From the respected brand MDCI comes the magnificent Le Barbier de Tanger, a scent that promises a relaxing journey into the barbershops of Morocco. MDCI is known for artful blends done with high quality ingredients. Le Barbier de Tanger fits the bill and earns a thumbs up from this reviewer.
To even begin to describe this fragrance, I have to mention a few others: Chanel’s Platinum Egoiste, MDCI’s Invasion Barbare, Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Masculin Pluriel, Creed’s Green Irish Tweed, and Penhaligon’s Sartorial. Le Barbier de Tanger channels all of these fragrances to some extent, but only smells a bit like one of them. Perhaps the closest comparison is Chanel’s Platinum Egoiste, which has the same powdery-barbershop texture and overall vibe of this fragrance, but Le Barbier de Tanger is higher quality and more natural-smelling.
Like Invasion Barbare and Masculin Pluriel, this fragrance is powdery. Unlike them, it does not smell purple and strongly of lavender (though lavender certainly seems to be present, here even the lavender comes across as green). Like Green Irish Tweed, it is distinctly green and a bit sharp. Unlike Green Irish Tweed, Le Barbier de Tanger is far more subtle, more casual, and less strong. Sartorial has a similarly airy nature that I attribute to dihydromyrcenol, and also shares the characteristic of being an atmospheric fragrance. But it smells totally different.
There is an old type of shaving cream that can be purchased by barbershops in bulk, one that has a foam-like texture and is used with an automatic dispenser. This is the shaving cream accord that you will find in Le Barbier de Tanger. The scent combines a shaving cream accord with vaguely fougere-like notes, a blast of something that smells sharp and green, and a powerful dose of dihydromyrcenol. And that’s it. Despite the extensive ingredients list, the fragrance is uncomplicated, but multifaceted. Casual, with a streak of well-groomed refinement. From the opening to the very end of the end, it smells of a man who has visited a barbershop for a haircut and a shave.
The bottom line is that this fragrance is simple yet thoughtfully composed. Somehow MDCI has managed to make a unique barbershop fragrance that also happens to be one of the most minimalist I’ve yet encountered. It does something similar to what other barbershop fragrances do, and with the utmost directness. In the heat, it smells clean and crisp. In the cold, sharp.
Performance is where some may find it lacking. On my skin, it wears quite close to the skin and lasts only around 5-6 hours. For what it does, this is acceptable, as such a fragrance need not clear out a room. Unlike with many fragrances, I like to wear Le Barbier de Tanger by spraying generously, which suits this fragrance since the top notes are so refreshing.
I often find that men tend to associate fragrances with the entire ritual of grooming. From the shower to the shave and until the first spritz of perfume, fragrance is an intimate part of one’s daily routine. These routines require simplicity, directness. From time to time, men will prefer to start the day only with what is essential. On those days I will wear MDCI’s Le Barbier de Tanger.