Invasion Barbare is one of the most famous and most successful fragrances by the luxurious niche house MDCI. It appeared in 2006, in the era of flourishment of small but dedicated brands that sought to bring back old and somewhat forgotten values and ideals to the perfume world. This is indicated by the brand name itself, skillfully designed as an association of the most recognizable Florentine family, patrons of many Renaissance artists – the Medici’s. Although the name itself stands for Marchal Design & Creations Independantes, Claude Marchal, the owner and founder of the brand, is, in many ways, a patron to contemporary perfume artists. He provides them with unlimited resources and total creative freedom to create according to their sensibility and vision. And in return, they’ve created some of the most beautiful fragrances of today. Invasion Barbare is undoubtedly one of those perfumes.

Invasion Barbare

The creator of Invasion Barbare is Stephanie Bakouche, a young perfumer who, at the time, just graduated from the prestigious ISIPCA Academy for Perfumers. By chance, she met Claude Marchal at a perfume event, gave him a few samples of her creations that he fell in love with, mainly because of the high proportion of natural ingredients Stephanie loved to work with. Although balancing them is very difficult in contemporary perfume compositions. It turned out to be a good move, both for the MDCI house itself, as Invasion Barbare became one of their bestselling perfumes, despite very high prices, as well as for the perfume world itself, as it received a fantastic modern interpretation of the traditional fougere perfume category.

There are several ways in which innovation can be introduced into a genre about one could say everything is already had been told, especially during the 1980s. It was a time of cult masculine classics that belong to this category like Azzaro Pour Homme. First is to replace the traditional lavender and coumarin accord with a similar one, as Pissara Umavijani did with the hay and vanilla accord in fantastic Dusita Erawan perfume. The second is to showcase the fragrance note of lavender as never before, as done by Antonio Gardoni in the revolutionary Bogue Mem. And the third way, the one Stephanie Bakouche did brilliantly, is to enrich, deepen and elevate the composition with a variety of fragrant notes that will produce real fireworks in our nose.

The opening of Invasion Barbare encompasses refreshing aromas of bergamot and grapefruit, more juicy, fruity than dry, citrusy as in most masculine perfumes like Bvlgari Aqua Amara. What makes the opening of the fragrance more unique than most of the standard offer is the fragrant note of violet, which gives a classic charm and a dandy allure. After the citrus blast, Invasion Barbare reveals all of its complexity in the middle notes. The real richness of various spices dominated by cardamom is complemented by the distinctive thyme, which, in addition to its aromatic, herbal scent, also has a subtle but sensible leathery facet. The base of the perfume is a mixture of patchouli, white musk, and a massive amount of vanilla bourbon, which gives the whole creation an oriental tone that is characterized by a megadose of vanilla and fragrant resins. Despite the name itself, Invasion Barbare has nothing barbaric in itself, on the contrary. It is one of the most harmonious and refined perfumes and would be ideal for all occasions and all seasons, if you can afford it, of course.

FIND MORE ABOUT MODERN FOUGERES: The sexy and mega popular Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier and unusual and ingenious Mem by Bogue.

[Fragrance notes] top notes: bergamot, grapefruit, violet; middle notes: lavender, cardamom, ginger, thyme; base notes: musk, vanilla, patchouli.

[Fragrance group] oriental fougere.

Perfume creator is Stephanie Bakouche.