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.
Every collection needs such basics, maybe these are the ones that turn into classics one day.
I only know and own the EdP and it is truly wonderful in colder weather. What I like best about it is its quietly understated high quality (and affordability – mind you! ;-)).
And no matter how much you love it it keeps growing on you…
Now I have to wear it today! 🙂
You are right, I should have pointed out that it is way more affordable than many comparable perfumes!
I am glad my review inspired your choice of SotD. You smell lovely. 😉
Alahine was on my Liberty hit list the other week. I only tried it on paper but sadly there was somehing it in that jarred with me. I’m pretty rubbish at identifying individual notes but looking at your list all I can think is that it might have been the pepper plant. I can imagine it would be lovely and warming in cold weather though.
Tara, I didn’t like it on paper either! But I am so glad I still persisted and tested it on skin- a world of difference, no jarring, just smoothness. If you get the chance, give it a try on skin, it is so beautiful.
Oh B thanks very much for that tip, I will give it another try on skin then. It’s surprising the difference it can make. The SA at Ormonde Jayne said their perfumes test better on skin and I have absolutely found that to be the case. Ta’if was not terribly nice on paper but on skin it was so gorgeous as to be full bottle worthy!
You are welcome! I hope you like it better on skin. Let me know how it goes for you!
Hmmm, sounds very interesting. Nice to learn about the houses’s history too.
If you like sweet ambers, then you might like Mitzah!
I should try Mitzah after all, I hear so many good things.
I feel like I’ve been shadow stalking this scent for a while now… who is the house, what’s the story… do you know what I mean? I’m attracted to this scent—as it’s gotten some love over at NST from some of my favorite commenters—but then again I’m hesitant. How many oreintals does one gal need?
Of the Puredistance, for example, M is easily my first love, but it fits a category that I have well covered. I think that if I actually buy a bottle, it will be of Antonia, the indisputable Queen of Green! 🙂
To answer your question of how many orientals does a gal need: I find a good answer is always “One more!”. 😉
Let us hope you don’t have to buy Antonia, then there would be funds for M.
I get a lot of citrus out of Alahine (in the edp at least) — I believe it has some citrusy aldehydes in the top. A super-pretty rosy amber. For a similar feel but drier and more incense-y, I recommend Tauer Incense Rose.
Interesting, I never drew a parallel between Alahine and Incense Rose, which I have loved (and reviewed) for a while. Maybe because on me Alahine is all amber and not much else, I do not get a lot of rose. The top notes are decidedly more pronounced in the EdP, just as you say.
I don’t get a lot of rose out of IR either, but it is definitely sweeter and more floral than Incense Extreme, I find.
I tend to think everyone looks like someone and everything smells like something. The pattern-finding part of my brain is overactive!
I love that, I do it too. 🙂
I do get rose in Incense Rose. 😉 Alahine reminds me of Tolu (Ormonde Jayne) and Amouage Epic Woman.
I better add those to my to-try list!
My list is about a mile long! 😉
Epic Woman, you say? Well then, the answer truly is, “just one more”! 🙂
I think we have plenty of time to squeeze more cold weather scents in. Winter ain’t over till it’s over! 🙂
Quite right! 🙂 Perfumes like this are winter’s only redeeming factor!
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It’s like green eggs and ham. Anywhere, in a boat, with a goat, (come to think of it, I have one of those at home) More than one excellent nose-a-roma has compared it to the vibe of Bal a Versailles and this is what I get from it, the only worthy competition the Bal has ever had. Not a sillage monster at all, not overpowering, just transcendental.
A good comparison! I’m glad Alahine is such a perfect choice for you!