Habanitaby Molinard (1921)
81 of 100%, 197 Ratings
|0 - 20%||12|
|20 - 40%||9|
|40 - 60%||20|
|60 - 80%||47|
|80 - 100%||109|
Released in the year 1921, production apparently discontinued.
|Top Notes||Galbanum, Mastic resin, Petitgrain|
|Heart Notes||Heliotrope, Jasmine, Nutmeg, Rosa centifolia, Vetiver, Ylang-ylang, Cedarwood|
|Base Notes||Ambergris, Oakmoss, Musk, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vanilla|
Researched and submitted by DeGe53
This fragrance was originally designed to go with cigarette smoking.
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I find this a fascinating and utterly deep and intoxicating fragrance. It always evokes emotions in me when I try it. The story goes that the formula was discovered by a chemist working at Molinard in Grasse around 1921, and they released it as a fragrance to perfume women's cigarette papers. Three years later, it was released as a women's perfume in it's own right.
What this is, is a dark, earthy, smoky, deep vanilla fragrance. It's like if Shalimar were a heavy smoker almost! The interesting thing is though, is that there is no Tobacco in this at all! Many people get the smell of old dusty perfume and leather mixed with tobacco. But the real effect of tobacco here is a dark, smoky vetiver, a very dry grassy root which smells of earth and dust. This is mixed with a strong leather note, and with resins, orris root, heliotrope and vanilla. There is also a very faint hint of rose, jasmine and even a dried raspberry note.
The immediate impression I get of this is the 1920's jazz clubs. This is almost the smell of the air in those places. Women's perfume (not like today, this is the opulent, dark amber, rose & vanilla type), mixed with the smell of tobacco in the air and makeup etc. It's so evocative for me. Very deep, very dark, very noir. You can imagine slim young 1920's women with short, dark hair and ruby-red lipstick seducing rich men at the bar, the jazz music reaching a high tempo in the background, cocktails and golden lights, the trail of smoke from women with cigarette holders dancing in the limelight. This is such a "bad girl" type fragrance! In my mind I imagine a very elegantly dressed young woman, red lipstick, black dress, perfect hair, talking to a smartly dressed man at a bar... whispering into his ear, slowly seducing him, and him being totally under her spell with every look from her eyes, and every word she says.
To me this has such a very deep, dark, sensual aura about it. It's sweet but it's earthy and slightly dirty. It's from the era where women smoked and drank as a sign of rebellion. But it's still feminine, just in a dark, bold, powerful and confident way.
I have not tried newer formulations, just this vintage extrait. But what a beauty this is! I have never found another fragrance that stirs up so much emotion for me. The closest thing I would compare this to is Tabac Blond by Caron, also an Ambery, Powdery Tobacco-like fragrance, and with hints of something like Shalimar, but more mysterious. This is such an intriguing one, it's like a dancer that is always tempting you, she's so intriguing that you want to come closer, but you can't, she's almost forbidden. There's nothing you can do but sit and watch her do her dance, mesmerised... until the end.
I sometimes struggle to put into words such an intriguing experience. I would encourage anyone to seek this beauty out. Again it is a fragrance which sets a certain mood... and one which commands a certain behaviour from you. Me, I wear it only when dressed in black, and in top style. Leather, Amber, Vanilla, dry, smoky Tobacco-like Vetiver, if this were released today it would be considered a high-end niche fragrance (like Killian's Back to Black). This was so ground-breaking to me that when I smelt it I was instantly transported to another time and place... it's really just something else! I sincerely hope they never discontinue this one, and I want other people to experience this. Like a piece of history in a bottle... and totally wearable even today. Old, and also so powerful it's almost modern. A perfume which is to me so utterly mysterious and complex. Mesmerising!
Helpful Review - 09/10/2013
It's sensual, it's dark, it's smoky, it's leather, it's powder, it's rubber, it's a sharp assault in your face that drys down to an unusual scent that's very difficult to describe but absolutely one of a kind. For me, there are no flowery notes. It drys down to a powder that wraps itself around leather, tobacco, musk, oakmoss and benzoin. It's warm and smoldering. Not a warm that you wrap yourself in a blanket with warm. Habanita exudes a sexual warmth. It's musky in its own way, but not a typical musk that one expects that is so common on the market today.
Each time I wear it, I pick up different nuances of this quaint perfume and I am looking forward to wearing it in the different seasons. This was a blind order for me and I am delighted with it. It's a red lipstick, dark eyeliner and boots kind of perfume. Others won't recognize it, which is a good thing. You'll stand alone and be remembered. It's a wonderful addition to my collection.
I don't reach for Habanita very regularly. I can't even say I wear it that often. But when the mood strikes me, it's a frag that is so unique, it I know my entire demeanor is different. This perfume is meant for a person with a zest and passion for what they are about to do because it is a strong fragrance for a woman that can pull it off. Definitely not for the weak, not for a wallflower, and not for the shy. If you want to be remembered, and not necessarily in a good girl way, then this perfume is one to try. After all, how many perfumes do you know that smell of leather, smoke and benzoin, tempered with woods and moss notes? What an incredulous combination. This is a power-house scent, but not for power in the boardroom. It's for power elsewhere.
Whenever I wear it, men seem to be hypnotized and comment on it. Strangers even. This is the one fragrance I'll wear that strange men will ask me about, comment on or want to get closer. Habanita lays low but is the strongest, most compelling perfume I own.
Nice review, I completely agree.
Helpful Review - 11/24/2012
Habanita is a woman on the prowl and she takes no prisoners. This lady holds her own and she knows what she wants.
Her darkness shines through quite suddenly drawing you in slowly and steadily. Just when you think you have a handle on her, she quickly changes into a cool, calm, and collected power player. You try to resist but it's too late. She has her claws in you and there's no backing out now.
She moves with stealth leaving the meek behind. She wants to dominate her audience and control their actions. All we can do is follow.
While I am not very good at detecting individual notes, I am a lover of woodsy notes that cast a powdery glow. Impressive to say the least. She is the leader of the Pack!
I don't get any citrus or sour. @Dlane, this review is for the current.
4 more Replies
Helpful Review - 11/11/2012
And yet much more. It has certain depth that fits well watching Tarkowski-movies or film noir - who could watch film noir wearing Angel or Candy ? It just wouldn´t fit.
Habanita starts with quite bewildering top-notes, that´s when one will want to go dancing or do something creative, perhaps even something daring. And sometimes, something very daring !
In aromatherapy Labdanum is the one who´s "quilty" of letting go of inhibitions, is this the secret of Habanita ?
However, it must be the petit grain that makes it also so zitric, surprisingly zitric even. That is the one note which I do not smell so well in summer, for summer Habanita is rather only on the heavier side, but in winter it shows also more bitter, zitrus-like notes which I like.
Yet at heart it gets softer, more balanced, sometimes I even think of "L´Heure Bleue" by Guerlain, not so much for the smell but the mood. Both are deep and mysterios, Habanita gets more introverted and darker towards the heart and basis, even gloomier at times.
Like aoe, towards basis Habanita is somewhat like waxed leather indeed, and I do wear leather ! Still, with me it´s the spices that rule with amber and patchouli, vanilla stays rather decently in the back-ground rounding it all up...
And lasts definately longer than 4 hours, in summer easily until the next day.
The only minus Habanita has for me, is, that I sometimes get headache from it.
Yet, it´s worth risking it ! :)
My head must be also fit for Habanita ;-)
Habanita has neither synergy, as in the fougere's coumarin and lavender accord, nor the stagey acrimony of Angel, for instance. It straddles an uncomfortable, tangled territory between leaden and powdery.
An excursion to the local drugstore with a list of scents purportedly projecting leather proved rather disappointing. The first perfume with unmistakable "leather" I loved was (don't laugh!) Histoires de Parfum's "1740 Marquis de Sade". The people at the niche perfumery in the city were quite helpful, too, and gave me lots of "leather" scents to test, too, but none quite convinced me. PG03 was nice but a bit too powdery (probably due to the coconut note since it doesn't officially contain benzoin). Besides, after a faux pas I didn't dare show my face for a while: who'd have thought that the K was silent? They did sell niche, but Niche 10? I had to get to the gentleman's store across the street for Kniže Ten, and while that is indeed, as someone wrote, a very stark leather, it was too dry for my taste - it works very well on imitation leather shoes but I don't care too much for it on my skin.
After those disappointments I wasn't in the mood for further experiments and ordered a sampler from one of the decanters - you know, with cowgirls getting the blues and everything, ... I loved most of those, meanwhile have decants of Daim Blond and Cuir Beluga, am still saving for organizing a sharing of Chanel's Cuir de Russie, ... and ignored Habanita. That is the bitter truth - at first i found it a trifle too sweet and only after another profumo member (thanks Thess!) had gifted me with another sample of it I finally fell for the soft flowery notes with the musky base. What an experience! I had to have more ... for those interested in sources, I found my bottle from a German amaz*n seller. Yesterday I got the black-and-grey box with the gold embossing and ... oak moss!!! An original?
To me, the scent itself is, as I might have mentioned two or three times, one of the most beautiful leather perfumes I know. The absence from the notes doesn't belittle that effect in the least - after all it is a spanish leather with Flowers, Herbs, and animalic ingredients. The head is sweet and resinous with a hint of petitgrain orange, soon reluctant flowers, a bit of patchouli and vetiver make an apperance. I can only reliably detect the musk after about an hour, bringing out the full leather bloom together with the sandalwood and honey.
Longevity doesn't appear excessive to me but 3 to 5 hours doesn't appear bad for an Edt. What remains is a bittersweet resinous amber with honey/beeswax.
And I don't even wear leather.
Helpful Review - 04/26/2012
Habanita opened quite strongly on my skin with rich, shiny leather notes, sweet, powdery peach and nose-burning resins. It was like a more potent version of Bvlgari's Black at first, dark, rubbery and slightly masculine.
As it settled, the floral accords began to immerge, in a sweet, baby-powderish manner with subtle hints of smokey tobacco, leather and resins. Occasionally it smelt like red vintage lipstick, that odd cosmetic smell I come across in classic scents sometimes. I find this combination quite delicious and strangely sexual, in a sadistic and masochistic way.
Habanita is the scent of a strong, confident and powerful woman who does not mess around, she gets straight down to business. It almost blows my mind with how raunchy and wicked this fragrance is. I love wearing this because it's so different from what I usually reach for on a daily basis.
My man, although he was a little taken aback at first, adores this scent on me. He says it smells like I've just spent the day with some hot lesbian bikers in leather get-up, smoked a few too many cigarettes and came back to him smelling clean and powdery but dirty at the same time. His description is actually far more exact than my own.
All in all, as I've said, this is an extremely powerful fragrance and one that lasts a decade on the skin too. I highly recommend to everyone and anyone, and I think those that dismiss it are fools because it's a classic for reason, and a good reason at that. Thankyou Adrien02 for gifting me this beautiful fragrance.
My favorite capsule review read: Evil baby powder, leaving me to wonder which was evil, the baby or the powder. I teach, and once a little spilled in my purse, causing the students to remark, "ooh, what IS that nice baby powder smell?" Really!
Very helpful Review - 03/16/2012
HABANITA opens bright, sweet, and fruity with a decidedly "going to be an oriental-vanilla fragrance" feeling. Wrong. One minute later, HABANITA begins to manifest a dark rubbery note which also has--as others have observed--a diesel oil cast. I would describe this as close to the smell of burnt tires, but not quite to the point of tar, a scent which I find often in myrrh-rich perfumes. Here it is the leather, apparently, which turns to dark rubber on my skin.
Just when I'm ready to dismiss HABANITA forever, however, a beautiful creamy woody oriental drydown appears! This stage is scrumptious, luscious and comfy, and the leather note has finally settled down to the point where vague memories of the opening begin to return. Except that the drydown exhibits the richness of wood and benzoin notes, which transform what might have been a mere fragrance into a perfume.
Conclusion: for about half of its relatively lengthy life, HABANITA is truly a pleasure to wear! But was it worth the wait, slogging through fields of old tires covered with diesel grease? About that, I am unclear.
Hello, Mujo! No, I have not tried the edp, but I am curious to see how it came out. The opening of the edt is pretty overwhelming, I agree... (-;
2 more Replies
Helpful Review - 01/30/2012
touch of Incense Bring this into an
Elegant Testament Which i find amusing
Picturing a smoke filled dark Cabaret;
A Male Impersonator ala Marlene Dietrich
Julie Andrews in Victor and Victoria
it's a sensuality to a Sexualy Repressed Convent School Educated girl Like
Madchen in Uniform like Senerio then
*Wenn ich mir was wunschen durft*.
at the end of the song she leans over
and slowly kisses the girl and this was a sexual Awaking for this Schoolgirl.
Picturing David Bowie in his
Berlin years Eleganly Dressed with a cigerette on his hand and a pint of wiskey on the other. in the Movie just a Gigolo. The darkly Oud i can dechphier
in this perfume like the deadly Sexuality of Rudolph Valentino and Pola Negri sizzling on the screen to a bewildered Movie Goers. Japanese Silent movie Star Sessue Hayakawa Seducing
the wife of a British Admiral.
The powdery rose brings you to mind
Opera of the Last Diva.
the Bottle is very Beautiful Greek
Nymphs Engraved in a Opaque Bottle
very ideal for home decoration when the bottle is empty Leather makes it Dangerous.
If you can find sex in a bottle this is it.
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