Mellow Tobacco – Review: Phaedon Paris Tabac Rouge/Turkish Blend

By Tara

Last year I tried a few fragrances from Pierre Guillaume’s Phaedon but I didn’t click with any of them and as a result, thought perhaps the line wasn’t for me. However, I heard positive things about Tabac Rouge so picked up a sample when I came across one.

phaedon tabac rouge

For some reason the name didn’t tempt me, even though I am still on the look out for my perfect tobacco fragrance. Nothing has hit the spot apart from the vintage Tabac Blond I tried at the Osmotheque. Sadly, I’m not about to get hold of a bottle of that Caron rarity any time soon.

While reading about Tabac Rouge I discovered that it was inspired by Art Deco and one of my favourite artists, Tamara de Lempicka. Like her paintings, Tabac Rouge was said to be “androgynous, stylized and luxurious”.

Now it had my attention.

tamara-de-lempicka-a-la-pinacotheque_670_forceCreated by perfumer Anne-Cecile Douveghan and released in 2013, it contains Turkish tobacco absolute, incense, ginger, cinnamon, honey, musks and benzoin. Phaedon also refer to Tabac Rouge as “Turkish Blend” – Turkish tobacco being highly aromatic and exceptionally mild. This is very much reflected in the fragrance.

The cinnamon, ginger and honey opening initially reminds me of the similar blend in Tea for Two. It has that same soft, foodie feel. It’s not anywhere near as overpowering as the combination of notes might suggest.

Before long, it calms down to a soft honey tobacco fragrance. I don’t get more than a hint of incense despite Phaedon crediting it as part of the core accord.

Tabac Rouge makes me think more of aromatic dried tobacco leaves than smoke. It has an almost hay-like quality.

The fuzzy base is made up of slightly powdery, balsamic benzoin with a little of the remaining spiced honey.

The amount of throw is moderate and the longevity is better than average

Tabac Rouge is a very likeable tobacco fragrance; not too “chewy”, sickly or strong. It is an extremely well blended and balanced composition with the gentle spice, honey and tobacco melding together nicely. It’s not too sweet or in the least bit acrid the way some tobacco fragrances can be.

It isn’t as potentially addictive or striking as the honeyed cherry tobacco of Back to Black, but could be a good alternative for those who found the By Kilian fragrance too overwhelming.

It’s very smooth and easy to wear with a warm, golden glow.

Abstract orange glowing lights background.

An awful lot of people seem to compare Tabac Rouge to Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille which I’ve tried a couple of times but didn’t take to for reasons I can’t recall. So I’m afraid I’m unable to give you a comparison, suffice it to say, if you like Tobacco Vanille but find it too rich for your taste (or your wallet), it may be well worth giving Tabac Rouge a try.

If you have a tobacco fragrance to recommend, please let me know in the comments.


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24 Responses to Mellow Tobacco – Review: Phaedon Paris Tabac Rouge/Turkish Blend

  1. profumina says:

    I feel that El Born by Carner has a liquorice- tobacco touch to it. Pipe tobacco to be precise. It is very velvety overall and combined with a bit of lemon in the opening. Its structure is somewhat like Shalimar, so ambery dry down. I normally do not like liquorice or tobacco so much but this one works and had me hooked on first sniff. I have not tried anything from Phaedon but your review made me curious to seek it out!
    I also rather like Jasmin et Cigarette by ELDO even though – again – I loathe the stench of cigarettes.
    May be I have a pattern emerging here:)-

    • Tara says:

      El Born is great and I can see a parallel with Shalimar. Interesting that you got pipe tobacco from it.
      Jasmin et Cigarette was a no=go for me sadly.

  2. Sandra says:

    Lovely review Tara! I love Phaedon perfumes. Now that I can find them in Vienna I will be certain to go and give this one a good spritz. You make it sound very nice.

    • Tara says:

      Thanks Sandra! It’s great that Kussmund stock Phaedon in Vienna now. I still need to try Rouge Avignon. I loved your review of that one.
      Have a lovely Easter break with the family.

  3. Asali says:

    Initially, I thought this perfume would not be something for me because I generally don’t take much to PG’s perfumes, something with the structure and too much sugar 🙂 but then I saw that he wasn’t he perfumer on it and the notes do sound very nice. So thank you for alerting me to this. I like tobacco as a note, but perhaps not as the main player… At least the only one I can think of that I have a bottle of is Fumerie Turque, and I only reach for it seldom and in the smallest doses.

    • Tara says:

      I think the Phaedon line has less sugary gourmands than PG. Let me know what you think of Tabac Rouge if you do try it. It’s nothing spectacular but it’s a really nice, warm pipe tobacco.
      It’s been ages since I tried Fumerie Turque but I imagine a dab in cool weather works well.

      • Asali says:

        Exactly, a dab in cool weather 🙂 True Phaedon isn’t as gourmand, Rue de Lilas and Grisens I liked, but still my success rate with anything PG is in the low score, not that I can’t appreciate them as perfumes, just for me personally only Myrrhiad became a bottle.

        • Tara says:

          I’m exactly the same. I admire Pierre G and his work but am yet to own a bottle. Though maybe Rouge Avignon will change that when I get to try it.

  4. Vanessa says:

    I have a tricky relationship with tobacco scents – Diptyque Volutes is probably my favourite at the moment. Tobacco Vanille was too much, so I might well be one of the demographic who would find this Phaedon a softer take on the note. I must say every line of your review made me like it more and more. Thanks also for pointing out the Lempicka connection!

  5. stina says:

    Tabac Rouge sounds lovely! Will add it to the sample list.

    Back to Black was too much on me (even though I love tobacco accords), but I like Smokey Tobacco, which is one of the Premium Accords by Christopher Brosius. It’s a very smooth vanilla-accented tobacco leaf (not the smoke, at least not to my nose) and it has the luxurious feel of the Kilian without the OTT aspects.

    Hmm, maybe I should dig out my Volutes also, now that I’m having tobacco (not nicotine!) cravings…

    • Tara says:

      Back to Black is great but it overpowers me too, stina.
      Thanks for sharing your experience of Smokey Tobacco. Sounds good.
      Hope your Volutes sample cured your tobacco craving!

  6. dremybluz says:

    i love santa maria novella acqua de cuba and tobacco toscano

  7. Gelia says:

    I would like to find good tobacco scent . So far the only one that came close is Tobacco by Frank Boclet. For me it’s like Tobacco Vanille but much better. I also like Cuir Cuba but don’t get enough tobacco there.

    • Tara says:

      Hi Gelia, thanks for sharing your experience so far of tobacco fragrances. I hope Tabac Rouge/Turkish Blend works for you if you get to try it.

  8. Hey there beautiful Tara,
    We snap on our love for Tamara de Lempicka too. On my first trip to Paris I bought a poster folio of her works which circuitously ended up gracing a hotel in India. They look fabulously out of place there and shine even more because of it. Did you ever watch the movie Metropolis? When I saw them it was like being jolted back to that film.
    Tabac Rouge? Yes, tried it and I think even wrote about it, my memory says it was a most enjoyable wear but for the life of me I can’t remember how it smelled. Shrug. I used up my decant super quick too…..
    Hope your Easter is lovely,
    Portia xx

    • Tara says:

      I’m happy to hear you’re a Lempicka fan too Portia! Funnily enough I can imagine her work looking really striking in a hotel room in India. Love the contrast. I hope to see an exhibition of her paintings one day. I’ve made a note to check out Metropolis.
      Tabac Rouge is lovely, if not always memorable, ha ha.
      Have a great Easter with your loved ones x

  9. I should give Tabac Rouge a try. I like tobacco note and I’m still looking for “the one”. I like Back to Black in smaller doses, I didn’t get on too well with Tobacco Vanille or Copper Sky, and the others I’ve tried so far didn’t have enough tobacco to call it a tobacco fragrance. I’m not so sure if I should count this as a tobacco fragrance, but the one I liked best so far was Sycomore.
    By the way, I was thinking about trying Feuilles de Tabac by Miller Harris. Have you had a sniff?

    • Tara says:

      From what you’ve said I would give Tabac Rouge a try. It has plenty of tobacco but isn’t at all heavy.
      If you get tobacco from Sycomore, then great.
      I’ve tried La Fumée by Miller Harris which really reminded me of something else I couldn’t put my finger on. Not yet tried Feuilles de Tabac but I know she has a whole collection of tobacco fragrances now.
      Good luck with your search!

  10. cookie queen says:

    Better late then never! Uhm – TF Tobacco Vanille had me running down the streets of Vienna looking for someone to shoot me. Tabac Rouge was much more wearable although I wouldn´t purchase it. I have a sample and will retire after reading this Tara. There is something about a good review that makes one sniff a fragrance with a slightly different nose. I understand there is a perfumer creating a tobacco fragance at the moment – and if that is the case than i am very excited. Hugs. xxxx

    • Tara says:

      Fashionably late CQ! I also know I wasn’t turned off Tabac Rouge the way I was Tobacco Vanille. I was surprised to read the comparisons. Your reaction to the Tom Ford is too funny.

      I am hopeful that my favourite tobacco frag is still in the works 🙂

  11. Undina says:

    I love TF Tobacco Vanille (I prefer it on my vSO but if it weren’t for him I would be wearing it myself). I also enjoy (on him) Mugler’s A MEN Pure Havane. I will try Tabac Rouge when I get a chance but PG’s perfumes are non-existent in my area – and I’m not paying for this brand’s samples since I still don’t own a single bottle of it.

    • Tara says:

      Undina, if you do ever come across it I’d be interested to know if you see the similarity with the Tom Ford seeing as you know it so well. Maybe it could save you some cash 🙂

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