On the perfume market, which has been completely overheated for many years, it rarely happens that a new launch receives longer attention than, say, 1-2 months. Especially when the fragrance does not come from one of the established houses, but is the first work of an initially small niche company that has, however, secured itself a once great name: Lubin.
Idole de Lubin is such a fragrance.
Several factors helped to give 'Idole de Lubin' unusually great attention:
- an established, highly respected perfumer, Olivia Giacobetti
- a grandiose bottle, Serge Mansau
- a very, very good fragrance, together with nice sources of inspiration
- a connection, even if only by name, with the old 'Idole de Lubin' of 1962 (whom, however, hardly anyone should know more), as a bridge to the heritage of the house.
In 2005 it was launched on the market, described by the manufacturer and in the relevant forums as men's fragrance, but this was already at that time somewhat nonsense, since it can and will be worn by both women and men alike.
He was not really innovative: Fragrances in which rum, spicy and fruity notes, as well as exotic woods played a role, were already abundant in the past. But he had something the least perfumed: Character, or New English: 'Personality'.
Since then, 'Idole de Lubin' has become a kind of iconic fragrance, a fragrance that many more people know than it wears, and which has almost become a founding myth for 'Lubin'. Without 'Idols', 'Lubin' is unthinkable today.
The first EdT version of the fragrance disappeared a few years after its introduction and shortly after an EdP version came onto the market. The reasons for this were not quite clear, but I suspect that one or the other ingredient of the IFRA's spell beam hit and 'Lubin' felt compelled to revise the fragrance according to the new guidelines. Fortunately, Olivia Giacobetti went to work herself. The result was a slightly revised, but all in all quite identical version of its earlier fragrance.
Also other and far bigger houses, like for example 'Chanel', were confronted with the same challenges during this time, so that many, many fragrances formerly developed as Eau de Toilette mutated to Eau de Parfums, without losing any quality - at least concerning 'Chanel', but also the fragrances of Patricia de Nicolaï, 'Etro', or 'Lubin'.
I still have a small sample of the original fragrance published in 2005, but like it is with aged fragrance remnants: they only give an unreliable impression of the former fragrance experience.
I remember, though, that I wasn't so enthusiastic at the time. Rum spice scents, his Caribbean style, or located in East Indian climes, did not appeal to me at all, and basically do not do so today, although my preferences have become more varied.
Recently, however, the old 'Idole' sample fell back into my hand and I sprayed some of the rest onto my hands. Somehow it smelled like 'idols', but changed in such a way that it was clear to me: because of these pitiful remnants an evaluation of the scent was impossible.
A little later I bought the wonderful 'Galaad' and asked the saleswoman to bottle me something of 'Idole'. Arriving at home I tested the bottling and immediately thought: yes, this is 'idols' as I knew them, as I remember them.
Differences to the old EdT may be discovered by those who still have a bottle with a halfway intact content of the original. Unfortunately, I only have my sample remains, and they are simply unusable.
The EdP version of today is one thing in any case: it is absolutely committed to the character of the old EdT and has the same aura. Some say that the fragrance is rounder, softer, others complain about that and miss the corners and edges.
Sycomore' reports similar things again and again, but in the case of the Chanel scent I can say that the new one is not worse than the old one - a little bit changed, also softer and rounder, but that's it.
If the new 'idol' behaves qualitatively to the old as the new 'Sycomore' EdP does to the old EdT (which I suppose!), I can only say: Chapeau, the work was worth it! The EdP has a good endurance and the fruity, alcoholic, woody, smoky notes, as well as the bitter spice are wonderfully interwoven.
Unfortunately 'Idole' is no longer in the great old bottle, which was inspired by African mask art, but in the almost as beautiful new one, which the fragrance now shares with some others like 'Korrigan', or 'Akkad', and which always reminds me of a tapped male walking forward.
Both bottles were modelled by Serge Mansau, perhaps the greatest flalkon designer the industry has ever seen.
But one thing irritates me again: as much as the labeling of the old EdT as men's fragrance was nonsense, the current designation of the EdP as women's fragrance is as incomprehensible. I could imagine, however, that 'idols' are still worn more by men than women, no matter in which version, but that doesn't mean that the fragrance tends more towards 'masculine'. No, very similar to other unisex icons like 'Bandit', 'Eau Sauvage' or the already mentioned 'Sycomore', 'Idols' elude any gender drawer. Only when it comes to woods, bitter aromatic spices (saffron, cumin & Co.) and high-percentage schnapps, the gentlemen of creation are likely to be a jag faster.
Just a hunch. The perfumery saleswoman, after turning the bottle over to decipher the most important notes listed on a small handwritten sticker on the underside, called it a men's fragrance. I negated and let him pack me yet.
Today I like 'Idole de Lubin' more than ever before, and a little bottle adorns my already overcrowded shelf...
Have I already said that few perfumes manage to become a fragrance icon?