Perfume Review – Téo Cabanel Oha

When a small, relatively unknown perfume house makes one of your favorite fragrances in the world, you tend to root for it, and want to love all its creations. If the house comes with a fascinating history — complete with the notorious style icon, the Duchess of Windsor, as its most ardent fan — and if you’re a history fanatic, then you are even more compelled to want to like it. The reality, however, is that not all perfumes are created equal. And some fall short of the glory set by their siblings. That is the case with Oha, a lovely fragrance from the same house that created my beloved Alahine, but hardly a match for the latter’s spectacular, sophisticated, spicy, Oriental smolder.

The Duchess of Windsor

The Duchess of Windsor

Oha comes from the French perfume house, Téo Cabanel, founded in 1893 in Algeria by Théodore Cabanel. Upon moving to Paris, he developed over 150 different perfume formulae and soon came to the attention of high society. He was a favorite of the Duchess of Windsor — the woman for whom King Edward VIII famously gave up the English throne — and she refused to be without two of Cabanel’s fragrances (Julia and Yasmina), ordering bottles in massive quantities.

Unfortunately, over time, the house faded away, but it was essentially reborn in 2003 under the direction of Caroline Illacqua who had a distant connection to Cabanel’s daughter. Illacqua brought in the perfumer, Jean-Francois Lattya very famous perfumer who created YSL for Men, YSL‘s Jazz, Givenchy III, Van Cleef & Arpel‘s Tsar and, allegedly, Drakkar Noir as well. (If so, I assume he worked alongside Pierre Wargnye who is usually credited with that famous men’s cologne). Latty now works solely as the in-house perfumer for Téo Cabanel.

OhaIn 2005, the two released Oha, a floral chypre. According to the description on Téo Cabanel’s website, Oha’s notes include:

Bulgaria rose, Moroccan rose, tea notes, Egyptian jasmine, Guatemalan cardamom, vanilla, iris, tonka bean, woods, and white musk.

Some perfume sites have suggested other ingredients as well. The Sniffapalooza Magazine’s interview with Téo Cabanel’s new co-founder, Ms. Illacqua, states that there is bergamot as a top note. The perfume blog, I Smell Therefore I Am, thinks that there is patchouli as one of the base notes. I completely agree with both of them.

Téo Cabanel claims that the perfumes contain “100% pure and natural ingredients.” The company later clarified those remarks in the Sniffapalooza Magazine interview, stating that they “use between 85% and 95% of natural ingredients” to create their perfumes,” and that their musk and amber are synthetic by necessity due to animal cruelty issues. Ms. Illacqua elaborated further on the ingredients, as well as on the fact that the Cabanel signature is in using a duo of roses:

Téo Cabanel’s signature is to use 2 different types of roses: Bulgarian and Moroccan rose. We are one of the only brands to use two roses in a perfume. Natural ingredients are very expensive but give to the perfumes an incredible quality. Some of the ingredients we use:
  • Rose – approximately 8000€/kg – we need 5000 kg of petals to produce 1kg of essence.
  • Iris wax – the most expensive ingredient: between 10 000€ and 15 000€
  • Bezoin: 7000€/kg
  • Jasmine – one of the most delicate flower – only 5 to 6 tons of essence are produced per year which explains the price: between 6 000 € and 8 000 €/kg. [Formatting added.]

I quoted those figures to show, in part, the rich quality and non-synthetic feel of Oha. My other reason is that the vast quantities of rose and jasmine used by the company are the main, dominant feature of Oha.

Source: Basenotes.

Source: Basenotes.

In fact, at times, there doesn’t feel as though there is much more to the scent than rose and jasmine, atop a base of a mossy, green patchouli. There are a few subtle nuances (especially at the start), but, at the end of the day, Oha is just a very classique, elegant, increasingly abstract, generalized, amorphous “floral” in the chypre family.

It’s very pretty — but it doesn’t feel like anything special. It certainly didn’t bowl me over or become a slight obsession in the way that the glorious Alahine did. (I sometimes feel I should do another post dedicated solely to just how much I love Alahine, and how it surreptitiously and unexpectedly manages to sneak into your head after repeated wearings to become the most fascinating, obsession-inducing fragrance that you’ve encountered in a while.) But this is a post about Oha, so let’s get to it.

Purple rose at Warwick Castle, England. Photo provided with permission by CC from "Slightly Out of Sync" blog.

Purple rose at Warwick Castle, England. Photo provided with permission by CC from “Slightly Out of Sync” blog.

Oha opens as a mossy, bright, sparkling chypre. There is fresh, crisp lemon-tinged bergamot and light, green jasmine atop a lush rose base that is simultaneously jammy and fruity. It feels as though there is a light touch of the sweet tea rose to go with the main base of a rich, beefy, meaty, and very fleshy damask rose. You can almost see the thousands of kilos of blood-red petals that they must have used to create this. The richness of the rose base is undercut by the zesty citruses and a subtle undercurrent of light woodsy notes with a flicker of musk. And the whole thing is enveloped in a powerful embrace of oakmoss-like patchouli.

Image: Moody. Source: Canadian Govt. Website.

Image: Moody. Source: Canadian Govt. Website.

There is absolutely no question in my mind that Oha has patchouli in it. Téo Cabanel clearly used it in order to replicate the oakmoss that is usually the main foundational element for a chypre but which is now increasingly rare in perfumery due to IFRA/EU regulations. Here, the patchouli is not the dirty, dried, earthy, or black sort sometimes associated with the 1970s or hippies. Nor is it like modern patchouli that is purple-fruity in nature. Instead, it’s bright green, mossy, fresh and springy. It becomes significantly more pronounced at the thirty minute mark; and it remains for almost the entire duration of the scent, heavily intertwined with the floral notes to create the primary characteristic of the fragrance. At one point, it starts to feel a little dryer, but it never reaches the levels of true oakmoss with its often pungent, almost desiccated, arid, musty nature.

I never really detect any cardamon in Oha, but I sense its indirect effects as it lurks in the background. It helps to add a slight spiciness and fieriness to the main rose note, preventing it from being a simple fruity element. There is also a subtle tinge of muskiness underlying the scent. It never feels like cheap white musk, but a natural undertone to the flowers and patchouli.

An hour into Oha’s development, it is still primarily a rose-patchouli fragrance. There are strong citric undertones, but they can’t compete with the main duet. There are also flickers of something that feels like white woods but, like the musk, it is muted. The perfume which started out being quite strong in sillage drops in strength around this time, becoming significantly softer. By the 90 minute mark, it’s almost close to the skin, though Oha (which I keep writing as the Greek “Opa”) is quite strong when you bring your arm up to your nose. 

The perfume changes around 2.5 hours into its development. It becomes quite abstract — by that, I mean that it becomes quite vague, generalized, almost amorphous in nature. You just get a general sense of a “floral with patchouli,” but there are no hugely distinct parts that are easily pulled out and separated. In part, it’s because Téo Cabanel fragrances are well-blended; in larger part, it’s because there really isn’t a hell of a lot to the scent. There aren’t layers and layers of depth — which is something that Alahine has in excess, God bless its little heart. Instead, Oha becomes a general floral that gives you the sense of some rose with perhaps a tinge of jasmine and something that feels a lot like peony. But the whole thing is swirled together to just read as “floral with patchouli.”

On occasion, different notes may briefly come to the surface. About four hours in, Oha suddenly turns very jasmine-y in nature, almost drowning out the roses. The jasmine is slightly musky, but never indolic, heady, sour or plastic-y. Then, Oha goes back to being amorphous until the 7th hour when there are flickers of a rooty, non-powdery, slightly earthy iris. That, too, quickly vanishes. By the end, midway during the 10th hour, Oha’s final traces are just simple, vague, musky “floral.” It died essentially as it lived — abstract, well-blended, elegant, and not incredibly special. Its sillage was always soft and well-mannered, noticeable if you actually smelled your arm, but never powerful or bold. The longevity was very good, given just how voraciously my skin consumes perfume.

Oha seems generally well-liked on Fragrantica, judging by the voting numbers. (There are certainly a lot more “Likes” than “Loves.”) But all comments about “sophistication,” elegance and “very French” feel incredibly lukewarm in the politest way possible. One commentator, “kterhark,” summed it up best, in my opinion:

Have you ever sat and flipped through channels at night, stumbling upon PBS where Charlotte Church was on stage, singing a pitch perfect operatic song, afterwhich everyone clapped politely?

That’s Oha. 

But I prefer it when Mariah Carey or Celine Dion take the stage and belt it out. And this is my problem with Oha.

It’s subtle. Pitch perfect, but subtle. And as a chypre floral it is competing with some grand divas in my boudoir, like Caron’s Or et Noir and Guerlain’s Mitsouko pure parfum; and they are outsinging this one.

Nevertheless, I like this fragrance, it is indeed beautiful [.]

The Duchess of Windsor wearing the famous "Lobster Dress," designed by Elsa Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali.

The Duchess of Windsor wearing the famous “Lobster Dress,” designed by Elsa Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali.

It pains me to write about how underwhelmed I was, because Oha actually is pretty. (I think “beautiful” may be pushing it a little.) It feels incredibly French and classique. It never evokes the supremely fashionable, trend-setting, iconic Duchess of Windsor, but, rather, a perfectly well-dressed, elegant French woman who doesn’t stand out from the crowd. She isn’t dripping with diamonds or furs; she isn’t even in a particularly sexy black dress or wearing the latest trend. She certainly isn’t making a scene or acting like a diva! She’s far from frumpy, she’d definitely not ugly or unattractive, and when you see her, you just know she’s French with impeccably well-bred bones and breeding. But, unless you were really, really looking at her, I’m not sure you’d notice her with her expertly cut, expensive, but completely innocuous dark suit, her expensive but unshowy handbag,her restrained chignon, her simple but expensive strand of pearls, and that quiet dab of muted lipstick. I passed by hundreds of such women in my years in Paris, and I’m sure they would wear Oha.

It’s not a negative thing in the slightest. But it’s not me. I’m not one for amorphous, abstract floral chypres without a particularly distinctive character — no matter how well-bred and classique they may be. That said, if you like floral chypres, I do think Oha is worth a sniff because it does have elegant bones and is an incredibly practical, versatile fragrance. This is something you could just spray on and go, without much thought; it would work pretty much everywhere and for all occasions, from an appointment at your child’s school, to a dinner with friends. Its discreet nature, while still being moderately strong on your actual skin, would also make it practical for the office. And you’d definitely feel feminine while wearing it. Plus, Téo Cabanel fragrances can be purchased for a relative steal on numerous discount sites (not to mention eBay).

I’m still disappointed, though. And I think the Duchess of Windsor would be, too. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to put on some of my beloved Alahine. 

Cost & Availability: Oha comes in a variety of sizes and forms. On the Téo Cabanel website (which also has a French language version), Oha Eau de Parfum (which is what I reviewed) costs €82 for 1.7 oz, and €107 for 3.3 oz. There is also a solid perfume version which costs €65 for 2 x 2 g (2 x 0.07 oz), along with a Sample Set of 6 Cabanel fragrances for €6. (Down below, you will see that the Posh Peasant also offers the Pure Parfum version).
Discounts: You can frequently find Teo Cabanel fragrances deeply discounted at various online retailers, in addition to eBay. In the U.S., you can buy Oha Eau de Parfum in a 1.7 oz/50 ml size for $61.20 from LilyDirect, a reputable perfume retailer that a number of people I know have used without problem. (As a side note, I’ve heard that Lilydirect will start shipping to Canada in June.) 99Perfume sells the small 1.7 oz size for 64.99, while BeautyEncounter sells it for $75. (BeautyEncounter is the original retailer for the Amazon offering of Oha, if you were to check there but I think you get free shipping if you go through them directly.) The prices are even higher at FragranceX which sells the 1.7 oz size for $88.30 and the large 3.4 oz size for $118. I’ve read that the line is carried at Henry Bendel’s, but I don’t see any Cabanel perfumes listed on their website. The Posh Peasant does carry most of Teo Cabanel’s fragrances, but stock is limited and amounts may be sold out (as they currently are for the Oha), so I suggest you check the website later when additional stock is added. At the moment, they have the Pure Parfum version of Oha on sale for $154 instead of $220 for a 15 ml bottle.
Outside the US: In Canada, Cabanel’s website lists Fritsch Fragrances as its primary vendor. In London, I’ve read that Téo Cabanel is carried at Fortnum & Mason’s, but I don’t see it shown online. Liberty’s states that Téo Cabanel fragrances are available only in their actual store. As a whole, for European readers, I saw it online at Parfums MDP (which I think is in the UK?) for the same Euro rate as the company’s website. They say that there is “free worldwide postage” which I find to be stunning (and hard to believe)! I’ve also read  that the perfumes are available at: Galeries Lafayette, Douglas (France, Lithuania, Russia), Kadewe Berlin, Oberpollinger Munich, and Albrecht in Frankfurt. In Australia, I saw the large 100 ml/3.4 oz bottle of Oha on GetPrice for AUD$109.65. For all other countries, you can try to use the company’s Retailers guide on their website, but be aware that it doesn’t seem very up-to-date as some of the listed retailers don’t seem to carry the line. (Like Luckyscent.)
Samples: Surrender to Chance does not have Oha, but The Posh Peasant has a 5-Piece Sampler Set of 5 x 1ml vials for $15. I think that’s a great deal, especially as it will let you try one of my all-time favorite fragrances, the boozy Oriental “Alahine.”

42 thoughts on “Perfume Review – Téo Cabanel Oha

  1. The high usage of natural quality essential oils and a small amount of synthetics I find extremely appealing…what would you think about Oha on me…I love chypres as you know (I grew up wearing them in abundance) and it sounds like Oha would be a good office scent…the price point I like as well :D!!!

    • Hm, honestly, I think you’ll find it to be a disappointment. Yes, the price is great (at the discounters) but the perfume is so underwhelming that I think there are better floral chypres out there. And, given just how extreme and unpleasant your co-worker is about perfume, I think this one would still be too strong for her, even if the sillage is very low subsequently.

  2. Lovely review, I have never heard of this perfume. Actually I’m not much familiar with Teo Cabanel perfume house. Once in the past I got a sample in a swap (the person I was swapping with just toss it in for me, I didn’t know I will be getting it) – it was Alahine. I tried it once then and then it got burried in the pile of samples that are supposed to be sniffed one day

    • I hope you pull up Alahine one of these days. The opening may be too boozy for you, but I think you’d really like the 3rd stage with the very classique, feminine dry down that is somewhat like the powdery florals of Bal à Versailles, only softer and with no animalics.

  3. I’ve never heard of this perfume house too, in fact I haven’t hear most of the niche perfume houses you wrote about in your blog so thanks for introducing them to me.

    • Hi 3mots. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂 You’re very welcome. I hope you find something you end up being tempted to try. 🙂

      • I did! I was really tempted to try Viktoria Minya’s Hedonist – it sounds gorgeous 😀 I’ve added that to my very long wish list, hoping to get there soon (;

        • I am looking forward to getting to know some of your perfume tastes, likes and dislikes, so perhaps I can help later on down the road in suggesting things you’d love. Do you live in a place where it’s easy to order samples or have sample services be relatively accessible? If you like honey, Viktoria Minya’s lovely, lovely Hedonist is a great one to try. What else is on your wish list? 😀

          • I live in Singapore so it’s quite difficult to order samples from the popular perfume sites like Luckyscents – the shipping makes everything more expensive and I probably could spend that on perfumes. ): The upside is all the usual big brands perfumes are easily accessible to me and we’ve Sephora here too. Not too good news for my wallet though but at least I can test with abandon (; But I don’t really see many niche perfume houses here so it’s always good to read about those scents on your blog. I haven’t tried a honey note before but I like honey and I’m keen to explore new notes. 😀 Right now I’m wishing for Chanel No. 5 parfum, Chanel No. 22 parfum, Hermes Hiris, Bvlgari Black, Diorissimo and Hedonist.

          • Oh dear, Singapore would make it hugely difficult indeed! I’m with you: no reason to try samples when the shipping cost is that crazy! (I have a pet peeve about high shipping costs!) But Surrender to Chance is a flat fee $12.95 for all orders below $150, so that may be a much more reasonable option. If you order the smaller size in samples, it would let you try a lot more before you hit that $150 mark. Also, you could do what a blogging friend in Tokyo does: frequent the flea markets. He gets some amazing, AMAZING finds in terms of the vintage classics — from Guerlain to Chanel. And, generally speaking, vintage versions or vintage fragrances are so much more complex, layered, nuanced and rich as compared to modern stuff. Even as compared to a lot of the modern niche perfumes that I write about.

            Your list has some great, great ones on it! Hedonist may be the most easily available (especially as there is just one flat-rate shipping fee for orders coming anywhere in the world), but the parfum versions of the rest…. much harder. I think my blogger friend in Tokyo found vintage Diorissimo at the flea market for some crazy low price! Do you have really big flea market in Singapore? You must have a few good ones where you can do some digging.

            Another option — depending on the niche houses that you are curious about — is to order sample sets directly from the perfume houses themselves. Many of them have incredibly reasonable shipping prices for orders coming from anywhere. A few of the houses that have great offers on sample sets or Discovery Sets: Andy Tauer’s Tauer Perfumes, Histoires de Parfums, Parfum d’Empire, Le Labo, and Neela Vermeire. I think for a few of them, the shipping is just a few Euros! I don’t know if Andy Tauer would send to Singapore but I’m pretty sure Parfum d’Empire and Neela Vermeire would. I hope you look into them. 🙂

  4. This is disappointing (not the review, your reaction to Oha!). I was hoping somehow it would have the Alahine effect, but that really is quite extraordinary. I was amused to read that Latty designed Tsar because I was obsessed with that fragrance some time in the early 90’s even if it was entirely inappropriate for the ingenue I was then.

    • I thought of you, Nancy, as I knew you’d been curious about the Oha. I know you’d find it to be a very underwhelming fragrance. The simple truth of the matter is that there are far more interesting, more complex floral chypres out there. This simply lacks the layers and depths necessary to make it stand out in any way. If Alahine has about a 100 layers, this would have maybe 8….. 🙁

  5. Btw, I just went to the Cabanel website and it looks like they have changed the bottles. The new bottles look like they cost more but I love the style you have pictured above. I wonder if a cost increase is imminent.

  6. Too bad this was so underwhelming. When you said it was a floral chypre my hear skipped a beat. Then to hear that it’s nothing special…oh well. I’ve heard of the fragrance house, but have yet to try any of their fragrances.

    • You HAVE to try my beloved Alahine!! A hugely boozy, over-spiced start that turns into a soft floral oriental with some powder and endless amber. Simply gorgeous. It’s one of those perfumes that you put on and think is nice, but after a few wearings, you suddenly wonder just WHY you never saw it was completely spectacular! Alahine is quite a well-guarded secret, and I’ve seen a number of perfumistas write/say that they hope it is never really discovered because they want it all for themselves.

  7. Dear Kafka, I never heard of Teo Cabanel and truth be told, when I saw the title, I thought you handed over today’s post to one of your readers. This sounds interesting to me but the jasmine may turn moth-ballish on me. In any case, I will certainly give it a shot. I have to look for Alahine to see (smell) how it captured you mind, heart, body and soul (and you are not one who is easily satisfied!).

    • Ha! I do like to rotate brands that I review, and also to focus on a few that may not be so well known. In the case of Téo Cabanel, it’s quite well-known in some circles because of the Alahine which, as I wrote to Mr. Hound above, is a bit of an intentionally guarded secret. I’ve seen more than a few bloggers include it as one of their all-time favorites, while some perfumistas in groups have written that they’d prefer no-one ever discover it.

      It is one of those perfumes that seems perfectly fine at first, but nothing really special. Then, after a few wearings, suddenly….. pow!!! Take Nancy, for example, who tried it months ago and though, “Meh.” She tried it again recently and got knocked off her feet in such a way, it became a bit of an obsession. And she instantly ordered a full bottle! The same thing happened to me; I really loved it but I wasn’t pushed to get a bottle. Yet, I kept smelling it as I made decants of it for friends and it got stuck in my head like some sort of perfume worm. I became obsessed and ordered a full bottle. They have some AMAZING deals for it on eBay or the discount sites, too. It’s sooooooo sexy and sophisticated, so gloriously complex, spiced, richly luxurious, ambered and also, feminine. It feels like Amouage levels of quality with the ylang-ylang, roses, spices and amber.

    • I just have to reply to you again, Hajusuuri, my dear. Please, please go back and check through all the comments here about how everyone who has tried Alahine is a die-hard raving maniac about it. And then, please, order a sample! Or, email me with your address and I will send you some. I have to send out some samples of other stuff anyway next week, along with some Alahine for a few people, so it’s no problem to include one more small vial of Alahine. I’ll even look for and try to dig up a spray vial instead of the usual 1 ml dabbers that I have so much of. Please, you really MUST try Alahine!

      • OK, I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth :-). I will email you shortly. Thanks for your generosity or perhaps that remains to be seen as my wallet will probably NOT be happy if I end up a die-hard raving maniac.

        • Alahine may be the cheapest madness you’ve encountered in a while. $70 for 100 ml of truly high-quality, luxurious eau de parfum on eBay?! Email sent to you, my dear.

  8. I have to agree entirely…. and it is a disappointment but I’ll always love Téo Cabanel for creating Alahine. The note about the bottles being changes worries me though, not just because of price, but I wonder if any reformulation has happened at the same time. Erm, maybe I need a backup bottle?

    • God, I hope Alahine is never reformulated! I don’t think it has any suspect, problematic notes that IFRA may object to, so fingers crossed that they are only fiddling with the bottle.

      As for Oha (or Opa, as I call it in my head), I’m glad to know that I’m not alone and that you were disappointed, too. At least readers will know it’s not just me!

  9. I am a die-hard Alahine fan, to the point of having an extra bottle (in the old style, not the new all-gold ones) stashed in the dark “just in case” they do something awful to it. I have Oha in solid perfume, and yes, it’s an underwhelming scent. However, it’s one I often use as a base layer for something else, to ramp up the florals in a musky fragrance, or to tone something down that I’ve tested that’s challenging, but not quite a scrubber. In that regard, Oha serves a purpose that nothing else I own does: it accentuates positives, and helps alleviate negatives, in various other fragrances. Once I use it up, I’ll replace the lovely case with a solid Alahine!

    • Yay for another die-hard Alahine fan!! I must say though, all these comments and, oddly enough, yours in particular have suddenly made me feel quite paranoid about only having one bottle. Hm. Maybe a back-up is needed “just in case.” lol.

      As for Oha, I’m glad you know that you’ve found a good use for it. And it is an underwhelming scent, isn’t it? I don’t think any of us are judging it by the standards of Alahine’s glory because, on its own merits, there are better chypres out there. That said, it *is* very elegantly French and I’m sure it can do wonders on some other perfumes.

  10. Great, another lemming but not for Oha but for Alahine! I need to figure out who carries this line over here or perhaps I can get lucky and find it at a discount place….

    • I’m thrilled! I tried to find a retailer near you on the website but had no luck. The thing is, I would normally never, EVER suggest a blind buy, especially as I don’t know how you feel about some powder which definitely shows up in Alahine’s finish/drydown in a manner a bit like Bal à Versailles. BUT….. given how cheap Alahine can be online, esp. on eBay, if you really think the description/review/notes may mean it’s your thing, you could buy blindly and then sell it if you hated it. I found you an eBay seller in Italy who will ship it worldwide and who is selling Alahine at a discount: EUR 55.25 for a 1.7 oz/50 ml bottle with €20 for shipping. The seller has 100% positive feedback thus far. It is an option, even though at US $70, it’s the same price that I paid for my large 3.4 oz bottle. Alas, it *does* entail a completely blind buy and if you hated it, I would never forgive myself.

  11. I had absolutely NO idea the house was this old. Not a clue! So I loved reading a bit of the history behind it. It’s a bit of a shame that you smelled Alahine first – you fell so hard for it hat it would be hard for anything to measure up given how high your expectations were. That said, this does sound pretty – I’d like to try it one day!

    • I’ve actually thought a lot about the issue of how I’d react if I’d smelled Oha first. Honestly, I am sure it would be the exact same review. It simply isn’t that exciting a chypre and there are others on the market which are considerably more complex and/or less abstract. I rarely fall for very abstract, amorphous, generalized scents.

      • True, the conclusion may have been the same, but at least you wouldn’t have experienced the same feeling of disappointment (unless you expected a lot from it to begin with). Frankly, I’m waiting for your review of the next Oriental as good as Opium! Though I fear that may be a pipe dream – but whtat I wouldn’t give for one I don’t have to ration like I do with Opium. Don’t get me wrong – Coromandel is next to perfect, but it’s still not Opium. 🙂

        Sigh, so many things I need to smell! The list quite literally is never-ending! 😀

        • Speaking of so many things to smell, can you help out “X” a commentator from Singapore who isn’t having the easiest time finding samples at a non-ridiculous shipping price? I offered some suggestion in this thread for sets offered directly from the company that might be an option: Andy Tauer’s Tauer Perfumes, Histoires de Parfums, Parfum d’Empire, Le Labo, and Neela Vermeire. Can you think of other brands that offer good sets, especially if they don’t entail high shipping and will send their stuff internationally to almost anywhere?

          • Hmmm, you list all the ones I would have mentioned. HdP and PdE are particularly affordable. Beyond the decanting sites, those are the two I would say offer samples for completely reasonable prices. For those abroad, I might suggest saving one’s pennies and placing a larger order from a decanting site that ships internationally. That may actually be the most cost/time effective in the long run. I definitely take for granted just how easy it is to buy basically anything being US-based…

  12. You summed it up perfectly: “It’s very pretty — but it doesn’t feel like anything special.” That was exactly my sentiment when I tried it.

    I like Alahine a lot and now I worry they reformulate it (because of the new packaging). I still have ~8 ml left in my decant and I don’t think I’ll use it up soon but still…

  13. I was unfamiliar with Téo Cabanal until I started reading your blog! Now I can’t wait to try Alahine (thank you!) and am certain that I too will fall in love with it. It’s supposed to warm up significantly starting mid-week. Do you think Alahine is too boozy for the heat, or is it gorgeous any weather?

    • You’re talking to the wrong person in terms of assessing seasonality for fragrances, especially for those that I love and adore. I wear what I want, when I want — and the weather be damned. LOL. Orientals in full, sweltering, 118-heat-index summer? Absolutely! Granted, I essentially live inside an igloo due to air-conditioning, but I go out enough with the Hairy German to feel the heat. And I wear Alahine then, too. So, I’m afraid, I’m not much help, especially since I’m biased enough to think that the heat just brings out all the booze and spices in Phase One, then the florals and amber in the later stages, that make it sumptuous. (See, clearly I think that Orientals are good in ALL temperatures, including heat. LOL)

      • I quite like orientals in the heat too. Shalimar in hot humid weather is beautiful. Kenzo Jungle Elephant will take you and everyone standing next to you out, but in the most memorable way 🙂

  14. Pingback: Téo Cabanel Barkhane: Mitzah’s Brother | Kafkaesque

  15. One for the record books: We agree on something! I liked Oha but next to my L’Arte di Gucci it was underwhelming. Pretty, comfortable, well-done – and I LIKE my florals done that way! – but buy it? No. Nah.

    I love Alahine myself. It is very much outside my usual style, and it might be the only ambery thing I will ever own, but it is addictive.

    • HA! Sounds like we agree on TWO things, as we also both like Alahine. Where we differ is that I have no hesitation in wearing Alahine in 110 degree heat. lol. I like how it blooms even more in that situation. 😀

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