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January 10, 2010



Interesting - I just won a vintage mini bottle on eBay, the one shaped like a violin. I love that painting used in their ads! I wanted to purge my brain of the cheap drugstore version and smell it in the older formula. I don't think it's "me" but I have not smelled the real thing for many years, and it's time I revisited this. Tabu is nothing more than a cheap joke now, but it was not always this way. I eagerly await the arrival of my little violin!


Hi again, Flora! I went crazy with this one and just added a few more lines about the ads. Crazy! And yes, I bet you'll enjoy your little violin bottle. Vintage Tabu is something else!


hi I live in Australia and a year or so ago tabu bought out TABU DIAMONDS AND TABU BLACK PEARL both were beautiful but I can't find it any where and I am hiping you may have a bottle tester or not thank you

Shirley Crowell

I am 62 and when in my teens wore Tabu...I loved it then. Now, my 70 yr old sis still wears it and thinks it smells so great; I always tease her and tell her she smells like an old lady. That's just because we wore it all those many years ago. I still do have fond memories of the scent. I also, have a vintage violin shaped bottle in my possession.


Thanks for the wonderful comment, Shirley! The vintage Tabu is so beautiful.


I just won a vintage bottle of Tabu (The old Violin) on Ebay. Can't wait. This is another that I wore when I was waaaay younger. It was so inexpensive- I won't even tell how much I didn't pay! Today I am still basking in the Vintage Intimate I received yesterday. The sillage is awesome....Yay!


Cathlyn, I love that inexpensive perfumes back in the day smelled as good as Tabu. (The reformulation is wretched. I'm not kidding when I say I've smelled better toilet cleaners.) You're gonna have so much fun. Between Tabu and Intimate, be careful! You're going to get yourself into some trouble. ;-)


I know! I've smelt the new stuff and it is wretched (What an excellent descriptive word) hahaha. I've been doing my best to get into trouble- but no luck so far.

Martha McLemore

I am 64, have worn Tabu, seasonally, since I was 18. When I bought a replacement bottle a few weeks ago, I noticed right away that the scent was off, as well as the color. In addition, wherever I sprayed it left a temporary skin irritation I have never had from Tabu, in all the years I have used it.

There was no information on the bottle itself to explain the change, but the box carried, in tiny lettering, the disclaimer that the frangrance oil, made in the US, was the original formula, but the cologne had been packaged in China. I'm guessing that the diluant used in China is not the same as was used in US bottling companies.

Unless I can find a reliable source for original formula Tabu, I will give up wearing it. I am bitterly disappointed with the Dana company right now.

Glad to find your site. I'll return, I'm sure.


Martha McLemore

P.S.: I heartily recommend Hove Parfumeur in New Orleans. Send for their catalog, order samplers to test their perfumes. Tea Olive and Creole Days are two of theirs I like very much.


Hi Martha. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You can be reunited with your beloved Tabu again — go on eBay and buy a vintage Tabu in a bottle you recognize. There are lots of them! Good luck, and come back and tell me if you got one and what you think.


Creole Days is such a fantastic name! I'll have to try it out again. And Tea Olive is their best-seller I think.


i have been wearing Tabu, pretty much solely, since i was in high school almost 30 years ago. From that time to present, i continue to be stopped everywhere...elevators, street corners (waiting for lights, not men!), grocery stores, you name it, by both men and women who comment on how good i smell. I guess i wasn't aware that the scent has changed to 'cheap drugstore'...i guess i'll have to find an original to compare it to. but, in the meanwhile, i will continue to wear it daily and enjoy the compliments i get. i just hope that 80 years after it came into existence...it will continue for another 80 years!!


Hi Stace, I fell in love with Tabu when I first smelled it. Luckily for us, its readily available in vintage form on eBay. Im not surprised youre stopped all the time! Thanks for sharing your story. :-)

K. O'Mahoney-Duszek

My Dad bought Tabu for my Mum back in the fifties and sixties and she wore nothing else as she said it was the only perfume which suited her. My Dad's pet names for my Mum were "legs" and "sexy" that says it all really, yet she was an elegant stylish woman, who was at the same time a very down to earth housewife and Mother. She was half Romany gypsy although brought up outside that culture to parents in leafy Surrey, whose business had the Royal warrant. This woman could make anything happen whilst doing nothing at all, never loud or brash, she said a thousand words with a casual glance. I was always telling my Dad about a "naughty man", men followed her around at parties ignoring their wives, called out at her on the street, yet she did nothing that would have encouraged this behaviour. This is not because she wore Tabu because she only ever wore it when she went out socially, which was rarely, because she preferred to be at home, this was because she was the kind of woman who Tabu was made for, who was made to wear Tabu. In my soul I can still see her dancing at a party in the sixties, she was the essence of Tabu. The only other perfume she wore after this was Shalimar from the late eighties onwards, as she expressed the need to wear perfume again due to failing health. Whilst Shalimar is nothing at all like Tabu, I knew after some weeks sniffing out her kind of scent, that she would be able to wear it and enjoy it and make it her own. The minute she smelt Shalimar she said it reminded her of Tabu, although it definitely wasn't Tabu at all, she was comfortable with it and surprisingly wore it every day, when she had ever worn perfume daily before in her life. There is nothing as base and naturally untamed as Tabu today and even if I smell the real vintage stuff, it will never ever be the same Tabu that I remember, because without it melding to my Mum's physical chemistry it will always be for me forever slightly aloof and alien instead of the warm natural sensuousness that was my Mother.

C Solis

I have several 'old' bottles of Tabu tucked away, and ocassionally spritz a bit before leaving for work. Drives the women around here crazy wondering what I'm wearing. Only two other perfumes have ever captured me like Tabu. One is Angel, and the other Shalimar. I guess I just love the oriental fragrances more than anything, especially the sandalwood notes.


You sound like a supervixen, C Solis. Those are NOT office scents! :-) I heartily approve.

Sea Wolf

I bought the new Tabu - but it seems to be a rare bottle. I bought it in a department store in New Zealand, it says its distributed by an Australian company. I just LOVE it passionately - it is definitely different to the Tabu I am familiar with from 10 years ago which was much sharper and spicier (I'm using scent memory here, I haven't spied that particular bottle in quite a while). I haven't smelt the vintage version though. I can't bring myself to pay the exhorbitant postage costs (I'm in NZ) but I want some, badly! I was talking to a Tabu collector on fragrantica, she said that of the MODERN forumlations, there is a US version, Australian, and one mysteriously manufactured in Spain (that's noxious). Aparently they all smell quite different - the collector wasn't even familiar with the formulation/bottle that I have! This one starts with a BLAST of bergmont/cloves - smells like christmas! And then a heavy hit of natural neroli and ylang ylang. And then all I get is flat vanilla coke for hours (my favourite stage) and finally a soft, powdery floral, oakmoss scent that lingers on my clothes for days. The box states that its formulated with imported essential oils. I am new to this world but I don't think this smells cheap and nasty or overly synthetic like other modern cheapies.
I used to wear it daily to the office but the girl I sit next to literally can't stand it and repeatedly comments that I smell like 'an old lady' (I'm 27 - though I don't care if this is what an old lady supposedly smells like). Sooo... I thought it's only fair I stop wearing it to work if I'm literally torturing my desk-mate. C Solis and I have something in common! I mainly wear Shalimar, Tabu and Angel to work. I used to wear Patchouli by Reminiscence when I was feeling a bit bohemian - but even that was too strong for me!
I wrote a blog entry about Tabu a while back - in case you are interested: http://sniffsniffyum.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/breaking-tabu.html

I just loved your take on Tabu as a subversive scent for women to fantasise about their OWN desires, its interesting because obviously the 'perfume for whores' thing is such a projection, and a whore is a passive OBJECT of desire (at least this is what they signify) as opposed to a subject. I think of Tabu as a real vintage party-girl. Not an introspective dreamy type. Funny how perfume makes us conjure up an imaginary woman, its a facet of ourselves, I think - an alterego.

I absolutely ADORE my bottle - I must have cheap taste if I'm in love with something not fit for scenting a taxi! I can see the Shalimar connection in that I think they're both the most romantic perfumes I've ever smelt. Whenever I wear it my husband holds me close and says 'you smell soooooo good' - he doesn't react much to any of my other favorites.


Anyone remember a fragrance from the 70's called "Music". Box it came in was bright colors of purple, pink and orange I think. I can't seem to find anything on it at all.


Its on eBay, Jackie. Look up vintage Faberge Music perfume. Good luck.


Thank you so much Perfumaniac, found it!!


i have a vintage box of tabu perfume with n . 616 can anyone tell me what that stands for.

Bev Slako

Where oh where can I buy Tabu SOAP from in New Zealand.

Joe Smith

Tabu was manufactured in Mountain Top PA. from 1963 to right around the year 2000. The perfume oil was compounded in a lab in New York City until the year 1988 when I joined the company. The oil lab was moved to Mountain Top where I compounded the fragrance for over 10 years. Eventually the compounding and bottling was moved to China and the fragrance was adulterated to no end. Dana was a great company to work for and I miss the old days.....


Interesting, Joe. Thanks for your perspective! I know Tabu is beloved by many. The older stuff you were involved with. :-)


I would be most interested in what 'Joe Smith' or anyone who may know what was the composition of Tabu throughout its history from 1932 to the 1970's and if someone who would like to make a natural oils version what would be the ratio of those oils to do it? I do know that Jean Carles is said to have made the original Tabu with 10% of the composition being Patchouli oil.
Thank you!
'Joe Smith' wrote:

Tabu was manufactured in Mountain Top PA. from 1963 to right around the year 2000. The perfume oil was compounded in a lab in New York City until the year 1988 when I joined the company. The oil lab was moved to Mountain Top where I compounded the fragrance for over 10 years. Eventually the compounding and bottling was moved to China and the fragrance was adulterated to no end. Dana was a great company to work for and I miss the old days.....

Posted by: Joe Smith | February 15, 2016 at 08:51 AM


i am intersting with tabu soap can you send me the hole sale price minimum order 5000pics to china.

Beth Huntington

I love Tabu.
I will not apologize.

I love its history, longevitity, sillage, and beautiful, fascinating, complex scent.

The newer Tabu has top note that not everyone likes. Wait it out.
Allow it to dry down and you'll smell all sorts of wonderful things happening.

The notes have been documented many places and times, so I'm not going to bother 😊

Tabu is NOT a cheap parfum, price point notwithstanding. We, who love vintage parfumes know this. If you don't know the history of Tabu, and/or who is Jean Carles and the classic scents he has made, you may enjoy looking him up.

Personally, I prefer the vintage formula. But, I prefer vintage parfum as a rule. Old Tabu is stronger (like beast mode strong!), but also more warm, mellow, and the "in your face" topnotes are softer.

I recently procured a small bottle of 1932 Tabu Extrait. It's the stuff of which dreams are made. Trust me: this is no cheap, old-lady, linear parfum. It's freakin amazing.

I beseech you to shut your ears and minds to those who think Tabu is a nasty, cheap "has been". Try this godmother of an Oriental fragrance yourself. Don't be put off by the initial blast of "old barbershop". Let it dry and do its magic.

You may fall in love again, as have I.

cathy vogel

i have a huge unopened bottle of tabu that sat on my mothers dressing table ever since i was a little girl. She passed away 2 years ago and so i have acquired it. I am 67 years old and don't know exactly how old it is but would love to know if there is a market for this perfume. what is it worth unopened


Hi Cathy,

Check ebay. Type in vintage Tabu perfume. Good luck.


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