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Invasion Barbare - Take me, I'm yours (June 18, 2010 New Fragrance Listing)

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One of my missions in Paris this spring was to get my hands on a bottle of Invasion Barbare from Parfums MDCI. This little gem of a company has a direct and on-line marketing strategy - total product control with no agents or distributors (Note: the line is now in selected niche stores, such as Osswald in NYC).  So we decided to go direct, and contacted Claude Marchal, the owner, who kindly suggested we meet for an espresso.

Claude turned out to be not only good-looking and very charming, but also whip-smart and eager to share some of his observations on the niche perfume business.  We learned a lot about MDCI , the luxury fragrance market, Paris – and we left our meeting smelling absolutely fantastic as Invasion Barbare settled on our skin.

Early in my perfume journey, I’d ordered a sample of Invasion Barbare because I liked the name, and the perfume notes fit my idea of a scent for my husband. I’d also ordered about 14 other samples, so I was anxious to try them all. 15 samples is a lot to test all at once - I needed more arms, hands, and necks, so I invited my friend, Gwen, for an evening of wine-tasting and perfume-sniffing.

What a blast! Invasion Barbare was the first sample we tested - I couldn't believe what I was smelling - "Smell this! Just smell this, Gwen!" and 15 minutes later "Smell this NOW!!" This perfume, created by Stéphanie Bakouche, is categorized as an oriental fern, but it became acutely obvious after 15 minutes or so, that this is an extraordinary fragrance.

It opens cool - citrus, lavender, a hint of green violet, and transitions into hot - spices, cardamom,  ginger....the warm heart is cedarwood and vanilla, on a bed of musk. It’s a typical composition, but it is so untypical in its development and drydown.

I don’t quite know how to put this scent into words – it goes WAY beyond smelling good.Invasion Barbare has elegance and integrity - it is made with top-quality ingredients. It has character - it is warm, refined, and strong, never loud or dominant.  It is passionate -sensitive, deep, playful - but also reserved and comforting. What really sets it apart is an animalic undertone (pheromones at work maybe?) which makes it incredibly easy to fall in love with.

How can a perfume possess all these qualities? The answer is simple: it was created by a talented artist, who was given the freedom to create the best fragrance she could, without the restriction of cost targets, or a soulless marketing brief. Claude Marchal at Parfums MDCI should be congratulated for making this possible.

And I did congratulate M. Marchal when we met in Paris, after I declared my love for his fabulous perfume, and bought a bottle. My husband and I both wear Invasion Barbare, sometimes at the same time ( I generously decided to share his fragrance gift with him....). My son-in-law loves it, so I gave him a decant......and I smelled it on my daughter a few days ago.

Every time I wear this perfume, I fall in love with it all over again – Invasion Barbare, take me, I’m yours!!

Today, we're adding Invasion Barbare to our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00.