Saturday, June 28, 2008

Teo Cabanel Alahine, A Review

A quick background on Teo Cabanel:

Teo Cabanel is a small perfumery originally established in Algiers around 1893. The perfume house moved to Paris in 1908, where it became the preferred perfumery of the Dutchess of Windsor. Today you'll find that Teo Cabanel has reasserted itself as a creator of luxurious perfumes using the finest natural elements. The master perfumer is Jean-Fracois Latty, who is the "nose" behind all three fragrances. In 2005, Teo Cabanel launched two perfumes; Oha and Julia. In 2007, they launched Alahine. I’m told there’s a new perfume launch that’s either just happened or about to this summer.

The listed notes are as follows:
Top notes: bergamot, ylang ylang
Middle notes: bulgarian rose, moroccan orange tree, jasmine, pepper plant
Base notes: iris concrete, cistus, patchouli, benzoin, vanilla, musk

The listed notes don’t smell anything like the fragrance to me. Overall, I find Alahine to be a smooth, perfectly done, ambery oriental. This is one of the rare times when I read other reviews of Alahine and wonder if there’s something wrong with my nose. For me, Alahine opens with a burst of ever-so-slight citrus & floral notes, that are truly unrecognizable, I really can’t pick out the bergamot or ylang ylang or rose or jasmine, it’s all very well blended into a scent that, for me, is unique to Alahine. Very quickly it turns into a velvety amber, that is the most sophisticated and deluxe amber I have ever smelled. Alahine is oriental amber extreme with the most wondrous complexity that seems to include hints of pepper, musk, benzoin, sandalwood and patchouli. Alahine dries down fast; I would estimate it takes only 10 minutes for it to settle into the final fragrance that will last on your skin for hours.

Alahine is particularly well-mannered. It never screams, appears overdone or is even too soft or subtle. It has perfect lasting power and sillage; on my skin I’d say it lasts easily 4-6 hours and the sillage is just enough for those close to you to smell it. I imagine Alahine wafting around me all day in circles - swirling and swirling like an accomplished and practiced ballerina. I’m choosing these words very specifically; Alahine, if she were a person, would be accomplished and practiced. Alahine, if she were a person would be sophisticated, polite and charming. Ms. Alahine would be wearing the most beautifully crafted, high-quality dress, perhaps custom made for her, however, it wouldn’t shout out to you in a crowd, it would be tastefully classic. Ms. Alahine is the sort of woman at a party that effortlessly works the room, most everyone comes by to speak with her anyway, she doesn’t request the attention, others just magnetically flock to her. She’s a born charmer, with naturally pretty features, she’s the epitome of class and distinction, yet humble and kind.

I’ve never sought out ambery oriental perfumes before. I still don’t typically rush to purchase fragrances described as such even now. Alahine is perhaps my first ambery oriental love. Maybe I don’t know of the others that smell like this so I don’t have anything to compare it with; nevertheless, I think it is exceptionally beautiful. Alahine is one of the few “uncommon” perfumes that I wear which always receives compliments. And, not that I’m supposed to care very much about the packaging, but the bottle is so lovely and elegant. Everything about Teo Cabanel, and especially Alahine, is just beautiful.


Kathy Bungard said...

A big ditto to all of your comments on Alahine, it is so beautifully elegant, so unique and I'm head over heels over it. I'll have to see what else you like if you like Alahine as much as I do :)

thea said...

I get a big amber impression from this fragrance as well. From the notes listed, you'd think you'd have a Coco Mademoiselle on your hands. But this is not that at all. It feels kind of old school and classic but not in a 'dated' way at all. It's so yummy. I'd love to wrap myself up in this in the fall.