Idole was released last year by the newly re-established house of Lubin. Rather than reissue one of the many fragrances in their back catalog (465, according to the Lubin history website), they have created something entirely new, borrowing only the name from a Lubin fragrance from the 1960s. The inspiration for the fragrance comes from the early sea trade in precious spices, which linked the East African islands of Madagascar and Zanzibar to points farther east, including the Kingdom of Siam and the island of Java.
The notes are rum absolute, saffron, bitter orange peel, black cumin, Doum palm, smoked ebony, sugar cane, leather and red sandalwood. If that sounds like a heavy blend, think again: the perfumer was Olivia Giacobetti. Her fragrances make a virtue of simplicity and rarely raise their voice above a whisper, and Idole is no exception. It starts with peppery spices in a cloud of rum; the orange peel and saffron shine through beautifully as the alcohol burns off. The spice notes linger on into the dry down, lending an exotic touch to the smoky charred woods and leather. After an hour or so, it is rather mild and soft, just a whisper of leather and woods, no more than lightly sweet, with a subtle, close to the skin presence.
It is a lovely composition, and it is merely a matter of personal taste that I like it very much without being completely wild about it. However, if ever a bottle was designed to push me over the edge from "very nice, but wouldn't kill for it" to "must have at any cost", this is the one. Serge Mansau's gorgeous design is simply a triumph, and I will no doubt own it eventually.
Lubin Idole is an Eau de Toilette but the lasting power is quite good. All the same, I should think that an Eau de Parfum or "extreme" version would sell like hotcakes. For purchasing information, see the listing for Lubin under Perfume Houses.