The world of Mancera fragrances is synonymous with extreme longevity and performance, with many of their offerings easily lasting a full day on skin, if not more. One Mancera creation certainly living up to the “beast” descriptor is Red Tobacco, in fact, it has gained quite a reputation for being almost too strong.
This fragrance has a very marked, distinguished Middle Eastern style with a focus on incense, oud, and tobacco. Added to this mixture are cinnamon, saffron, nutmeg, green apple, white pear, patchouli, jasmine, Madagascar vanilla, amber, sandalwood, guaiac wood, white musk, and vetiver. Many people decry the initial phase of Red Tobacco, using words such as rubbery, harsh, bitter, unpleasant, and so on, but the opening blast is just a very intense amalgamation of spices, smokey incense, and ripe fruits. It is both sweet and fiery.
The blazing red hue of the bottle is certainly an allusion to this temperament. I happen to really love the opening burst of flaming spices and fruits shimmering in clouds of smokey incense. Although there is oud in the composition, to my nose, its presence is quite mild, certainly a synthetic accord.
After the introductory shock of the opening is when Red Tobacco starts unfolding its more seductive character. Fairly soon after application, tobacco is somewhat noticeable in the background, but it is only when the jasmine segues into the luscious, rich vanilla in the base, that the tobacco becomes fully expressed. Yet for a while, Red Tobacco maintains a somewhat woody profile with that creamy amber base staying tantalizingly out of reach. Gradually the spicey, fiery embers die down, emitting a light, pleasant incense-like smoke, although the cinnamon lasts into the dry down. Further, into the development, the tobacco starts to come through in its entirety.
This tobacco is luxurious, dark, smooth, slightly damp as if you’ve just opened a humidor. Paired with ambery vanilla, it is just phenomenal. There is a woody backbone to Red Tobacco, but I wouldn’t say it becomes a woody composition in the dry down. The sandalwood bolsters the vanilla with its inherent creamy facets, with guaiac wood supplementing the amber with a certain balsamic quality, while also retaining some of the smokey vibe from the opening. There is also some vetiver, but I really don’t pick it up, perhaps its presence is more to lend a warmer touch to Red Tobacco’s grandiose finish.
The finale of Red Tobacco is all about that combination of sensual, seductive, ambery vanilla and tobacco with hints of spices and smoke vaguely drifting in the shadows. Musk is listed in the note breakdown as well, but this is by no means a musky fragrance, it is more of an accent to the seductive profile.
As mentioned in the beginning, Red Tobacco has exceptional performance, with strong sillage for at least 10-12 hours and longevity lasting at least 24 hours, much longer on clothes, of course, Due to its powerful profile, 2-3 sprays are all you really need, any more than that and you risk asphyxiating yourself and those around you.
As for occasions to wear it, I find it to be a fantastic choice for the cold winter months, its spicy tobacco soul being such a comforting warm hug and a great fragrance for cuddling.
So, if you are a fan of wild, decadent Middle Eastern style fragrances featuring tobacco, I highly encourage you to check out and sample Red Tobacco from Mancera.