Faberge launched Tigress in the late 1930, several years after Dana's Tabu, which has probably influenced it greatly. Tigress, even in the very old formula I have on my hands, seems somehow more simple and easy going than the thick explosion of vintage Tabu. But that doesn't mean it's not utterly lovely, and that's the big surprise here. If you're familiar with some of the big animalic perfumes of yore you've already smelled some roaring and shocking beasts. Tigress is much better mannered, offering an almost soapy spicy-flora core (carnation is unmistakable, and I agree with Barbara Herman's assessment of hyacinth and quite a bit of powdery orris. As a matter of fact, for a while there Tigress veers on the line of soapy before it reveals the oriental exotic side full of clove, cinnamon, and an ambery vanilla that surrounds the dirty yet surprisingly animalic base.
Tigress is as warm and fuzzy as the tiger print velvet box, and very satisfying, especially if you're in a retro mood (read also Angela's review on NST). Cheap? Funny how perception changes over time. In today's world Faberge perfumes are far more complex and sophisticated than the fruity and vanillic body sprays favored by the masses, and dare I say- better composed and crafted. Several sources suggest that Tigress has undergone at least three major reformulations: in the mid-60s, in the 80s and in the last decade. I'm not sure quite how old is my extrait de parfum: the bottle design is older than that the one in the 1965 ad above, but I can't tell for sure if it is the original formula. In any case, bottles of the eau de cologne from the 60s and 70s can still be found here and there, and are often reasonably priced. It's worth a sniff- you might find yourself adopting this cute little tiger.