Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Is Idole From Lubin the Most Interesting Fragrance in the World?

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Okay, semi-clickbaity title aside, Idole de Lubin does hold a special place in my heart. When I’d first tried it, I immediately thought of those Dos Equis beer commercials about The Most Interesting Man in the World starring Jonathan Goldsmith. I immediately knew I wanted a full bottle of it, and yes, I do have one in my collection. But before I skip everything to detail my verdict, let’s do some quick review.

Lubin as a house has quite the history, existing in some form or another since its founder, Pierre-François Lubin, opened his first boutique (Au Bouquet de Roses) after the French Revolution. It served as a tribute to the now-deceased Queen Marie-Antoinette of France, as she had been his mentor, Jean-Louis Fargeon’s, fragrance patron. His work quickly became popular with the re-emerging dandy nobility, The Incredibles, which led to Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon I commissioning him to supply her with a scent.

Eventually, Lubin would become a perfumer to several members of European nobility, including King George IV of England, and Tsar Alexander I of Russia. In 1830, he was formally granted the position of Official Perfumer of the French Royal Court.

After Lubin’s death, the house was owned by the Prot family who continued to grow its legacy around Europe through the rest of the 19th century, as well as the United States. In the 20th century, however, in spite of many iconic fragrances being released, the house was sold to an industrial group that saw a slow decline that lasted for the next few decades. However, Gilles Thévenin, as well as two members of the Prot family, regained control of the house near the end of the century and were able to re-obtain several of the formulas from their popular fragrances in the 50s and 60s.

Today, many of those fragrances, such as Gin Fizz, are available to purchase and the house continues to grow.

Idole is from the Talismania collection, and was launched in 2011 (a relaunch from the 2005 version, both from nose Olivia Giacobetti). Let’s take a look at the notes.

Idole de Lubin Notes

Top: Rum, saffron, bitter orange, caraway

Heart: Ebony wood, additional wood notes, incense, sugar, olibanum, palm tree

Base: Leather, amber, French labdanum, sandalwood


As mentioned above, I adore this fragrance, and if I had to scent him, this is what The Most Interesting Man (Person) in the World would wear. The top blasts of rum and saffron meld in with wood, leather, incense, and the best take on an amber note you will ever smell (though John may disagree), along with rich leather, culminating in a scent that practically begs for attention.

That well-groomed, well-traveled, charming, but slightly mysterious stranger you see in a restaurant or a high-end bar? The one who regals you with tales of travel and adventure, whom you lose track of time talking to because they make you feel like you’re the only other person in the room… only to realize it’s now after midnight? Who makes their goodbyes and leaves you wondering later if you imagined the entire night, but you know you would recognize that scent instantly? That person wears Idole de Lubin.

So, where can you find this fascinating fragrance? I ordered my bottle from Luckyscent, who also has samples you can try here. As far as price goes, for the quality of scent (the projection is just right and stops short of being overwhelming, and the longevity is a good 6 hours at least) you’re looking at a downright steal at $180 for a 100 mL bottle. Yes, $180 isn’t necessarily cheap, but I would normally expect a fragrance of this caliber to sell for well into the $200’s for that size, if not inching into the lower $300s.

Overall, if you’re the type that wants to save up for a special purchase and have one or two high quality fragrances to reach for, Idole de Lubin should definitely be on your consideration list.

The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated. 

Have strong thoughts about this piece you need to share? Or maybe there’s something else on your mind you’re wanting to talk about with fellow Fandomentals? Head on over to our Community server to join in the conversation!

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