Mancera Red Tobacco

TOBACCO. We’re not supposed to like it any more because it kills you. Perfume is one of the few places where you can say “tobacco,” and people swoon and discuss exactly what kind of tobacco it is. Pipe, cigar, a fresh rollie (that’s one for the Australian readers). I suspect that in one more generation these nuances will have to be explained as real life associations with tobacco become a thing of the past. That’s an interesting shift for perfumery. Many people are attracted to tobacco in perfume because of warm memories of a father or grandfather; the smell of their jacket, a well fed visit, a dog long passed at your feet.

The cost of cigarettes in Australia is nearly 40.00 for a pack of 30. The government raises the tax on all tobacco products 12.5% every year and the traditional “pack a day” smoker’s habit is a thing of the past. Teenagers no long stand around in clumps puffing away, their parents have long quit, and the scent of tobacco is something you will have to seek out, not have blown second hand all over you. This is, of course, a good thing. Though future perfumers may not be seeking to recreate their own memories, they will still be using tobacco in perfumery because tobacco is delicious.

I have always loved the smell. My dad had a pipe and cigar phase, and I was fascinated by both of them. Once, he let me puff his cigar. It was gross, but the blue smoke and the smell were fascinating. Pipe tobacco was even better . The enjoyment and study of tobacco in all its varying nuances and styles is a close cousin to perfume. While we may appreciate the smell of wine, it’s not designed to fill the air with its aroma the way tobacco and fragrance are. And so, in search of beauty without nicotine I’ve always put my hand up to try a fragrance with tobacco as a note. Most of the time I’ve found it elusive. Smothered by oud, reduced to being a sweet note for vetiver, serving only to brighten a leather and then fade. Shrill. An abstract painting titled Tobakkō. Nothing has ever smelled like burying your face into a fresh tobacco pouch until Mancera Red Tobacco. It has other things going on, but the tobacco note is rich and true, lasting from first spray to drydown.


Mancera Red Tobacco


Mancera Red Tobacco 2017

Top Notes: Saffron, Cinnamon, Incense, Nutmeg, White peach, Green apple, Nepalese oud

Middle Notes: Patchouli, Jasmine

Base Notes: Tobacco, Amber, Woody notes, Vetiver, Vanilla, White Musk

Red Tobacco is almost a gourmand: it’s so sweet, it makes me think “tobacco milkshake”. This may sound unappealing, but it’s an addictive scent, like tobacco itself. There is a brief fruity phase I’m not keen on, but that doesn’t last long. Saffron and patchouli are wonders here, macerated together like the filling of an exotic pastry. The cinnamon is an absolute joy paired with tobacco. I find myself fantasizing about cinnamon flavoured tobacco and tobacco flavoured spice mixes. And through it all the pungent, warm, appealing scent of a freshly opened pouch of tobacco dominates. Red Tobacco is not for the timid, it lasts all day, and I recommend you have just a wee spritz until your brain gets used to the potency. If you love it, you will love it deeply and be inhaling yourself for hours.

Oh, and yes, it goes very well with a nice whiskey!


Image: my own


13 thoughts on “Mancera Red Tobacco

  1. Hi Narth,
    Mancera does some lovely frags. There is only one bottle in my collection, The Aoud. It was a gift from my mate Alice and I love its dark, synthetic oudhishness and the woods with some sparkling florals to add tone and texture.
    Tobacco is such a good note, so rich and varied. I bet they do a great job with it too.
    Is there an Aussie store that has the range?
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did have this fantasy that I’d once seen them in Myer but apparently not. Libertine sells Montale but not Mancera which seems.. odd?


    • Ha! I didn’t realize it was the same guy. So, it’s not enough to produce 10+ perfumes per year under one brand, he needed the second one to do 6 more? Wow…

      (I fixed the title for Narth)

      Liked by 1 person

        • I haven’t pursued them in any way, only the Montales are readily available for me to sniff. So many of them are hugely popular and the prices often good which is certainly appealing. I’ve had a steady stream of samples from other purchases and the frag community passing things on but the only one that made “add to cart” was Red Tobacco. I’m so happy with it! It’s winter here and it’s such a comforting, yummy fragrance! Also the colour of the juice is amazing!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I tried only one perfume from this brand, and even that only because it was sent to me by a store with a purchase of another perfume. I just do not believe in a niche brand releasing 6 new perfumes per year. I mean, I wouldn’t refuse to test all 71 of them had any of the stores around carried the brand, but I won’t be either chasing them or paying for the samples.
    In general, tobacco note isn’t my most favorite, but I do like it in some perfumes.

    Love the picture!


  3. I don’t think of Montale/Mancera as niche. I think we need some new categories as a lot of the time not falling under the designer label means things are called niche. I’ve got 2 of the Montale 20mls, Black Aoud and Royal Aoud. Black has a huge fanbase, and apparently my very old bottle is the good stuff. I can see why people like it, a potent hypnotic cloud kind of fragrance.


  4. Last time I was in Libertine, which sells many niche treasures and some more mainstream ones like L’Artisan a very rough and ready looking guy came in to buy a bottle of Montale Intense Cafe. Told the SA he was a train driver, he’d wanted something different than the usual colognes and she’d given him a sample a while back and he LOVED it. I often think of this fellow in his train carriage inhaling Montale Intense Cafe and it makes me smile. I can imagine the next person on shift stepping into the driver’s compartment and going WOW!

    Liked by 1 person

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