I want to squeeze in a review of Alahine before the cold season is behind us, since it is a great oriental, perfect for cold days, though it would be too much, at least for me, in warmer weather. But to wait until next fall? No, that is way too long. ;)
I tested the extrait version of Alahine and only later for the purposes of this review I also ventured out and smelled the Eau de Parfum. I prefer the extrait, it is such an exercise in smoothness and richness, the Eau de Parfum just can’t compare. If I would have tried them the other way around though, I would have been quite happy with the less concentrated version as well, I assume.
Alahine for me means Amber deluxe. It is smooth and round, soft edges, just warm oriental coziness. Alahine can be almost too unchallenging, but it is great when you want a reliable, classic, no frills oriental that feels comforting and sophisticated.
The House of Teo Cabanel is actually a very old one, first heard of in 1893 in Algiers, Theodore Cabanel settled in Paris in 1908. He was quite successful in his days, apparently a great favorite of the Duchess of Windsor. The company stayed in family hands. In 2003 the young heir Caroline Ilaqua together with Perfumer Jean-Francois Latty, revamped the business and started over with three reformulated and adapted Cabanel classics. Now there are five perfumes in the line, Alahine, Oha, Méloé, Julia and the newest Early Roses.
The line is committed to quality and I think it shows. I like Alahine enough to feel compelled to try the others as well. But first things first:
According to Cabanel‘s website notes include bergamot, ylang ylang, jasmine, Bulgarian rose, orange tree, pepper plant, Morroccan rose, iris, cistus, patchouli, benzoin, vanilla, sandalwood, and musk.
I only smell the tiniest citrusy top note before the full bloom of floral embroidered amber unfolds. This perfume develops for only a few minutes before it reaches its drydown that lasts for hours on me. I love how Alahine swirls around me, always present but close to me. I like to smell my perfume, but I do not want to project it too much. People who can smell my perfume, should be close.
I already talked about my problems with ambers that are too medicinal (Ambre Sultan or Ambre Fetiche are examples), I love my ambers sweet and smooth (like L’Eau d’Ambre).
Alahine fits perfectly into the latter category. It is like a smooth leather glove, worn for years, comfortable, smooth, soft, warm and cozy, It may not be the most fashionable model available but an elegant glove that fulfills its purpose of keeping my hands warm.