Tabac Original Cologne is a very special fragrance for me, a fragrance of the heart. Not only does it make me feel excellently dressed for every occasion, season and wardrobe. It also works for me as a panacea and body-soul-universal tonic: In fatigue, it makes awake, in a mild crisis of meaning or depression, it supports like a freshly washed white shirt and a perfectly tailored suit, in fears of a difficult appointment, it instills confidence and security.
So while I've written a lot about this fragrance here, in my blogs, in replicas to others' comments and the like, I still haven't written a review. I've always waited for the artistic inspiration to make a special, literary comment. But since the kiss of the muses cannot be forced and time is fleeing, it will now be a very simple commentary: form follows function.
As far as leather fragrances are concerned, it has often been described in this forum that there have been the most diverse perfume-craft approaches to the idea of 'leather' over the course of time. A leather fragrance of the 'Knize Ten' generation smells completely different from 'Tuscan Leather', for example, because both fragrances approach the subject from a different angle and by different means.
I think it's the same with tobacco scents, although as far as I can see there has been much less classification and debate on these here on the forum. One of the oldest paths of approach may have been taken by Caron in 1919 with the classic 'Tabac Blonde'. The fragrance has many admirers, I can't do anything with it and don't smell tobacco. Perhaps that will come. Probably the latest approach is heavily chemically assisted and evokes in a photo-realistic way the smell of moist, bright Virginia tobacco, often along with a fruity note. You think you're sitting inside the filterless fresh cigarette, with a bowl of fruit in front of it. An example of this would be Veleno Doré by LM from 2017 (the fruit note here is cherry), similarly I find Ambre Tabac by Daniel Josier (peach).
Tabac Original, midway in time between these two approaches, is again completely different. Tabac Original is a stroke of genius. Its scent is absolutely unmistakable and as easily recognizable as the Big Dipper in the night sky. There are no scent twins (not even scent cousins) that I know of among the better known brands. Only in the field of Turkish Kolonyas have I discovered - amazingly good ones, by the way - replicas, especially Tütün (German: Tabak) by Eyüp Sabri Tuncer and Tütün Kolonyasi by Taris Incir Birligi. They differ in nuances from the original, in particular they are somewhat lighter and brighter.
Does Tabac Original smell like tobacco? I don't. Maybe it doesn't. Tabac Original offers almost the entire spectrum of a classic citrusy colognes: lemon, bergamot, neroli - this boldly enhanced by petitgrain doubling and lavender. These notes never appear alone, however. One smells the cologne out from deep within this this fragrance, but one never feels reminded of light summer freshness, not even in the very first hair-tip seconds of the top note.
Of the classic Farina notes (only) rosemary is missing, which is significant, because this fragrance is guaranteed green-free. Instead, the Cologne citric is joined by all the woody and other brown notes that the perfumery world had to offer in the 50-ies. The nose of the observer is virtually bolted with oak and sandalwood as well as (well-built) vetiver, warm amber comes along. Kitchen cupboard spices like allspice, anise and clove (unlike in Old Spice, which aims in a similar direction) are sparingly represented at best. Instead, I would have guessed the masculine clary sage familiar from the 80s. He is not specified here, perhaps a similar effect is achieved by chamomile and rose geranium.
I have already described the effect: The fragrance is extremely clear, striking, masculine. He has edge and bite, tightens and centers the wearer, but at the same time radiates an aura of warmth and security. If you wear this fragrance, you can face the world perhaps not comforted, but at least confidently.
If we leave out niche brands like Harry Lehmann, Tabac Original is for me on the men's side what Tosca is for women's fragrances: Number 1 of the German contributions to the fragrance world heritage. Ironically, both fragrances can be had for next to nothing these days.
The name of the perfumer, about whom I have been unable to find out anything further, clearly sounds less German than Catalan. There seems to have been an axis Barcelona - Stolberg (Rhineland) in the Adenauerzeit, which I can not reconstruct in any case, perhaps others can help further.
EdT, EdC and After Shave should be composed slightly different in each case. Anyway, I consider the cologne to be the gold standard. It lasts long enough to pass as EdT.
Not omitting a word about the image of the fragrance as an 'opa fragrance': undoubtedly Tabac Original was at a certain time perhaps in the 60-ies, very widespread: A kind of Aventus or One Million earlier Kalpas. It is understandable that the sound of Tabac Original was then at some point no longer fashionable and other fragrances took their turn. In addition, there was certainly a two decades in which it could be a comparative disadvantage in the fight to pass on their own genes (but even then not necessarily had to!), if one reminded the courted female nasally of his father in the courtship ritual.
Be that as it may, all that is already long enough past again. I myself get extra compliments on this fragrance from significantly younger ladies. Well, I'm old enough that "significantly younger" can also be 35, for example. Nevertheless, or precisely because of this: I consider Tabac Original to be a real insider tip, especially for the generation of really young men (20 to 30), even if it is only for testing purposes. Because the fragrance is of excellent craftsmanship at a ridiculously low price and has infinite character. And I think that it all depends on a test, whether I'm not right with the assertion that this fragrance is created to inspire both the young wearer himself as well as his intended counterpart (w/m/d) quite colossally, and that by the passage of time today also guaranteed again free of oedipal or electrical complexes.