Dana Tabu ~ perfume review

Dana Tabu fragrance

Welcome to a week of reviews of drugstore classics. It seems fitting to start the week with a review of Dana Tabu, one of the most loved, reviled, illustrious, and cheap of the perfumes you'll find at the local Walgreen's.

In 1932, Jean Carles, the nose behind such genius compositions as Christian Dior Miss Dior (with Paul Vacher), Carven Ma Griffe, Schiaparelli Shocking, and many of the Lucien Lelong fragrances, created Tabu. Legend has it that Dana, originally a Spanish company, gave Carles instructions to create a perfume that would suit a "puta", or prostitute. Tabu was Dana's very first fragrance. It has top notes of bergamot, coriander, neroli, orange, and spices; a heart of clove bud oil, clover, jasmine, narcissus, oriental rose, and ylang ylang; and a base of amber, benzoin, cedar, civet, moss, musk, patchouli, sandalwood, and vetiver.

I don't know what Tabu smelled like when it first came out, but today Tabu smells to me like a viscous brew of maple syrup, patchouli, and incense. It is an odor that is almost tangible, like walking through a thick-napped velvet curtain. It's pungent, too. Drop for drop, my money is on Tabu to outpower any other perfume on the market. I have a small, cello-shaped bottle of Tabu perfume that is probably from the 1960s, and while it is still undeniably Tabu, it smells less sweet and stays closer to my skin than the Eau de Cologne. (Dana must have manufactured tens of thousands of these perfume bottles back in the day. I see them at thrift stores everywhere and rarely for more than five dollars.)

Tabu seems to adorn a person rather than blend in with her own smell. If you aren't the right sort of person to wear Tabu, or if circumstances, weather, clothing, and imagined background music doesn't work with Tabu, it will wear you instead of the other way around.

I tried Tabu next to a few drops of Estée Lauder Youth Dew bath oil — another balsamic fragrance that packs a wallop and that I would have said was similar to Tabu — and Youth Dew was almost prim by comparison. Youth Dew smelled spicy and musky clean while Tabu smelled like the leftovers of a dessert buffet in a medieval hall.

Everyone who likes perfume should smell Tabu and try to think of it beyond the cliché that it has become. I'd like to see an office worker with a tight chignon and pearl earrings bundle herself up in a plaid wool skirt, layered cashmere sweaters, scarves, and a drop of Tabu to keep her warm in January. Or maybe a Calvin Klein-wearing socialite could tuck a small spray bottle of Tabu in her minimalist clutch to soften the edges of her evening wear.

Whatever you do with Tabu, though, go easy. And make sure there's reliable ventilation.

Note: Angela is "on the road" and might be a little slower than usual to respond to comments.

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95 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I've never ventured into Tabu…I think, given the suggestion that it was intended for prostitutes, that we can all imagine how much power a fragrance would need to mask major league BO, sexworker or not. I imagine about the purpose of the strong older fragranes that were intended to alleviate so many unpleasant odors — those classic European scents that came out during/after WWI or II, or even the incense and aoud based scents from the hot Mid-East/Mediterranean climates. Let's all imagine a world without good shampoo & soap, daily or even weekly showers, deodorants, female sanitary products, etc. and post-war smell of burning fires, BO, cesspools, decaying odors, etc. Some of our modern fragrances wouldn't even be detectable in such an environment! A nice strong fragrance, regardless of how potent or overpowering, would probably be a nice alternative.

    Aside from that, my favorite drugstore fragrance is Coty's Emeraude, which my mom wore in the 70's. I still think its a reasonably nice clean warm scent. I bought a small “holiday” bottle of it last year for a major nostalgia trip!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful thoughts … the first thing I thought of was, I'd like to test drive it against Youth Dew! And there you did it. Based on this review, I need to retry it, although I'm tempted to dig up some vintage somewhere, and I think your point is a great one about trying to focus on a fragrance beyond the cliche.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for reviewing this – it's fun to get reviews of drugstore frags as well as the harder to find stuff. I remember Tabu from the early 60's – as a kid, I used to sneak little spritzes of it from my mother's bottle. I thought it was gorgeous stuff, back then. But I recently sniffed it again, for old times' sake. I thought it might evoke an olfactory memory from way back when, but it didn't. Couldn't recognize it at all, and it was totally overpowering. But I agee – anyone who likes perfume should sniff it at least once, just for the “education.”

  4. Anonymous says:

    So funny that you're focusing on drugstore scents this week. I've been stuck in a tiny town where my only entertainment has been checking out Tabu, etc. in the local drugstore, not a chain, which has been here forever. Yesterday I tried Stetson and Lady Stetson and didn't find them cheap-smelling at all. Stetson had lots of staying power, contrary to what some find. I put it on in the evening and could still detect it when I woke up. They also have Tabu, Jovan Musk, Vanilla Fields, Anais Anais, and Je Reviens. I had just been thinking of going back for Tabu when I saw your review. The stock is probably old, but certainly not 60s or 70s, unfortunately. Looking forward to the rest of your reviews.

  5. Anonymous says:

    After reading this review, now I want to smell Youth Dew and Tabu side by side and see the comparison.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The cellphone lady here in town wears Tabu and it is …….well, I can't say it's vile because it has no discernible scent to me – I can't break out any notes. It just smells like cheap perfume – and this is coming from someone who is definitely not a perfume snob! I just get a lot of clanging metal and possibly overripe canteloupe (where it's just turning). I think I will have to spritz it on myself sometime to see if it's the juice or if it's her.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hey Angela, great article, as usual ;-)

    I threw on a spray of Tabu a few weeks ago when I was at Walgreen's…I was a bit blown away by how STRONG it was! I think if I had read this beforehand (was forewarned, so to speak), I may have been able to have a more discerning testing experience. As it was I just thought it was some seriously overpowering juice, and while I didn't scrub it, I did not lift my wrist to smell for a third time…

    I do appreciate Ann's perspective above…I do think (at least the present form of Tabu) could do some serious “covering up”, so to speak.

    Now I need to find some Youth Dew bath oil…

  8. Anonymous says:

    I'll see your 'tiny town' and raise you – at least you HAVE a drugstore that sells perfume! Our drugstore sells prescriptions and licorice drops. And that's it!

  9. Anonymous says:

    What an interesting thought!

    well, I certainly don't know about post-war Europe, but what has always struck me on my travels to the Middle East/Northern Africa: yes, there are a lot of very strong smells, agreeable and disagreeable – the spice souk, the leather tanneries, huge heaps of fresh mint on donkey cars, the poultry souk, the smell of unpaved streets, gardens smelling of Jasmin and water fountains, squat latrines, pastry sellers etcetc – but what you'll hardly ever meet are bad smelling people! I suppose it has to do with their higher heat tolerance level and the fact that in dry climates sweat evaporates before starting to smell bad. And of course, Muslims in particular have to cleanse themselves before every prayer. What I always found astonishing is that they don't smell of their very spicy food or heavy perfume, either. I think my most significant olfactory memory is the BO of a camel driver who accompanied us on a trip in the Moroccan Sahara: he was just lightly and very delighfully smelling of high quality cumin, sort of like SL's Santal de Mysore – amazing!

    (and yes, I know what everyone is thinking now, but nothing a good Catholic girl would have to confess ever happend there…)

  10. Anonymous says:

    LLol!

  11. Anonymous says:

    The YD bath oil is much smoother & softer than the spray.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Yes – what interesting & alluring images from N Africa! I've never been and always wanted to go there! I can, however, comment on some major BO from Greek taxi drivers and public transit in Athens. It makes me think about history books and comments of the Romans holding scented kerchiefs to their faces at the markets, etc. And from post war accounts – the strong odor of tobacco was a relief from the decaying smells from rubble. A serviceman friend of mine commented to me once that soldiers put smoked cig butts in their nostrils to mask the odor of death. A kerchief of Tabu might do thew trick as well! It makes me think of Tabac Blonde – how glamorous to actually be alive and smelling of anything but war.

  13. Anonymous says:

    A family friend always wore Youth Dew, and it really worked for her. The effects of it being a persistent, lingering scent in a house is very pleasant. There is also a woman I work with who I admire for the fact that she only ever wears ONE fragrance – her signature – Azuree from EL. Also a stronger fragrance. I think there's that selection from EL – Youth Dew, Azuree, Knowing – all pretty potent, but pretty well done. If they were re-released today as something new, I often wonder how they'd be received.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Angela, here in Argentina the story about the frag being for prostitutes was common too.

    My mom hates it! I find it too cloying, but perhaps if worn minimally will be suited for layering?

    Still it must be quite a good seller as it is still in production, no?

    Kind regards and great review!

    P.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Great post as always, Angela, thank you. I bought a bottle of Tabu a couple of years ago, when I was just beginning to get into perfume. I hadn't smelled it since high school in the 70s and I like the way it smells, but it's hard to spritz lightly enough; the sprayer on my bottle is like something you'd mist plants with. I most often wear it to bed in cold weather. I do like the dusting powder, which comes with a very nice, velvety puff. Feels and smells luxurious for ten bucks. I had one of those cello bottles years ago, and iirc one was included in a Tabu gift set at Walgreens last holiday season.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I must try the Tabu spray. I have only had experience with the dusting powder which I like. It was a little “old fashioned” but I like that sometimes. Very interesting comments and thoughts about perfume (WWI/WWII). Made me think. No wonder L'Air du Temps was such a big deal, I've always loved the story behind it.
    I do think it is very strange to make a fragrance with a hooker in mind. That is usually the insult accompanied by wearing a unfavorable perfume. I've heard that story before but I dismissed it as urban legend and thought people said it because “smells like a French whore”, etc. I thought they just thought it was cheap and smelled strong.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I think Tabu wasn't so much intended for prostitutes as it was supposed to give ladies the “exciting” feel of wearing something dangerously sultry rather than just another floral. Hopefully they were still soaping up, too!

    I'll have to try modern Emeraude. I have some old Emeraude, and I like it.

  18. Anonymous says:

    J, I love your descriptions and story–I can practically see and smell everything you write about! And now I'm craving some Santal de Mysore.

  19. Anonymous says:

    A, stuffing cigarette butts in their noses! The smell must be pretty bad to inspire that kind of remedy. You're right in that Tabu would do the trick, and probably better.

  20. Anonymous says:

    M, I was so surprised when I tried it next to Youth Dew. I really expected them to wear pretty similarly. My opinion of Tabu didn't change after the comparison, but now I think of Youth Dew differently–as cleaner, actually.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I'm surprised it didn't jiggle your memory. I bet it will now, though, that you've smelled it again–it's so distinctive.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Did you see that I did reviews of both Lady Stetson and Stetson not long ago? I liked Stetson a lot and agree that it doesn't smell near as cheap as the bottle would lead you to believe.

    Stay tuned this week for reviews of Jovan Musk and Vanilla Fields!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Not even any Jean Nate? Thank goodness for the internet.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I always learn something when I compare perfumes that at first sniff I think are similar. I feel like I appreciate both scents better afterward, too.

  25. Anonymous says:

    So, your town doesn't sell perfume, and when the cellphone lady makes the effort to buy a bottle she gets Tabu? Go figure.

    Tabu does have some sweet rot going on with it. I'd be interested to know how you like it on your skin.

  26. Anonymous says:

    So, your town doesn't sell perfume, and when the cellphone lady makes the effort to buy a bottle she gets Tabu? Go figure.

    Tabu does have some sweet rot going on with it. I'd be interested to know how you like it on your skin.

  27. Anonymous says:

    It definitely is powerful stuff, and it's best without summer's heat to amplify it, I think.

    Youth Dew bath oil is wonderful.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I really like EL Azuree, the original version. It's gratifyingly strange for a department store fragrance. I bet Knowing would still do well as a new release–that is, I think it would. I wonder about the others, though.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I have both, and I agree. I like the bath oil a little better.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Lots of people hate it! It definitely needs to be sparingly applied, I think, to be appreciated, and even then Tabu can be a gamble. Have you had the chance to layer it? I never have.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I've never tried Tabu powder, but it sounds like a great way to wear it. So true, too, that spraying it is hard to control. Dabbing from the cello bottle is a lot easier.

  32. Anonymous says:

    If the perfume isn't intended for hookers, but intended for regular folk to have the daring experience of smelling like what they think a hooker would smell like, then the Dana brief makes more sense to me.

    I wonder what perfumes are most popular with actual hookers?

  33. Anonymous says:

    Angela, it's probably too late now, but I wish you'd review Wind Song! Remember the song? I'd forgotten how it smelled. I was expecting something like Jean Nate and it practically took my head off!

  34. Anonymous says:

    Terrific article, A. I bought a bottle a few years ago, thinking it was so iconic I should know what it smelled like. It is hard to wear, and I do agree that Youth Dew, which I adore, is a more wearable scent. It is interesting to learn that provenance of these things – I like the idea that it was meant as something that a “proper” woman could wear, so as to see how the other half lives, or at least smells, so to speak. That concept certainly hasn't gone away.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Yes! Wind Song would be perfect! I'll have to do that one at some point. I remember the crown-shaped bottle and the puffy-sleeved Prince Matchabelli hawking it. We had it around the house from time to time along with Toujours Moi.

  36. Anonymous says:

    So true about “vicarious” perfumes. Not only can you smell like an imagined 1930s Spanish prostitute now, but you can also smell like Britney Spears, a spice girl, a cowgirl….the list goes on.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Fun article. “Reliable ventilation” indeed! My best friend's mom wore Tabu. We kids thought it was pretty yucky. My favorite drug store fragrance was L'Origan by Coty. Anyone remember this? I wonder if I'd still like it!

  38. Anonymous says:

    Baybe at MUA wrote my favorite Tabu review: smells like “a cat peed on a gardenia.”

  39. Anonymous says:

    L'Origan is still around, I think. I guess the vintage version was pretty great.

  40. Anonymous says:

    That's hilarious! I've had plenty of cats over the years and probably have actually smelled cat pee on gardenia, and it doesn't match how I smell Tabu. Still, it's pretty clever.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if what I remember qualifies as “vintage”? Would be around 1968-1970, I think.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Tabu has always been more or less a “vamp” odor. It's success is due to the ads, glamorous as they are, that led so many women to try it. Sizzle, no steak.

    I don't believe the story about making a perfume for working girls.Dana made some fabulous fragrances in their time “24 KT” my favorite.

    I recently found a stash of perfumes that somebody had saved over the years at a thrift store. All from the '50's & '60's – the “Youth Dew” Bath Oil still stood out like a lighthouse and smelled actually kind of empowering. No “Tabu” in the lot. “Fidji”,”some stuff by Myrygia (sic) Galanos, Evening in Paris in the prettiest container you ever set eyes on.

    I think Tabu is really an anethestic given the ingredients and effect on people. A precursor to Opium which some glamored senior was wearing on the bus and nearly took my breath away.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Great! Looking forward to the Jovan Musk review. A favorite of mine.

  44. Anonymous says:

    I have a couple of gallons of Tabu edt bought in a Canadian drugstore on the basis of Luca Turin's glowing review in his first, French guide. I have no idea what to do with them… This is something I like to sniff every once in a while, but wear it?
    Actually, I did for a little while, in Brazil. I was doing a series of stories for a magazine, was out in the sticks, on a very tight budget, and tired of the fragrance I'd brought. I found some Tabu deodorant at an outdoor stall, dirt-cheap.
    Did it work as a deodorant? Well, it certainly did some cover-up — Tabu's got everything but the kitchen sink thrown in, so a little extra human cumin couldn't faze it…

  45. Anonymous says:

    Funny, isn't it, that for many of us Europeans, Tabu doesn't have the same associations as for Americans. I'd never heard of it until I started to read perfume blogs and websites, so of course I stuck a bottle into an online order – well, it was so cheap it was ridiculous not to!

    And I like it. I don't wear it often, but when I do it definitely reminds me of Opium and the 70s orientals that were all resins and spice. To me it's not horrifically overpowering or slutty, but then, I wore Opium for many years, so perhaps I've been 'proofed' against it!

    It's nice in the winter, just a squirt on the cleavage when you're wearing thick woolies. Warming.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Oh yes, that sounds like vintage to me. It's an old scent, though, I'm pretty sure, and you might even be able to find earlier bottles that smell slightly different.

  47. Anonymous says:

    I'm so jealous of the stash of old perfumes you found! I have a couple of old Danas–an Ambush from the early 1960s and a Platine–but I've never smelled 24 K.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Hey, a little extra human cumin might even improve it!

    Somehow Tabu as deodorant is counterintuitive, but I'd try it in a second if I had some.

  49. Anonymous says:

    I love your description of woolies and Tabu–it sounds perfect. It's a little chilly where I am right now, early in the morning, and I just might dig out the bottle in my luggage and dab some on!

  50. Anonymous says:

    Good old Tabu – I remember it from when I was a kid. It was way to strong for me, but my older cousin wore it (older=about 14). I guess something that overpowering spelled glamourous adulthood to us in those days! I'm not tempted to try it again; I remember it as very sweet and cloying. I like the story about giving the impression of a perfume a prostitute might wear – if our moms only knew!

    My favorite back then was Ambush (and Canoe for men, which was basically just watered-down Ambush). Do they even make Ambush anymore? If they do, I'd love to see a Cheap Thrills review of it.

  51. Anonymous says:

    According to Basenotes, Ambush is no longer being made. I have some old Ambush, and I really like the lavender in it. In the late 1990s, Dana completely revamped Ambush and made it into a fruity floral, so if you do find any Ambush, make sure it's the old stuff!

  52. Anonymous says:

    I think, if my memory serves me, that Emeraude now is pretty much the same. It's still pretty enough – though it would be nice if it had some more depth. But how much depth can you expect for a $2.50 mini? I'm sure there is another perfume floating around in the world that would be a more sophiticated version of it.

  53. Anonymous says:

    When the Azuree lady comes in to work, she walks by in this lovely cloud of fragrance that smells so nice. What sillage! It really works for her, and I always tell her how nice she smells. It perks me right up. I admire her for having such a unique fragrance be her only one.

    I really like Knowing – just a tiny dab will do for all day warmth in winter – but it's recently been out-competed by some other fragrances for my attention. It was given to me by the Youth-Dew family friend, probably a GWP mini. Occasionally I've considered buying an entire bottle, but it would last me the rest of my life, and then some!

  54. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Shalimar would be the “rich man's” version of it.

  55. Anonymous says:

    The Azuree lady sounds wonderful!

  56. Anonymous says:

    Yes, she is. And, it's the original Azuree. I didn't realize there was another version – had to look that up after you mentioned it.

  57. Anonymous says:

    I have a bottle of vintage Tabu parfum from the 50s, and I can honestly say that an itty bitty drop of Tabu is PERFECT when the weather is cold. More than a drop will suffocate everyone in the room. When done right, though, it's a very sexy fragrance. I think it would appeal to fans of Must de Cartier and other sweet and sultry perfumes.

  58. Anonymous says:

    This is a great review. I have always found both Tabu and Youth Dew to be nasty and overpowering. The only difference to me is that Youth Dew is a more expensive bad scentl. It's funny how we all have different memories and associations with scent. One of my former bosses wore Tabu and I kept thinking “She's the owner of the business!! She has to buy something else that smells nice and rich like she is.” She never did as far as I know.

  59. Anonymous says:

    I bet you're right that fans of Must would like Tabu, too. In this August weather, though, it's hard to imagine wearing either!

  60. Anonymous says:

    Tabu is most definitely a love it or hate it scent, that's for sure.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Just to set the record straight, having lived and traveled in Africa, I can attest that while it's hotter than Hades, people also tend to bathe at least twice a day. My feeling is that one is more likely to encounter BO in the first world than in the third world (open sewers are another story… but on a person, no). Just mentioning this because I've always found it entertaining to hear anecdotes about how people from these regions always feel looked down upon by Europeans and others as “smelly foreigners”, yet the Europeans end up being the ones with the smells that are offensive to people from the tropics!

  62. Anonymous says:

    OK, your last question there really made me laugh out loud! Maybe you could do some anthropological field work — conduct a survey?! This thread and your review are very entertaining.

    I can't help but think of the name of the ELdO scent, “Putain des Palaces.”

  63. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the comment on your firsthand experience. I bet that the things Europeans eat and drink can make them stinkier, too.

  64. Anonymous says:

    I once wanted to do a post on perfumes that drag queens favor, but I was afraid it might be too controversial…

  65. Anonymous says:

    Late to the party, but I would LOVE to read that.

  66. Anonymous says:

    For some reason I'm guessing that Angel is popular.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Ambush and Tabu were both some of my first perfume loves as a teenager in the mid-60's. Tabu back then always seemed almost too much, but I did probably drench myself in Ambush. I'd love to smell some of the original juice to see what it's like. And I also liked Canoe, even gave some to my high school sweetheart, who became my husband, then my ex-husband.

    But I still like the smell!

    As far as the Tabu/Youth Dew comparison–I like many EL fragrances. But YD is one of the very few that elicits a visceral negative reaction from me, mentally and physically.

    I've never been able to pinpoint exactly what about YD repels me, but while I hardly ever truly suffer from a fragrance even if I don't like it, YD produces headache and nausea almost instantly. I foolishly spritzed some not long ago “just to try again” and had to go to great lengths to scrub it off.

  68. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if YD has some ingredient in it that doesn't agree with you. It can just be its power–if you can wear Tabu, the pungency of Youth Dew shouldn't be a problem.

  69. Anonymous says:

    This article had me laughing to tears!

    It brought back a fond memory of my mom (God rest her soul). She was the recipient of the very first gift I purchased with my own money. At that tender age, I thought that the more, er, “perfume-y” a fragrance was, the better. And wasn't it (un)fortunate for her that I had gotten my first job in, you guessed it, a drugstore! They didn't have testers because the owner was a cheap SOB. But the name Tabu intrigued me so much, I figured something that exotic sounding HAD to be good.

    I watched in anticipation as she opened the box. Her facial expression never changed when she saw what it was. Frozen smile. “Oh, how nice.” Of course I wanted her to give it a test run immediately. She obliged hesitantly, trying to squeeze out as little as possible. I swear to you the woman only sprayed a dime sized amount on her wrist. Honey, it was like that scene from Ghost where those demons would fly out the ground whenever someone evil got killed and steal their soul. That odor (not fragrance, not scent, odor!) shot through the entire house as if an evil genie had finally been freed from it's prison. That thing was ALIVE! Within minutes, the entire house smelled like an eccentric old lady with a dog named Winston. Needless to say, that bottle remained on her dresser well into my late teens, never to be opened again.

    If Bush had dropped bottles of Tabu on the Iraqis, the war would have ended before it even began.

  70. Anonymous says:

    I bet your mother treasured that bottle of Tabu, even if she didn't wear it! What a sweet gift.

    Yes, it is definitely powerful stuff.

  71. Anonymous says:

    Go ahead and DO IT!

    I'm sure they'd be flattered and chuffed. Any form of attention and publicity is great from a drag-queen's point of view.

    BTW, I'm not a DQ, but I just know that they definitely would love it.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the vote of confidence! It would definitely be fun.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Angela. I never thought she did, but you just may be right. I will seal that memory with the hope that she did.

  74. Anonymous says:

    Haha, yes, that would make sense – it has something of that artificial, exaggerated and cartoonish femininity that drag is all about, and it is very camp. Great call. :)

  75. Anonymous says:

    Thanks!

  76. rissi09 says:

    Hi I’m writing from Berlin, Germany, my mother used TABU from Dana,
    by accident I’ve got luck and found in Spain a couple of years ago this fragrances again.
    From now on all my friends travelling to Spain has order to find it for me, it’s very rear, and almost impossible to get..
    I Would like to know, is there any distributors in Europe ; Germany for ?
    I use several special Partum’s, one of my favourite is Youth Dew , I know why…
    Tabu is just wonderful, smell like old fashion traditional Spanish soap… fresh cleaned good looking matador …fantasy

    • Angela says:

      I’m surprised that Tabu is so hard to find overseas, because it’s everywhere here, it seems, and inexpensively priced. I’m not sure where to find it, but even if you had to order it from the United States, I can’t imagine it would be too expensive. Good luck!

  77. DannyAngel says:

    just got this yesyerday fot ten bucks at cvs! smells like nag champa incense and clove cigarettes, needless to say, i love it!

    • Angela says:

      Great description!

  78. L'Homme Vert says:

    Greetings,
    I knew a couple Drag Queens in my younger years and they always looked fabulous and smelled divine, Absolutely !
    One wore ‘Private Collection’ and the other ‘Je Reviens’, in parfum concentration of course. The louder the better, well it was the 80′s.
    As for ‘Tabu’ this much maligned gem of perfumery has earned the right to take it’s place along with the other all time greats, it was created by Jean Carles and in fact was one of the most expensive top sellers of the mid twentieth century and is still in production. No mean feat, while countless head turners of the era will never see the light of day again. Sure this power ‘frag’ has been around the block quite a few times and is a little outdated in this world of synthetic fruity cocktails but it does endure in it’s own right while keeping as close to the original as possible.
    I have several bottles of this high octane juice in ‘Parfum’ or extract from the 30′s & 40′s, when the house of Dana was founded in France and some are still sealed with the baudruchage membrane and black & white silk cording.
    This original version is one of the first modern complex orientals and even though I would never consider wearing this out I certainly do admire the perfumer’s art regarding this olfactive wonder.
    ‘Tabu’ contained practically every floral absolute and essence available at that time including specially prepared bases that are today not in use and forever lost to the ether. The civet tincture used in these earlier preparations was of exquisite quality.
    I admire this perfume for what it was, the more recent incarnations of this fragrance pale in comparison, search for the vintage you may be pleasantly surprised.
    A great point of reference for most of todays floral Orientals !
    Regards . . . .

    • Angela says:

      I can easily imagine Tabu being a favorite of drag performers. I treasure my bottle, too, although like you I don’t wear it much.

  79. Subhuman says:

    The current Tabu smells like spray-on root beer to me – sweet, thin, and fleeting. What I wouldn’t give to smell the vintage edition! It sounds like a riot.

    • TabuForever says:

      There’s been a lot of fake Tabu out there. I’ve returned two orders to reputable sellers, and saw a review on Amazon the other day that what was being sold was fake. Don’t take substitutes. I found Dana Classics a while back, and now they don’t have Tabu in stock, told me to go find it elsewhere. We need to DEMAND the real thing.

      • Angela says:

        I can’t believe people are counterfeiting Tabu! That’s horrible.

    • Angela says:

      It’s around for a good price at yard sales everywhere!

  80. TabuForever says:

    Any perfume or cologne works with your body chemistry. Many of them make me itch. I am now 61 and have worn Tabu since I was 14. My husband loves it and so do I. I got stopped by two college boys last year in the parking lot of my office. They loved the smell. One of them even said it smelled like everything good. On me it smells like cinnamon and maybe a little apple pie. It goes on strong, then fades, and come back up again when I heat up, which may be why my husband likes it. I wore Youth Dew for a while before it started smelling like tomatoes. It was sickening sweet. If Tabu was created for whores, just remember how many men have patronized them in the past. I bet they made more money than I ever have.

    • Angela says:

      You truly found your signature scent. Gosh, it sounds like it smells heavenly on you, and perfect for this chilly weather. There’s a reason Tabu has been so popular for so many years. The delicious way it smells on you is proof!

  81. sinnerman says:

    22/07/2012
    holidaying in Thailand
    discovered Tabu Talcum powder in a massive can and was transported back to the 90s when my first girlfriends mother use to wear this bomb!!!
    WOW, the talc is so delightful!!!
    back on monday to stock up big time
    viva la tabu talc

    • Angela says:

      Wow! That sounds like a terrific souvenir.

  82. sinnerman says:

    im am bringing back white chests !!
    what ever happeneed to the good old talcum powder?
    it does have excelent sillage and its almost like wearing the frag younger sister ! more subtle and softer!
    im so tempted to buy a bottle of the perfume but it may be gthe end of a beautiful friendship!!
    i now need to buy a big volour puff as it will make less mess!!!

    • Angela says:

      Powder doesn’t get near the attention it deserves these days!

  83. TexasHorseLady says:

    As a teenager and young woman, I wore Tabu as my signature scent. I learned very early on that only a very few women liked Tabu (and those that did, wore it), and I never ran across a single man who didn’t remark favorably on it. However, it does smell a bit different on each woman, and the scent made today bears faint resemblance to that I wore in the 60′s and 70′s. Closest is the talcum powder, so that’s how I usually wear it these days. I miss the good old stuff and would buy it in a heartbeat if it were available.

    • Angela says:

      I see old bottles of Tabu for sale here and there at thrift shops, but it does take a bit of persistence to find one. I would have loved to smell it in the 1960s! (I would have loved to have smelled lots of things that have changed so much since then…..)

  84. diane In FV says:

    My mother and Grandmother wore Tabu for as far back as I can remember, it was their signature scent. After my Mom passed I was going through her things and found a small bottle of the “real” Tabu tucked away in her dresser, with only a few drops left. It must have been a bottle my Dad bought for her decades ago. That warm, spicy fragrance brought back so many memories…it was heavenly.
    Today’s Tabu cologne is so different, what I wouldn’t give for a bottle of the formula from the 50′s – 70′s – sigh.

    • Angela says:

      I think the same thing about so many fragrances! Really, though, I would have loved to smell them back in their heyday when they were fresh, too.

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