Téo Cabanel Barkhane: Mitzah’s Brother

Close your eyes, and imagine a river. It’s heavy, swollen with rain, and moving incredibly fast. It would be a “white-water rapids” except this water is thick, dense, chewy, and powerful. It’s not even really water at all, but more like volcanic lava flow; a turgid, toffee thickness of labdanum and patchouli, a mighty force of smoldering, spiced, slightly smoky blacks, browns, and reds that are lightly flecked with bronzed gold. The heady, potent force field of Mitzah-esque labdanum calls you like a siren. You get on a canoe, and shoot forward on the fast-moving, rich, toffee river with incredible speed and power.

Source: natures-desktop.com

Source: natures-desktop.com

Then, suddenly, abruptly, almost impossibly, after less than two hours….. you slooooow to a crawl. The chewy, dense, smoldering river water starts to dry up around you, becoming thinner, lighter, softer. Before you can blink, it’s turned into to a trickle, evaporating around you, until you’re left stranded in the middle of a dry, leathery riverbed with only the smallest pool of amber around you. A pool so sheer and so soft that you’re almost convinced it’s not actually there, and are completely shocked when you detect faint traces of it every hour when you check.

Source: grist.org

Source: grist.org

As time passes, the disbelief grows at the severity of the contrasts, and by the mere fact that this seemingly invisible drop of water actually still remains. As night falls, there is no more amber and you are alone with only by the faintest whiff of animalic leather. Then, even that remaining puddle of water vanishes, and you’re left longing for the mighty river that began your journey so many hours earlier.

Teo Cabanel logoThat story is the nutshell tale of my journey with the brand-new release from Téo Cabanel Parfums. When a small, hugely under-appreciated, 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 Barkhane, a lovely fragrance from the same house that created my beloved Alahine, but hardly a match for the latter’s potent, fierce, boozy, and utterly spectacular, sophisticated, spicy smolder.

The Duchess of Windsor

The Duchess of Windsor

Barkhane is an eau de parfum from the French perfume house, Téo Cabanel. It is a very old brand that was founded in 1893 in Algeria by Théodore Cabanel, a talented, very prolific perfumer who moved to Paris in 1908 where he developed well over 150 different perfume formulae. He fast came to the attention of high society, and became a favorite of the Duchess of Windsor — the woman for whom King Edward VIII famously gave up the British throne. In fact, she refused to be without two of Cabanel’s fragrances (Julia and Yasmina), ordering bottles in massive quantities, and Cabanel became her official perfumer.

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 “nose” 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.

Barkhane in the 50 ml bottle. Source: Téo Cabanel website.

Barkhane in the 50 ml bottle. Source: Téo Cabanel website.

This week, the two released Barkhane, an eau de parfum that is the first of the Cabanel line to include oud. The company describes the perfume (and explains its name) as follows:

Rich, warm and mysterious, Barkhane borrows its name from the smooth, velvety dunes which gently ripple under powerful desert winds. Barkhane owes its refined elegance to the very finest ingredients. All at once powerful and subtle, it develops its own fascinating uniqueness.

The press release documents describe the fragrance as a “woody-chypre,” which I find quite odd as Barkhane has the most oriental notes and smell imaginable. According to the description on Téo Cabanel’s website and on Fragrantica, Barkhane’s notes include:

bergamot, labdanum, Indonesian patchouli, geranium, cumin, curry tree, vetiver, oud, myrrh, tonka bean, vanilla and musk.

Mitzah. Source: Fragrantica.

Mitzah. Source: Fragrantica.

I sprayed Barkhane on my skin, and my response was instantaneous: I actually cried out aloud, “Mitzah!” Then, I sniffed the vial, sniffed my skin again, and almost did a happy dance. The first line on my note pad is: “Mitzah, Mitzah, Mitzah!” For those of you unaware of the name, Mitzah is one of Dior‘s elite Privée line of fragrances and a huge cult hit with a very passionate following. Or, rather, I should say, it was, since the imbeciles at Dior suddenly decided to discontinue it for reasons that no sane person (including people who work at Dior) can fathom. Mitzah is one of my favorite perfumes, still available at some Dior boutiques and Dior online, but the remaining stock won’t last forever, and one day, it will be nothing more than a ridiculously priced hot commodity on eBay. So, as you can imagine, I was thrilled that there may be an alternative out there should my giant bottle ever dry up.

Source: HuffingtonPost.com

Source: HuffingtonPost.com

Barkhane opens like Mitzah on steroids. No two ways about it. It has some of Alahine’s explosive, nuclear opening, but with the Mitzah aroma. Could there really be greater joy? When you sniff the vial, it’s all roses and labdanum, but the opening burst on the skin is purely the labdanum. It feels like a tidal wave of brown, nutty, leathery, sweet toffee with an almost caramelized undertone and richness. It’s immediately followed by incense smoke, and dark, chewy, spiced, real patchouli.

Then, the spices appear. There is a heaping teaspoon of sweetened curry, with just the merest dash of dry, dusty cumin. There is nothing sweaty about the mixture, and absolutely no trace of body odor. It also doesn’t smell like food or actual Indian curry dishes. The spices are blended seamlessly into Barkhane, never feeling very noticeable in a heavy, distinctive way, and really smelling more like the dry dustiness surrounding a spice merchant in a Moroccan souk or bazaar. Even if they weren’t so well-blended in the fragrance, the simple fact is that there is little that could possibly trump that powerful wave of labdanum toffee and slightly smoky patchouli.

Source: hdwallpaperstop.com

Source: hdwallpaperstop.com

Other notes flit about Barkhane’s edges. There is a bitter citrus note like the slightly sour peel of a lemon rind that has been dried. A subtle hint of woody, equally dried vetiver pops up in tiny doses. Underneath the heavy top notes, there are also subtle flecks of geranium’s greenness, some golden musk, and a sliver of vanilla. The geranium is the most interesting thing to me because, at first sniff on the skin, Barkhane differs from Mitzah in not having that undercurrent of rose. But it is the oddest thing: if you smell the vial, you definitely smell roses under the labdanum amber. And, on the skin, the same thing slowly starts to appear. It has to be the geranium whose flowers can often have a spicy, rose-adjacent, rich red smell. In short, something about the combination of the geranium and the patchouli seems to have recreated the aroma of deep, ruby-red roses in Barkhane, thereby completing the similarity to Mitzah.

Source: Huffingtonpost.com

Source: Huffingtonpost.com

Even if I didn’t know and love Mitzah, I would adore Barkhane’s opening. It’s a chewy, spicy, smoky fragrance that is absolutely stunning. The sweetness is perfectly balanced by the dry spices and the suggestion of woodiness. Speaking of which, to my nose, there is absolutely no “oud” that ever appears in Barkhane. There is a definite dry woodiness underlying the fragrance, but it’s wholly amorphous and lacking in distinction to me. It’s probably the subtlest part of the fragrance as a whole, because Barkhane’s real source of dryness are the spices and incense.

At first, Barkhane is massively potent. In that way, it is like all the Téo Cabanel fragrances that I’ve tried thus far (Alahine & Oha), but it’s not quite as ferocious as Alahine can be. That is a fragrance that is much better with less, especially as a heavy application can completely and utterly blow out your nose at first sniff. (It did to me the very first time I tried it.) To give you an idea of the potency of some Cabanel fragrances, my parents each applied a small dab of Alahine in solid form, and I could smell them almost across the whole length of the house. And even up a flight! (Alahine is unisex, by the way, and found an immediate fan in my father.) Barkhane doesn’t quite pack the same nuclear punch as Alahine in its opening minutes, but it certainly tries. And it’s definitely much more powerful than Mitzah at the start.

ApothCab2Thirty minutes in, Barkhane unfurls and blooms into the loveliest, deep, dark labdanum amber with a floral undertone. It really smells like that heady, powerful, concentrated, dark rose note that Téo Cabanel loves so much and which is probably their signature. The curry note is also starting to become more prominent. It is dusty, evoking an old apothecary’s cabinet from centuries past, a cabinet whose wooden drawers carry the lingering traces of spice and time. The patchouli continues to be forceful, and the smoke seems to have increased, adding yet another subtle dose of dryness to the nutty, slightly dirty, very toffee-smelling amber.

50 minutes in, Barkhane starts to change in weight, texture, and feel. It becomes softer, tamer, milder, dropping quickly in its heaviness, projection, and power. Now, it hovers only 3 inches above the skin, a fact that should tell you something about its opening minutes. While that is still very strong, the more significant fact is that Barkhane feels much thinner than it did at its start. It’s now more like darkened silk, rather than an opaque river of black, viscous, dense resin. The perfume continues to turn more sheer — and, then, suddenly, it drops like the wind.

Source: scenicreflections.com

Source: scenicreflections.com

Ninety minutes into its development, Barkhane is suddenly a skin scent. From a powerful Saharan sandstorm, it’s become a veritable puff of air — and it’s a shockingly fast transformation. Barkhane is now the sheerest glaze of dark, toffee’d labdanum, infused with patchouli, spices and incense. It feels amorphous, intangible, elusive, and likely to slip away at any moment. What happened?! Every 20 minutes, I sniff my arm in the expectation that Barkhane has completely vanished. My nose is right on the skin, and, at times, I have to practically inhale to detect anything beyond the amber, but it didn’t die. My notes are filled with time calculations, and the disbelieving words: “still there.” By the end of the 3rd hour, I wrote “almost all gone.” I was utterly mystified. To have that degree of drastic change is not something I’ve experienced often.

Photo: Heather A. Riggs, available at her Etsy store, ShyPhotog. (Website link embedded within photo.)

Photo: Heather A. Riggs, available at her Etsy store, ShyPhotog. (Direct website link embedded within photo.)

Even more bewildering is the fact that Barkhane seems to have come back to life, albeit in the sheerest, most translucent manner imaginable. Hour after hour, it hung on as a labdanum-patchouli-incense fragrance. To my complete disbelief, Barkhane actually seemed to get stronger around the start of the 8th hour!! It was still a skin scent, but easier to detect. I’ve never been anosmic to amber, especially not to labdanum, so I can’t explain it, but I’m currently at the end of a second full test and the same situation is unfolding. Crazily enough, Barkhane lasted just over 11.75 hours on me. In its final hour, it turned completely leathery with an animalic, musky edge that almost bordered on the subtly urinous, but not quite. The amber warmth remained, adding a faint glow of warmth, but Barkhane was primarily a nebulous, vague, dry, animalic leather fragrance that lingered in gauzy patches that were scattered across the skin.

In the end, Barkhane’s long duration is consistent with the other Téo Cabanel fragrances that I’ve tried, but the sillage issue is quite new to me. I was really convinced that Barkhane was about to die at the end of the third hour! Making matters more bewildering is that I had actually sprayed quite a lot of Barkhane, at least by my particular Téo Cabanel standards: 3 sprays that were very big and full-sized due to the large nozzle. For this generally intense line of fragrances, that is a lot for a starting test! (Do not ever try that with Alahine, for example, at least until you get used to it.) In my second test, I used 4 and 1/2 large sprays, but the situation followed the same path with only a fractional increase in the time that it took Barkhane to turn to gauze.

Barkhane is too new for there to be reviews out in the blogosphere, but I went to Fragrantica in hopes that someone may have shared their experience there. They haven’t, but I was relieved to see some early votes in the longevity and sillage sections:

    • One person gave Barkhane the lowest longevity rating which is “Weak,” and which is defined as “1h – 2h.” However, two people chose “long lasting” which is defined as “7h – 12h.”
    • For projection, 2 people gave it the lowest rating at “Soft,” while one person chose “Moderate.”

I need to make something clear: sillage is a personal preference. Some people don’t want fragrances that howl at the moon, and that’s fine. Mitzah has discreet sillage, too, but the difference is that Mitzah becomes unobtrusive after about 5 or 6 hours! The comparative difference with Barkhane — and the speed of the changes in so many areas as weight, feel, and projection — can’t be ignored. More to the point, when it feels almost certain that a fragrance is about to die after a mere 3 hours, then it has to be discussed, regardless of what the end result is or one’s personal tastes. Judging by the very early Fragrantica votes, there is clearly someone out there for whom Barkhane didn’t die at the end of the 3rd hour, but even sooner and after a mere 1-2 hours. I have to wonder if sillage played a role in that result; if a perfume’s projection seems virtually nonexistent at times, then people who can’t sniff voraciously at their arm every 20 minutes may well conclude that their perfume has vanished.

On the other hand, early votes also demonstrate that Barkhane had great longevity on some people — and it does. So, if you’re looking for something like Mitzah that is even more discreet and intimate, then you’ve got to try Barkhane. In the ways that perhaps matter most, it’s a knock-out. It’s a sophisticated amber that has been done with great finesse and, as always with Téo Cabanel, with extremely high-quality ingredients.

All in all, only one thing stops Barkhane from getting high ratings across the board. Ignoring that one (significant) issue, Barkhane is really lovely: a heady, sweet, spicy, smoky, slightly leathery, nutty and toffee’d amber with lovely decorative flourishes in an incredibly chic, smooth, seamless, refined bouquet. It’s sexy, and seductive in its dark, smoldering glow, but also comforting in its warmth and softness. It would work well on all genders, and it would be perfect for a very conservative office environment (although I would still be careful with the quantity that you apply, given the potency of Barkhane’s first hour). If you’re not looking for the mighty Saharan wind, but the lightest, sheerest, most intimate whisper of darkened amber, then you should definitely try Barkhane. 

DISCLOSURE: My sample of Barkhane was courtesy of Hypoluxe. That did not influence this review. I do not do paid reviews, my views are my own, and my first obligation is honesty to my readers.

DETAILS:
All the Téo Cabanel fragrances in a sample set. Source:  Téo Cabanel e-store.

All the Téo Cabanel fragrances in a sample set. Source: Téo Cabanel e-store.

Cost & Availability: Barkhane is an eau de parfum that comes in a 50 ml/1.7 oz size that costs $130 or €95. It is also available in a 100 ml/3.4 oz size that isn’t quite as common and which costs €120. You can order Barkhane directly from the Téo Cabanel website (which also has a French language version), along with a Sample Set of all 7 Cabanel fragrances in 1.5 ml vials for a set price of €8.50.

In the U.S.: you can order Barkhane in the 50 ml size (at $130) from Luckyscent which now carries a number of the Téo Cabanel line, including my beloved Alahine. (I should add, however, that the latter is also available from discount retailers for a cheaper price, and you can check the Alahine review for some old links.) Luckyscent also offers samples starting at $4 a vial for 0.7 ml.  (It’s a much better deal ordering directly from the company!)

Outside the US: In Canada, Cabanel’s website lists Fritsch Fragrances as its primary vendor. In the UK, London’s Bloom Parfumery carries some Téo Cabanel, but not all. You can call or email to see if they will carry Barkhane once it releases in the UK. Elsewhere, Téo Cabanel is usually 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. The Téo Cabanel line is carried at Germany’s First in Fragrance, but Barkhane is too new to be shown on the website yet. There are a vast number of perfume shops in the Netherlands and Germany which carry the Teo Cabanel line, so you can check the company’s website link for retailers that is provided down below. As a whole, for European readers, I saw Téo Cabanel 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: the Hotel George V in Paris, Les Galeries Lafayette, Douglas (France, Lithuania, Russia), Kadewe Berlin, Oberpollinger Munich, and Albrecht in Frankfurt. For all other countries or specific cities, you can use the company’s Store Locator guide on their website.

Samples: Barkhane is available to test at Luckyscent, at the link above. It is too new for it to be carried at other places, but I will try to update this post if someone other than Luckyscent offers samples. Your best bet for the next few months is the latter, or the Téo Cabanel website with their very affordable sample set.

47 thoughts on “Téo Cabanel Barkhane: Mitzah’s Brother

  1. Nice. Superb, incisive review as always. I love this line “a heady, sweet, spicy, smoky, slightly leathery, nutty and toffee’d amber with lovely decorative flourishes in an incredibly chic, smooth, seamless, refined bouquet” It just flows and chatters on while capturing all of Barkhane. A note to readers also, the entire Teo Cabanel Paris collection is now presented in new flacons, caps and ribbons; just introduced this year 2013.

    • Thank you, Jeffrey, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Your comment about the new flacons actually brings to mind something a few people have asked in the past concerning Alahine. It’s only been put in new flacons, right? It hasn’t been reformulated?

      I have to be honest, I much prefer my old, very heavy glass bottle with the beautiful etchings and gold ribbon. I’ve only seen the new flacons in photos, but it doesn’t compare, in my opinion.

      • K – No change to the Alahine formula, or any of the Teo Cabanel formulas in the new flacons. I have both bottles, new and old, and I much prefer the new presentation. Still very heavy glass, wonderful in hand and the gold metallic coating is so luxurious. J

        • Is it still glass? That’s good to know because the photos don’t make that clear. Going on the basis of the photos alone, I thought it was a thin sort of tin/aluminium in a gold colour. The photos REALLY don’t show off what you’re describing, which seems infinitely better than my (thankfully) erroneous impression.

  2. This sounds great, minus the bizarre disappearing act it seems to perform! I like Mitzah but something holds me back – it seems as though this may be a better fit for me. I’ll definitely be trying this one!

    • It’s not that it disappears. It’s that Barkhane’s sheer translucence and weakness goes from a 1.5 on the scale of 1 to 10, to a 2.5. And 1 is the absolute weakest, gauziest, most invisible skin scent type thing imaginable….

      All this after a start that was at 9! From a 9 to a 3, then to a 1.5 — all in less than 90 minutes is like the reverse of a Ferrari’s 0 to 60.

      • I just randomly got a sample of this (I won a giveaway at Cafleurbon and LuckyScent also included a sample of this with my prize). I tried it briefly and really liked it a lot, and definitely enjoyed it more than Mitzah. However, my test was very, very brief, so I’ll try it today once I shower and see how the silage issue is on me.

  3. Téo Cabanel is a house I have a lot of respect for. Oha was love at first sniff for me and Alahine, well, I followed your advice, gave it some time and became utterly smitten with it.
    You make Barkhane sound very pretty but I need sillage and longevity.
    Sometimes I feel I shouldn’t try anymore fragrances. Why mess with the perfection?

    Caro

    • I agree, both from a personal collection standpoint and also with certain perfume houses. Enough already. Teo Cabanel. with seven scent still has a relatively short line-up, but other brands with 15-20-25-30 different scents have me often asking “why?” Especially when these houses have one or two superb earlier scents which are fading into obscurity from lack of attention. I remember Montana launching together 3 scents together in 1994 and it was considered shocking. Now seasonal scent launches are grouped in 3’s, 5’s and 8’s without blinking. Enough already.

      • Jeffrey, I couldn’t agree more with with your point of view. With very few exceptions, I always prefer houses that offer small lines.
        But I am not one to follow fashions or trends. I I only await a new launch when it is by a house or perfumer I respect.

        • I think one of the reasons there are some many new scents from niche houses founded by perfumers is that it is “what they do”, by which I mean make perfume. When they sit at their desk they’re not thinking of communication and brand-building strategies, they’re thinking new compositions. It is their metier.

          • HA, I noticed the careful phrasing there! “Niche houses founded by perfumers“….. Hahaha. Ergo, not the Estée Lauder monolith with its gazillion sub-brands like Tom Ford, Jo Malone, etc. THEY only care about the financial bottom line, and creating a tidal wave of increasingly high-priced-but-unoriginal-and-bland offerings with no distinction, originality, depth, or soul. Exhibit A: what is currently wafting off my skin….. *sigh*

      • OMG, yes, a thousand times yes! I truly don’t even bother trying to keep up with new releases. The number of scents various houses are launching and maintaining is absolutely crazy, and as far as I can tell, this plethora of offerings has often come at the expense of their quality. I’m sure it’s very lucrative, but I find it super annoying.

      • I agree wholeheartedly. *koff* Tom Ford *koff* It’s bloody ridiculous with his Atelier line of 4 just 3 months ago, now 2 more Ouds (is there really a need for MORE Aoud from TF???!), then the fanfare about the repackaged original Oud Wood, and…. it hurts my head. I can’t even begin to imagine how many are in his entire line-up by now.

        When I was at Jovoy, I saw the enormous Boadicea the Victorious line, and didn’t go near a single one to sniff. Why? Because it was too overwhelming. Too, too much. Where to start?

        Companies like Puredistance and Téo Cabanel focus on creating a high-quality fragrance that has been carefully curated to fit with the line, that has had a LOT of thought put into it, and that focuses on making something that feels luxurious, special, or high-end. Téo Cabanel has the added benefit of being affordable for the price/quality/quantity. I wish more brands had the same philosophy.

        Of course, I’m wholly biased in their favour after Alahine. Alahine +history +my inexplicable fascination with the Duchess of Windsor = Teo Cabanel fan for life.

        • Estee Lauder = Tom Ford = feeding the machine. Regardless of TF scent quality, which are usually pretty good, a large public company with global distribution networks need to first and foremost “anniversary” their sales numbers from the prior year. If there was a big launch last year, this year requires another big launch to fill the hole. And so on. At to the anniversary sales goal the PR issue. It is hard to generate PR buzz with an existing scent. Need new. Just the realities driving the product creation process which the final customer may not see.

          • Excellent insight regarding the “Anniversary” sales cycle. As always, you provide a lens into the business side of things that is invaluable and highly appreciated. Thank you.

  4. Alahine is much loved by me. I have bought every perfume compared to Bal a Versailles, Alahine and Or des Indes for starters. The fascination for Cabanel began then. Now that you have compared Barkhane to Mitzah I must order the sample set at once! A captivating review, my head is still spinning. But the Oud worries me a little. I wear Ambre Dore in the winter quite happily. How significant is it in Barkhane?

    • Ah, another Alahine lover. How wonderful! 🙂 Re. the oud note, on my skin, it’s almost non-existent. It’s a bit more noticeable on clothing, as I’m noticing today from a cardigan I wore while testing Barkhane, but even then, it’s light. I would never consider Barkhane an “oud fragrance,” but a labdanum one. It’s certainly NOTHING like a Montale, Amouage or Middle Eastern oud perfume. Not even remotely! But, you know, skin chemistry is a funny thing, so you should definitely test it out (as you’re planning to do). Still, I would be utterly shocked if anything came in the way of all that labdanum for you.

  5. Teo Cabanel full sample kit ordered!If Alahine lives up to my expectations it might join my collection before Christmas,along with my Tauer Explorer Set!But I don’t want to speak too soon,as I have to lay my nose on the Oriza discovery set as well(on its way to me).I have a feeling next week will be an absolute olfactory enchantment!

    • I cannot wait to get a full report back on everything!!! And the more detail, the better!! 🙂 I wish I were there to see your reaction to each thing, but I know it will be an utter blast. So many fun things coming your way. Congratulations on taking scent explorations and fun sampling to the Nth degree. 🙂 You’ve got style!

  6. I was interested in this until I read the notes. And the comparison to Mitzah seals it. I just don’t get on well with perfumes like this. Oh well. At least I’ll always have Oha. 🙂

    • Ah, it sounds to me (just as a small guess) that labdanum is not your cup of tea, and that you prefer regular amber. Labdanum certainly has a very unique, different, more aggressive profile, so I complete understand. 🙂

      • You know what is so funny: it’s the opposite! I like labdanum, but amber is often way too sweet for me. I have only recently pinned this down. Amber actually often turns my stomach. Because labdanum is usually a bit more earthy or medicinal or bitter, it works much better for me.

        • Oh, how fascinating! I’m with you on the amber often being way too sweet. So what was the difficulty with Mitzah, do you think? Simply not interesting enough or too much patchouli perhaps?

          • Probably too much patchouli, but Mitzah goes pretty sweet on me, too. I like it on other people, and it’s not terrible on me, but it is very “rich” – like a meal that is too heavy.

          • Ah, that makes sense. There is an indie perfume much loved by others that is all unctuous magnolia, gooey coconut and oily richness on my skin, and I have the same sort of reaction. A sort of repelled revulsion at the nauseating butteriness and oiliness. So I quite understand if Mitzah triggers that sort of thing for you, even if the notes are very different. 🙂

  7. Since I just bought the industrial sized bottle of Mitzah I probably don’t need to try this one. It does sound like something I’d like right up until that part about it not lasting too long.

    • It does last. One just doesn’t realise it easily…. It’s that bloody sillage issue which, imo, is really bad after the first 90 minutes. Still, you have enough Mitzah to last you for a LONG time, so it would be pointless for you. 🙂

  8. Thanks to all for their comments….I was torn between buying a bottle of this, or continuing to seek out Mitzah.
    Based on the issues of silage and longevity alone, I think I will let this pass. My skin also drinks up scent and 90 minutes is simply not enough, It sounds lovely, sexy, although the “curry” scent startled me! The way that you described it sounded lovely, a whisper of remaining side at the bottom of the cupboard, but individual body chemistry being what it is, it might come off as toasted cumin on me…Sigh. Great review though. I am intrigued just enough that I will go to Luckyscent for a sample and continue to save up for Mitzah.
    I hope you are feeling better, a cool front has (finally) come to California., perfect for enveloping myself in the incredible Kalemat!

    • Seek out Mitzah!! Yes, I’m biased, but between your perfume-eating skin chemistry and your concern over the curry note, you would do better with Mitzah. That said, go to Fragrantica today/tomorrow and sign-up for their Barkhane sample giveaway. Hopefully, you’ll win and get to try the fragrance to decide for yourself. 🙂

  9. Dear Kafka, I sat up straighter (a lot straighter) when I read “Teo Cabanel”….picture Pavlov’s dogs and a ringing bell. Anyway, I decided to order the sample set (hmmm, how MANY different ones have I ordered just in the past two weeks???). Since I like to transfer perfumes in vials into atomizers, I usually like a larger quantity. My brain was thinking LuckyScent size 0.7mL and so I ordered two sets and found out belatedly that these were 1.5mLs and therefore each vial contains enough volume. So the bad news is that I spent more than I wanted to and the good news is that there’s actually a discount for buying two – instead of 17 EUR…the total came out to 14.22 EUR!

    I’ll report back once my samples arrive and I’ve had a chance to try them. You know I love Mitzah and also think Kalemat has similarities so I am very curious about this one!

    • Pavlov’s dogs…. hahaha! 😀 I’m glad there was a discount for the 2 samples, but Lordie, you now have enough Alahine to fumigate a tiny town on first try. 😉 I’m really looking forward to hearing what you think of Barkhane. Let me know, sweetie!

    • I saw you won a sample at Fragrantica. You’ll have to let me know what you think. I’ll be curious to see if the sillage does a 60 to 0 on you, and if you had some of the problems I had in that regard.

  10. Dear Kafka, thank you very much for recommending the Las Vegas store contact. I have called and ordered my large bottle of Mitzah on Saturday. Karina Lake has moved on, but the SA I talked to had offered to include a 5 ml sample of another fragrance (I went for Ambre Nuit). I will find out what other goodies he may have thrown in once I receive my package.
    I am very excited to learn that Barkhane has similarities with Mitzah. I also was trying to comfort myself by thinking about Ambre Sultan as an end-of-the rope fix if and when I (ever) run out of the quarter litre of this beauty. 🙂

    • I’m so thrilled you got some Mitzah! Wonderful. And Ambre Nuit is a super choice for your mini. 🙂

      The problem with Barkhane is that nonexistant sillage after 90 minutes. It really feels as though the perfume is dying away. Mitzah doesn’t have that problem at all! 🙂

      • Against my better judgement, I have just bought Miyako by Annayake on eBay. Solely because the reviews I’ve read claim it’s Mitzah’s twin! So, now, in addition to a brother Barkhane, and another relative Ambre Sultan, she has a twin! Do you know anything about this scent? I will be super excited to open my parcel and compare the two…

          • Got my parcel today. Yes, there definitely are similarities between Miyako and Mitzah! I wouldn’t call them twins though. My first impression after the initial spray is that Miyako is a bit softer and more delicate but also a bit more bitter than Mitzah. I’m not good at describing perfumes, but it does smell very “japanese” to me, whatever this may mean. There’s more incense and wood, less flowers in it. It is a very beautiful scent. Have to wait a few hours to discover what the drydown will reveal. This EDP comes in an elegant wooden box with a sliding 2-pane cover. I will love and cherish both Miyako and Mitzah (of which I can’t get enough right now!).

  11. Dear Kafka, thank you for this review: I like the line (with Alahine being my favorite – btw, thank you for reminding me about it, I should wear it while it’s cold enough 🙂 ) but I completely missed the news about this new release. I’ll try to get it for testing – even if it fades next to Mitzah.

    • It’s a lovely line as a whole, and well-done. But since you own Mitzah, I don’t think you’d find Barkhane to be distinct or separate enough to be worth the terrible sillage issue.

  12. I’m wearing this today after winning a sample on CaFleureBon. I am not a fan of Mitzah (which is otherwise lovely) because it has a honey note which goes uric on me. This was love at first sniff and I was taking my Christmas money to buy it. But you are absolutely right, a mere two hours later it is completely imperceptible. 😦 I was hoping this was a vagary of a non-spray sample. Going to see if you reviewed Oha now that I like rose. (I wore Alahine to bed last night and it was still projecting a bit after a full night’s sleep before my shower.)

    • Alas, no, spraying doesn’t change the problem at all. However you apply it, Barkhane has terrible sillage. Someone on a different site told me that they loved the opening but that they couldn’t detect a lot of the fragrance after 15 minutes! They thought there was little point to a fragrance that they had to reapply so quickly in order to detect it. I had more luck than he or she did, but it’s really a disappointment. I know some people love very discreet, unobtrusive fragrances, but this devolves with a rapidity that I find to be really extreme.

      As for Oha, I have reviewed it, and it’s nice, but I don’t find it to be exceptional or to really stand out.

    • Nancy- I’ve been wearing and exploring Barkhane myself since it launched last month, and it is wonderful. I think some of the disconnect is that Barkhane is filled with ingredients which normally project an enormous sillage, but the scent is constructed to to be more gentle, almost a skin scent. So the expectation is one direction – thinking Alahine here – and the wearing is a completely different experience. I find Barkhane an interesting modern approach to classical notes. In some ways you’re enveloped in a full-bodied luxe scent which you could actually wear to the office. I didn’t see a draw at CaFleureBon for Barkhane, possibly I missed it, or you received your Teo Cabanel scent through Fragrantica.com’s review and draw. It’s interesting to see the reviews of Barkhane at Fragrantica.com – almost entirely positive, but there are a few responders who commented that Barkhane was just to strong for them. I need to continue wearing mine so I can properly respond to Kafkaesque’s lovely and intricate review. I find myself intimidated by K’s way with words. J

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s