I love the backstory on the perfume. I wish I loved the perfume, but on me it smells like a bingo hall, or an old Eagles Club. Somewhere old women went to drink when you could still smoke indoors. I'm a musician. I have been for a long time. Long enough to remember a lot of fairly unpleasant places that smelled like this.
That is NOT the fault of the perfume. It's a problem with associations for me, I think. It opens with a pretty pungent blast of carnation and that top note hangs around. Settles down into a sharpish dry spice. Surprisingly masculine, actually.
I will try it again in a few days and perhaps will have a different impression.
Edit: I did try it again, with the same results, and relegated it to a little-visited jewelry box. Then my boyfriend found it and sniffed it, confirmed I didn't want it, and dumped it on his arm, and proceeded to smell gorgeous and sniff himself all night. He has declared it his signature, with my hearty approval. So there you are. Don't know why that (and my Tobacco Vanille) turned out so much better on him. Or why he has to have such expensive taste, the rascal. Upgraded it from 2 lippies to 3.
For such an expensive and famous perfume I was expecting better then this. Tabac Blond has no punch or wow factor and is just a tad dated. It smells very safe and dull to me, especially when compared to something like Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanilla. Its soft and smooth sweet vanilla with a light smokiness. It is by no means a unpleasant perfume but its hard to see what all the fuss is about.
Leather? What leather? Sweet cloying amber and spices, poor lasting power, limited sillage. I think Tabu is better than this mess. If you want a classic leather it's hard to beat Cuir de Russie or Heeley's Cuir Pleine Fleur. Skip this, in fact, skip all the Caron's, butchered rubbish. This review is for the extrait, supposedly the preferred format for this. I'd hate to try the EdT.
"Ernest Daltroff created Tabac Blond to complement French women who, after World War I, picked up American women’s acceptance of smoking in public."
" It is a fragrance for women who smoke cigarettes, since a cigarette was, at that time, the perfect symbol of freedom and chic of a Parisian woman."
I think this says so much about this perfume. It's a challenge. Not a challenge in an agressive way. Not 'Look how different I can be!'....but more...'I did something a little dangerous, I did it very well, and frankly I don't care if you're looking.'
It is described as having notes of leather, carnation, lime blossom, iris, vetiver, ylang-ylang, cedar, patchouli, vanilla, ambergris, and musk but I gather that I had a slightly different experience wearing it.
The initial notes for me included the obvious leather and tabacco. I may be the only one who gets a distinct almond or dark cherry out of the mix. However, this quickly dissapates, leaving behind the leather and tabacco, and the beauty of the scent is revealed. Daltroff seems to have created something akin to church incense using a musk/ambergris/and yes, perhaps the cedar. The stage of the perfume is it's defining moment and it really is "beautiful" is every sense of the word. The hint of carnation adds a bit of pepperiness to balance those intense smokey notes. The only bothersome note was the gournand combo I got from the almond/cherry and vanilla notes...something akin to dark chocolate which was easily forgettable.
It's a lingering smell. The drydown leaves behind a pretty distinct mix of powdery vanillic musk that reminds of quite a bit of a sweetened black tea. And how fitting an end! It's isn't a perfect scent. And certainly not for everyone.
I was in the middle of a 3 hour drawing class and for obvious reasons,wearing a new perfume seems to heighten all my senses to the point of mild synesthesia. I noticed a girl sitting opposite from me on the other side of the room. She must have been Malaysian, Fillipino or Vietnamese with features like an Avatar character--big exotically shaped eyes, dark olive skin, long straight black hair, a thin face and a sad inquisitive expression that seemed very natural. What took me by surprise was the vividness of her emerald green chiffon blouse. It was the most surprising, difficult color but it suited her in every way (she was also wearing gold..which I think is also a great descriptor for this perfume). I don't think this girl knew the kind of impressions she made. Which is why she really isn't a Tabac Blond kind of person. The Tabac Blond woman is fully aware of who she is. She is not feminine, nor girly, but womanly.
(See all my reviews on my blog: Swigandtipple.blogspot.com)
Too much CLOVE, which lends it a "pot-pourrie-note" (imo a Very bad thing in perfume!) and which also reminds me of Old Spice aftershave. TB smells perfumey, dusty and the acrid fake civet and soapy vanilla-tobacco and the heavy handed amber notes round this off into a general impression of older-lady-perfume, unwearable for me.
Reviewing a sample of Tabac Blond EDP, which starts off with sharp, bitter green notes and dries down to dry, hippie-ish amber and woods. I don't find it beautiful or pleasant to wear. Maybe I should seek out the vintage version.
Notes: leather, carnation and linden; iris, vetiver, ylang ylang, and lime-tree leaf; cedar, patchouli, vanilla, amber, and musk.
Opens with a sweetish leather note. The sweet vanilla-like accord is more noticeable further away, closer to the skin one smells the leather note more distinctively. Although there is no tobacco in the fragrance, there is a faint trace of it in the head notes. I’d describe this fragrance as very classic and heavy. The heart notes are very powdery, with ylang ylang as a support close to the skin. The dry down is not worth speaking of. Lasts for more than 6 hours on my skin.
Tabac Blond is the first leather scent I've tried, and found the history behind it to be intriguing and romantic and wonderful (I love vintage fragrances). And for the first ten minutes, it was all I expected and more - a unique and sensual experience. However, after the intial top note, it dried down to something harsh and unpleasant. That lasted for about an hour, and then the final note was soft and warm and quickly faded into nothing. Maybe it's my skin chemistry, maybe it's the reformulation. Too bad, because I really wanted to love this.
(This review is for the parfum version) Tabac Blloooooond? Where are yooouuuu? This only stays on my skin for fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes of which are mild and powdery with only a slight hint of skank-smoke doing the Charleston in the background.
For all its repute as a leather par excellence, Tabac Blond is on me strictly carnation. Caron does carnation well, leaving it uncompromised by sugary facets. In Tabac Blond, the floral is treated in such a way that it approaches fermentation (yeastiness).
There is a distinct difference betwen the eau de parfum and the parfum. Parfum is where Tabac Blond's kerosene note fuels the composition. This note, as repugnantly enticing as can be, is missing in the EdP formulation. EdP is more Victorian in comparison, with a sweet/spicy carnation/clove being the most prominent aspect, although this might be said to be a "dark" carnation and not an overtly feminine one. Parfum plays down the floral with the blond tobacco note to the point that individual florals (iris? ylang-ylang?) are not ripe for the picking. Carnation dominates, and the deeper you go into the scent, the more the peculiar breadiness picks up; is it sourdough we smell here?
In order to get the full range of effect, I layer parfum over EdP. Used in this manner, the more industrial parfum obtains a layer of sweetness. Both formulations ride close to the skin and invite a closer inspection. Vanilic base notes are charmingly dirty.
The illusion of Tabac Blond is that it is somehow "butch" or implicitly, though its leather/tobacco, something to be confiscated by macho women. In light of modern niche perfumery, Tabac Blond seems as womanly as possible, and not very risque at all. It is historically fascinating, dating as it does from nearly the rose/violet "toilet water" era. There, it took a stand: One can imagine it in a lesbian boite in Jazz Age Paris, defining a moment as well as a sexual proclivity--and marvelously so!
Tabac Blond truly and originally defines the jolie laide in a scent, and should be referred to by modern noses looking to rough up their scents with oppositional elements. continued >>