserves to be expensive.

Jul
28
2010
spookyjan
spookyjan

this is a good perfume for the price.for those who love a true oriental.not for the shy dont want to be noticed kind of a girl.i have a big bottle of this an it will be always in my collection

Jul
13
2010
guest_Fluf
guest_Fluf

I will only wear this beautiful intoxicating fragrance. My husband loves it and is always complimenting me (and that's after 42 years of marriage). I am constantly getting questions, "What is that wonderful scent?" or "What perfume are you wearing? I'll bet it's expensive" They are amazed when I tell them Tabu. Pay all you want for those expensive bottles, when I get these comments constantly, I'll stick with a winner.

Jul
06
2010
atmosphere
atmosphere

A few years ago, my step mom bought this unsniffed at a boxing day sale. We were so not prepared for how horrid it smelt to us when we got home and tried it out.
Not wanting to waste it, we tried to pass it off to relatives, but they said they wouldn't even spray it in their washroom. That spoke for itself. Ultimately, this landed in the garbage. However, everyone does have different tastes, and just because we didn't like it, doesn't mean everyone doesn't.

Jun
23
2010
guest_goldeneye
guest_goldeneye

TABU fue un perfume muy usado en España...en un principio DANA fue una marca española,o eso dice la leyenda.Hoy pocos españoles y españolas usan este perfume sin echar a correr..yo prefiero no opinar al respecto...solo dire,como español,que TABU huele muy parecido a VAL A VERSAILLES,mucho...asi que dejen de compararlo con OPIUM o SHALIMAR,entre otros,por favor.

Jun
22
2010
bhean_sidhe
bhean_sidhe

At fisrt I didn't really have the guts to wear it as it seemed too strong and out of place on somebody who wears jeans and band t-shirts all the time. Yet, having actually applied it, I felt so right and started wearing it every day, regardless of the occasion.

Speaking of the smell itself, I wouldn't be a surprise to say it's spicy, but not the foody or perfumy kind of spice. It's just the kind of smell you feel when entering an ethnical shop selling Indian goods (those who live in St Petersburg - think of Gang in the 90's). Insence, cloth, spice and a little dust. Beautiful indeed.

Jun
02
2010
sheridanellis
sheridanellis

Some of these comments cracked me up and seemed ridiculous. One person's opinion (everyone has one!) does not necessarily guarantee that will be your own. This perfume is a vintage MASTER-PIECE and everyone should experience it at least once. It is absolutely a mature perfume. I don't mean that it is for the older crowd, but for those who understand and appreciate French type Vintage scents. The creator of this fine timeless scent also created the beloved Ma Griffe and Dior Miss Dior as well. He is a genius! This is a true aesthetic pleasure. You only need a TINY amount, because granted, it is potent. If you over apply you will not get the smell of the scent as it was meant to be experienced and appreciated. (As in it is not like the modern day aquatics you have to drench in and then re-apply shortly afterwards to garnish any scent from ). It is in the league of Chanel No. 5, Joy, or Opium, and I take those scents as seriously as God's law! It is fetching and provocative to be sure, but is so ladylike and dreamy I can not imagine it being correlated with carnal concubine lust or bawdy women. Think more over ripe fruits about to turn that are heady, intoxicating warmth, resinous incense burned at the Orthodox type tabernacles, or the inordinate, sumptuous gifts that the wise men traveled from afar to bring to the newborn Jesus! I guess Tabu is only for women who can handle it. Cheers!

May
31
2010
Action
Action

Come on people, this one is made by the genius Jean Carles, how can you resist??
Action

May
17
2010
barbaraloffredo
barbaraloffredo

This is what it was designed to be: for whores which means, blatently sexual.

I noticed it first when I was in highschool in the 70's and it was the scent the whores in school wore. It didn't fit my profile, but I loved it on them. At a time when patchouli oil was popular with hippie girls like me, I suppose it is why I liked Tabu. I never did wear it though, because I really didn't want the whore label in highschool.

I recently purchase a bottle of Tabu in at Pamida. My first reaction is the same as most - it is strong and cheap smelling on top. But these days, there is a time to smell ready for sex, so I keep the Tabu for late night rendezvous. I do recommend cotton ball application. It is so easy to over do.

May
10
2010
Flowergrl
Flowergrl

Tabu is my favorite. It was the first perfume I picked out myself as a teenager and it still suits me. I just use a dab or two but it never seems loud on me. It turns into an ambery, spicy, vanillic, woody skin scent, a little exotic and mysterious. I've only had complements on it except for one woman who associated it with someone else she knew. I have a couple vintage bottles that have lasted forever and I hope the new juice is as rich as the vintage bottles. I find it a comforting scent.

Apr
25
2010
mymlan
mymlan

I like sniffing Tabu but I wouldn't want to wear it. Dana's Tabu reminds me of my grandfathers smell. He used to smoke cigarilos and always had cough drops in is pockets. I remember him offering the small cough drops from wrinkled folded plastic bags. The drops had become glued together from the warmth and there where always some tobaccoflakes added as well, which I thought was kind of disgusting. Also, his body odour was quite prominent from a close position. Anyway, I loved my grand dad with all his interesting odours and as he passed away when I was a young girl it is a strange and joyful coincidence that a fragrance can bring fourth so close memories of him.

However, what I get from Danas Tabu reissue is an a bit dirty fruity oriental with eucalyptus on the top and a base of sour woody cigarilo tobacco. Still, I would love to try the original concoction, which I presume is much more wearable.

Apr
18
2010
guest_sistertricked
guest_sistertricked

I bought the new version on a whim so as to test for myself what the whole fuss is about. I wore it only twice and then gave up, as i could not detect that wonderful spicy frag everyone is talking about. It even became annoying, as after drydown I would exude a powdery amber which reminded me of grandparents' smell, of something engulfing you own body odour and creating a new, disgraceful one. I tested it on my husband and noticed the same effect on him, so... i give up.
My advice: only buy vintage Tabu if you want to test something worthy.

Apr
17
2010
golden
golden

There is something about this scent, i love yet i hate????!!
Weird as it seems, i think because i associate it to a good time in my life (when i was very, very little) yet it was soooooo strong i seem to remember. But i still loved the smell??????
I need to try this again, just to see if i still like it.

Apr
02
2010
tsth
tsth

Seriously, if you love orientals/sweet orientals, then you must have this in your collection. It is nostalgic and necessary...and a bit naughty in a good way. For the price you can pick this up at Walmart, you have no excuse not to own this treasure. This one should be had by all, because of it's warm spicy vintage style. It is a heavy-hitter so go easy on the application. I think it will be a staple in my collection. If I had known, I would have tried this a long time ago!!!

Mar
24
2010
efm
efm

In the southern hemisphere we are leaving summer behind so soon it will be time to cautiously unleash Tabu.

I love its spiciness, tenacity and smouldering amber. It is velvet.

I would argue that Tabu was a forerunner to Youthdew and Opium, a contemporary of Rochas Femme. Like these heavy hitters, Tabu can suffer from overkill.

I tried Tabu Pearl and Tabu Diamond which are available in a tripack with the original. They are less puta and more princess.

I leave a cake of Tabu soap in my favorite suitcase but avoid the body lotion which is unpleasant.

Not age specific and not old-fashioned, a classic.

Mar
23
2010
Cyndyava
Cyndyava

I had the little violin bottle when I was really young. I think I bought it for next to nothing. I've always had a love hate with this scent. But now that I am into collecting fragrance, it has won my permanent respect. I believe it did a loooooong time ago, what many nitsch fragrances are trying to do now with all that heady incense and over the top spices. I get a harsh blast at first, but then later it dries down to a sublime vanilla-cinnamon-patchouly with a dusting of powder. I think there may be some tobacco somewhere in there as well. Love.

Mar
22
2010
Carla
Carla

Tabu. It's tacky, cheap, trashy, cheap, tempting, cheap and Oh did I say Tabu is so cheap? Is it good though?
Surprisingly, Yes! Why? Because its kitschy and tasteful at the same time. A controversial vintage scent that will never go away because its what a girl wants, well sometimes that is. This come hither spicy oriental sends a message of a woman who's been around the block a few times, literally! When worn in the appropriate atmosphere and applied sparingly, this scent can be simply the best, well almost. Is it better than all the rest? No not quite,
but certainly give it a whirl as it does have some magic attached to it. Beware of the initial spritz though, it's like "WHOA Nellie"! Quite biting to say the least, but don't be dismayed yet, continue on and enjoy the ride!

With a somewhat overkill of sweetness, Tabu an enigma encased in a simplified bottle, is a strong, powerful, spicy oriental with lasting qualities that will permeate your skin as well as the air around you. It has an unforgettable aura that will portray you in an innocent way or in an uncouth way, whatever way you work it.From beginning to end the 19 notes in this down and dirty scent will have you and your significant other mesmerized to the 9th degree.

Experiment the possibilities of this fragrance with enthusiasm as this could very well be "The Sweetest Taboo"!

Mar
17
2010
Action
Action

Hi Geegee,
I do agree with you once more!!
Good luck!
Action

Mar
15
2010
geegee
geegee

Ive had this perfume for a while now & i despise the first couple of hours of it. Then it settles into a really beautiful & subtle powdery glow & smells nothing like it does on initial spraying.

Its such a shame that it is so rank for a while because the dry down is a total dream & it lasts a very very long time too. Ive worn it all day & my fella can still smell it on me when he comes home.

If you want to wear this & will be mixing with other people i suggest you spray it at least two hours before leaving the house.

Mar
15
2010
PávelHenry
PávelHenry

1 word: beautiful!

One life of history beneath this name "Tabu"... a mark in Perfumery History!

Mar
12
2010
Ivy
Ivy

My grandmother had this perfume. She actually gave me her little violin shaped bottle and I kept it on my dresser for years. This scent will always remind me of her and my childhood.

Feb
23
2010
guest_suque
guest_suque

oh and another thing- for those of you who think the scent is to strong or heavy- I spray it on my stomach and lower back- smells great when you rub against your guy and it lingers lightly on his skin

Jan
31
2010
guest_suque
guest_suque

I love this scent- I use it daily as an inexpensive perfume and also as a very expensive air freshener. When ever someone walks into my house- they compliment how great it smells!

Jan
31
2010
soniamcalear
soniamcalear

I wouldn't be caught dead waring this stuff! But one of the cashiers at Tower Mart wares this scent and one morning when I went in for my soda, all I could smell was this beautiful soft scent permeating the whole store and it dawned on me it was her Tabu-how surprising was that? I still won't ever ware it but love the smell of the room when some else is waring it.

Jan
16
2010
guest_sherry
guest_sherry

Tabu Perfume has a special place in my heart. it was the first perfume I wore as a 16 year old girl and now am a woman turning 56. strangers comment on the beautifull scent when I walk past. It was the perfume of my youth, of first love. it is probably the first scent my son knew me by as a baby. I wear it daily, my one indulgance. I am an artist who lives on a ranch so I don't do nails and spas. but I 'Do Tabu'. It's more than a signature scent for me it evokes all the rich memories of my life.
I truly love it and was heartbroken to hear that you are discontinueing it in favor of a 'New Tabu' fragrance lacking in quality. please don't discontinue the original scent we love it.

Jan
08
2010
Malegria
Malegria

That`s one chameleon of a fragrance.
I`ve been very lucky to try a vintage version, and as almost all vintages, it is softer then the contemporary version. Starts off so strong that can easily knock you off you feet!My favorite part is the heart notes - it`s a flowery abundance,a little arrogant, may be a bit too pushy, but still you can`t help liking it. It`s like a whore with a golden heart!would not be surprised if Mae West wore smth of this nature. Surprisingly, the animalistic notes were not so pronounced on my skin, but flowers definitely had their say!
I think I will end up getting a bottle for myself and use it as a time machine in the golden era of silent movies.

Dec
10
2009
desmondorama
desmondorama

After reading the reviews, I desperately wanted to know why this perfume is so popular.

Sadly, my tester experience was disastrous! I'm sure it suits some women well, but I recognised it as the fragrance that the grandmothers (guests at the hotel) tend to wear at my workplace.

It's not an 'old lady' fragrance; but it's certainly favoured by them. Perhaps they wore it in their youth.

Anyway, the mystery of it's popularity still remains.

I noticed that the Tabu brand by Dana Perfumes has recently released other limited edition fragrances in a more modern line - Sapphire, Diamond, Black Pearl and Tabu by Day as well as Tabu by Night in immaculate white packaging of EDP strength.

Bravo to them for remaining so popular among mature women!

Dec
05
2009
HOPE007
HOPE007

I have seen this and never tried it... after seeing reviews I wanted to try it and was intrigued as I normally love orientals. I tried it not once but twice and both times there was something about it that really bothered me and actually gave me a headache, which I never have an issue with fragrances... and I left it on to let the scent develop, but still I just couldn't stand it. Something about it reminds me of some sort of car air freshener that it must share notes with. How I wanted to love it based on the reviews as it sounds like such a diamond in the rough, but me and Tabu just do not work at all... :-(

Dec
05
2009
guest_Aneja
guest_Aneja

I would have to say I love this fragrance. At first try I was taken back to a childhood time when my mom would buy me rootbeer barrell candies. And my brother woudl burn inscence. I absolultely love the orential spicy sexy/sultry scent. I do admit I love to wear this at night with a little extra sandalwood and cedarwood oil. For those who like just a little scent spray in the air above you and walk under it letting it dust you in the fragrance, it is much easier on you that way. I love all three stages in this fragrance. If you like Tabu try Tigress by Faberge'. If you want some adventure and sultry experience try Bakir by a drop or two, then stand back and watch out for the complements from not only men but women too. One for winter and Christmas time. Love love love these three.

Dec
03
2009
NebraskaLovesScent
NebraskaLovesScent

I recently purchased a large vintage spray bottle of Tabu, having heard too many negative comments about the newer versions.

It smelled familiar, and at first, it did not smell pleasant on me. Tabu had a pronounced synthetic rubber/tuberose scent upon application that I have since learned will dissipate in about 15 minutes.

After the horrible opening disappears, it's a beautiful oriental scent that is hot, sweet, spicy and full of patchouli, but ultimately stays close to the skin.

A bit too much for day time and a definite no-no for the office, but I'll save this one for the chilly winter days and nights at home, when I want to curl up under a blanket with a warm, sexy scent.

Nov
25
2009
guest_
guest_

What is going on. I just purchased a gift set. The product was just horrible. I wear nothing but Tabu. So for Christmas did you do something different to sell the 3 piece set cheap at walmart. I have worn Tabu since I was 14. I am not 59. This was just terrible. I hope when I purchase the cologne alone it is not like the gift box. I just can't believe what I was smelling. I should know what to expect from Tabu. The cologne was like alchol and the loting was well I had to take a bath it was just that bad.

Nov
23
2009
Care
Care

I have worn and loved Tabu since my late teens/early 20's. My husband likes the perfumes I wear, but absolutely loves Tabu. It seems to be the only one he can identify, in spite of the others that I wear so often, which all seem quite unique to me. So, whenever I want some attention from him, I know just what to wear. It helps that I love to live in this warm, exotic, sweet-incense fragrance myself.

Nov
01
2009
vioversilver
vioversilver

This is one of my favorites , it really works well on my skin, rich, warm, spicy, very sultry, especially the dry down , give it a chance to work with your skin ,Very , very sexy ...

Not a fizzy , girly scent (Nothing against fizzy or girly ofcourse) instead this is full and voluptous .

For those who like anything retro, check out the old Tabu print ads from the 30s' 40s' and 50s' on the internet - very vampish, very suitable for this perfume!

Nov
01
2009
guest_Spicy
guest_Spicy

I was given a bottle of Tabu by a friend in the '70's in a beautiful black bottle that looked like a long black dress. I loved it, used it, threw the bottle away (how I wish I hadn't!) Years later I discovered it again and have bought it many times since but have never found it in that bottle, Shame!

Oct
29
2009
Tala
Tala

I just did a side by side comparison between Tabu and Magi Noir by Lancome. 14 notes shared. only 4 different notes. I always loved Magi Noir and nice to know how Tabu is so similar to such mysterious scent.

Oct
13
2009
Tala
Tala

I love this seamless fragrance. So many big names copied this original. YveSaintLaurant made Opium, then there is Estee Lauder Cinabar and finally Calvin Kline's Obsession. If you do a side by side comparison they all share identical notes. About 11 of the notes are the same!! Yet Tabu remains humble and unassuming. It is better than all 3 for different reasons, mainly it is more wearable. The dry down is fantastic. It is a must have for fall and winter. The perfect Bohemian style of fragrance. It is like having a comforting cup of earl gray tea and something in it really smells like earl gray tea.

Oct
02
2009
Scentgoddess
Scentgoddess

OH dear, this scent just doesn't do it for me. I can appreciate that it suits some people. Definitely not my taste. I don't like to give bad reviews, and crush anyone's favorite perfume. But definitely an acquired taste. Much too woody and spicy and quite masculine. Has an 'old spice' quality.

Sep
28
2009
BronxBeauty
BronxBeauty

One morning several months ago, I took the advice of several posters in this forum and tried Tabu, which they had touted as a good, inexpensive scent.

"It smells like incense," said one. "Like an Indian bazaar," said another.

The scene was the basement perfume counter of the Herald Square Conway -- a sleaze palace of a store, if you've ever been there, but a good place to buy cheap cosmetics. The guy behind the counter let me spritz my arm and...

Yow!

I felt immediately assaulted by a note that smelled like cheap whores. Like cheap whores in the Bronx, even! (I get to diss the Bronx. I live there.) This was an Eau de Hot Sheets Motel, if there ever was one.

Repulsed, I fled the store with the stuff still drying on my arm.

Then, a funny thing happened. It dried, and whatever note had so shocked my nostrils disappeared. By the time I got to work, all I smelled was this rich, spicy scent. I enjoyed it so much, I kept sniffing my arm all day. That stuff lasts.

Which just goes to show, I guess, that you shouldn't trust the top note. So, to those who touted Tabu, I say: I think I'll buy it

Sep
24
2009
liquidiridium
liquidiridium

This always reminds me of dark autumn days & nights. Burning leaves. My mom always wore it when it got cold. She wore the oil I think. Bewitching smell.

Sep
23
2009
Philyra
Philyra

He walked away from her place, his heart still racing with excitement. The moments of pleasure now floating away, but her scent engraved forever in the corners of his memory: a wild jungle animal, strong, dominant, confident; a warm embrace of spices with a precious bouquet of flowers. An alluring scent into a forbidden world of pleasure he wanted to revisit eternally.

Sep
17
2009
moonruby
moonruby

Ah! long time no see...

I used to see Tabu on chemist countertops being sold very rather cheap prices.
Its fragrance is very hard to wear appropriatly, so dont wear this to the supermarket unless you want the entire check-out line in a sneezing fit.

Sep
16
2009
Polymath
Polymath

Still a real attention getter that is easy to overdo. I still wear it, usually in the winter, usually at night. It reminds me a lot of Fracas.

Sep
10
2009
guest_peanuts
guest_peanuts

You need to get the perfume instead of the cologne for the spray and less strength. Tabu is not a cheap perfume.

The best thing about Tabu is that you have to use very very little and it lasts for hours and hours.

A perfume that is not as strong, which is also made by Dana, is 'Ambush'. It's also a very long lasting one, but not quite as strong.

I have worn Tabu for years, have switched and tried different perfumes which were alright, but I have never ever gotten more compliments continually over the years than I have when I wear Tabu!

I'll never stop wearing it!

Aug
10
2009
Castor
Castor

A strong amberine, patchoulesque, vanilla and caramel combo dating from a time perfumers worked almost exclusively for women. Things changed and by the end of the 1970s and much of the 1980s these kind of oriental scents were offered to men: this let Karl Lagerfeld's for men and CK's Obsession make their grand debut - CK's Obsession for men becoming a success. Surprisingly for someone who did not live in the 1930's, Tabu reminds one of these two.

Please, don't think Tabu replaces some of 1980's classics like the ones before mentioned. Simply a remark on the fact that it is quite interesting to notice a strong family air among them.

I have been suggested to try Stetson as a male counterpart of Tabu.

Edit: Nov 2013. This is a fossil. And after knowing Carlés was instructed to blend a perfume for whores, well, I feel divinely tarty wearing this one. After all, men have a feminine side (XY, remember guys?). So... get in touch with it, Tabú doesn't fail.

As to Stetson... no, they don't have anything to do.

Jul
14
2009
susieqrj
susieqrj

I always had prejudice about this one: when I was a teenager, I used to mock about Tabu, saying that it was smelly, cheap, and so on.
But yesterday, after reading the positive reviews, I decided to give it a try.
Bought it at a drugstore (where you can find a great sort of cheap perfumes - it costed me about 2 dollars for 60ml - 2oz) and tried it at my skin.
Incense. That´s my very first impression of Tabu. And it was kinda pleasant. I just tried a little on my hands. Later I´ll try it fully on my skin.
(I don´t know if the perfume produced here in Brazil smells exactly as the one produced outside or if the concentrations are the same. Also there are three new versions of Tabo for sale: Tabu Romance, Tabu Flores and Tabu Segredos - Romance, Flowers and Secrets, respectively -. I don´t know if these versions only exists here in Brazil).

Updating (14/05/09):
Today I tried it fully on the skin and I have to say: it is very strong. The impression of incense/esoteric store only happened at the first time. Now that I have it well aplied on my skin (the bottle don´t have a vaporizer, I have to apply with my hands), it is kinda sweet and something on it annoys me. Could it be the Civet?
I´m still trying to get used to it, the fragrance is not bad but it´s almost like a bright sign, screaming "Hello, I´m here!".
It´s been 4 hours since I applyed and the smell is still intense. I don´t know it leaves trails as I walk, but I´m still engolfed with it, exaling it.

May
13
2009
falovalo
falovalo

The best word to describe this is VERY. VERY spicy, VERY rich, VERY oriental, VERY loud and VERY long lasting.

Apr
19
2009
maid_marilyn
maid_marilyn

It's extremely difficult not to overdo this one - even one spray can be too much for most social situations. I use the cotton ball method: I spritz the cotton ball with Tabu, and then dab the cotton ball on my wrist. Even when I apply it this way, Tabu is still almost too strong for me to wear.

Used with some serious moderation, this is a warm, spicy, beautiful scent. I get lots of cinnamon from this, plus amber, oakmoss, and loads of musk, of course. I hadn't thought of it before I read tessture's review, but I think she's right: Tabu does remind me of rootbeer. Spicy, musky rootbeer. I also get the comparisons to Shalimar, but Tabu is far heavier, muskier, and not nearly as classy. Still, for a tenth the price of Shalimar, you need to try Tabu if you like heavy, spicy orientals. (I paid $1.99 for my little 15 ml bottle and I can honestly say it was worth every penny.)

Apr
19
2009
KalteStern
KalteStern

I wore this as teenager, usually when I wanted something VERY strong that could survive bars and discos, which may be part of it's rep as a perfume of the night; it can take the heat.

It also has that sweet heavy oriental overall structure that many men seem to love. But be warned, if you don't like it, it can make you feel sick and you will be desperate to wash it off, as it's so pervasive. But for its usual price it is a hell of a bargain -think of it as cut price Shalimar for those on a budget

Apr
19
2009
ferrari
ferrari

It's strong and spicy. Remindes me something between Guerlain Shalimar and YSL Opium.
Nice in few drops, but for me I think will be to strong in few spray.

Apr
19
2009
missk
missk

This is a fragrance which I happen to see quite often while I'm out shopping or browsing in the stores. With its distinguishable black, white and red bottle and the matching talcum powder in its box not far away, this is one inexpensive fragrance many seem to avoid.

I was surprised to find this fragrance in my mother's bedroom, covered in dust and pushed to the darkest part of her closet. It was obviously my father's attempt at buying my mother a fragrance, but trying to do it on the cheap. I found myself reaching for this bottle and dusting it with a tissue, only to spritz a small quantity onto my wrist.

Seconds later I was met with a wonderful and totally unexpected, warming scent. It took me to a place where I had visited so many times as a child; a quaint, little store filled with incense, tiny trinkets, tie-dye saris and colourful wind chimes. It had such a carefree, quirky and unique style. Such a sensual and warm fragrance.

I promptly asked my mother to give it one more try, upon which she discovered what had captivated me only minutes before. Never again will I judge a fragrance solely on its price tag. This fragrance is a true gem in the world of inexpensive scents.

Mar
06
2009
megannsmom
megannsmom

I too remember my Mom wearing this! To my baby nose, she smelled warm and rich and soooooo grown up. I should buy a bottle, just for the memories.....

Mar
06
2009
lilinah
lilinah

I've always liked Tabu. It was one of the first scents i bought for myself, a tiny little bottle. I had already commandeered my mother's bottle of Shalimar, which is still one of my favorites. Both are spicy and oriental, but Tabu is heavier and darker, almost oily, while Shalimar is a bit brighter. I still like Tabu, but it's definitely not a scent to wear to the office. And i wear Shalimar more often.

Mar
06
2009
F_A
F_A

After reading so many controversial opinions about Tabu, I finally had a chance to try this famous fragrance myself (thank you Belle de Sud!).

From the first sniff I find it very oriental, like Indian market:) It is rich, spicy and colorful. Then animalistic notes come into play and remain till the very base. Those animalistic notes are somehow airy, light but sultry at the same time. It makes the fragrance smell sexy and alluring.

Strange but when I first tried this fragrance I somehow remembered the adult movies of the 90s :) You know, the ladies in satin underwear, a lot of hair spray, bright make up, pearl necklaces:) I think they could have used Tabu.

Still I was sniffing my wrist, thinking what this scent reminds me of. There was something very familiar, not the movies :D And then suddenly I remembered (do not laugh!) - it smells exactly like my dog after bath when I wash him with the flowery dog shampoo! The smell of a clean lovely smelling animal.

It is really a must try fragrance for anybody who's into oriental-flowery-animalistic fragrances. The staying power is very good!

Feb
02
2009
sapphire73
sapphire73

I want this perfume, it's so spicy and exotic. It is very strong though and it lasts for ages.

Jan
08
2009
leababe10
leababe10

i used to own this but gives me a headache and stinks. i have to say this is the worse scent i have every bought.

Jan
03
2009
Chatnoir
Chatnoir

A real power scent. On me the patchouli dominates, followed by the spice of cinnamon. Tabu lasts and lasts on me, a great feat, and a testament to its initial strength. In small doses, this is a sexy fragrance.

Dec
27
2008
emily1981
emily1981

My grandma used to tell me that when she was young that only the happy ladies of the night wore this scent. Later in life she often wore it and thought it was still racy and "taboo". I think its a fun rather sweet scent and wear every now and then.

Dec
22
2008
tessture
tessture

A very strong, very oriental fragrance. I get powdered rootbeer/cola notes that are very strange, but not bad. There are definite incense notes and some spice, but reminds too much of another woman. It's just not my style and you must try it on before buying, unless you can get the really cheap bottles now available at discount drugstores. To me, it's dated and really, really smells like rootbeer. To others, it's sex in a bottle.

Dec
14
2008
MandaBee
MandaBee

I have always adored this scent on my Mom. It's just so sensual and feminine that I was always jealous that she got to wear it. But it's definitely a scent for grown-ups ;-)

Nov
06
2008
girlsrideharleys2
girlsrideharleys2

Ahhh..my moms signature scent. She smells so good when she wears this and always gets positive reactions to it as well. I love it on her ;)

Sep
21
2008
feyza
feyza

This parfume very resembles to cacharel's Eden.if you like it,you will like this..very powdery scent.

Jul
04
2008
Aiona
Aiona

I tried this yesterday, and did *NOT* like the bottle. There was no way to get just a little bit of spray. It was either "deluge" or "nothing" even though I sprayed it a couple of times in the air to try to figure out how to get a LITTLE bit. So I ended up with my wrist drenched in Tabu.

This meant that the topnotes were absolutely unbearable to me! It smelled like road tar mixed with cinnamon and florals.

So, I walked around the store for a while, holding my wrist at arm's length, waiting desperately for it to dry down. It still was very caustic to me.

But when I finally stepped out of the store, and into the breezy night air, I realized I smelled a lot like my maternal grandmother. I think she may have worn this on occasion. And from a distance, it's powdery amber drydown is kind of nice.

But to me, Tabu is a Rules girl. You can't get close to her in the initial stages. She has dirty secrets that only those close to her know, but she wants you to follow her, fall in love with her first, so you can overlook her faults when you finally discover them. (Up close, it still smells like road tar mixed with cinnamon.)

I like it, but won't buy it. I already spent a buttload of money this month.

Jun
14
2008

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Tabu by Dana 3.43 out of 5 based on 826 ratings and 280 user reviews

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Eau de Cologne 3oz
18.67 USD
Tabu Perfume by Dana - 3 oz Eau De Cologne Spray Violin Bottle
Tabu Perfume by Dana - 3 oz Eau De Cologne Spray Violin Bottle
FragranceShop.com
Eau de Cologne 3oz
19.95 USD
Tabu by Dana for Women Eau de Cologne Pure Spray 3.0 oz
Tabu by Dana for Women Eau de Cologne Pure Spray 3.0 oz
FragranceNet.com
Eau de Cologne 3oz
20.79 USD
TABU for WOMEN by Dana EAU DE COLOGNE SPRAY 3 OZ VIOLIN BOTTLE
TABU for WOMEN by Dana EAU DE COLOGNE SPRAY 3 OZ VIOLIN BOTTLE

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