What an incredible masterpiece this is! Like gold or pearl necklaces, and dresses made from finest black velvet. This is a perfume which has to be not smelled but rather experienced!
Tabac Blond (I'm reviewing the Eau de Parfum here) was released in 1919 (same time as the legendary Mitsouko by Guerlain) as a perfume for women who smoked! It was a revolutionary concept, and also a revolutionary perfume in many ways because firstly, it was the first time that leather had been used in a woman's perfume and secondly, this was one of the very first tobacco fragrances! I think it's more revolutionary than Mitsouko though.
It's a hard one to explain but I'll try to. What you get is dry, soft tobacco, like the paper which lines a pack of cigarettes, rather than the cigarettes themselves. Spicy carnation dominates, along with a gorgeous leather-iris combination and a hint of animalic notes. Damp cedarwood and dry, dark vanilla mixed with creamy ylang-ylang complete the base.
This is unlike anything I've tried in a very long time. When I smell this I get two images, elegant balls and women dressed in black with white gloves and cigarette holders, marble floored ball rooms and the golden aura from crystal chandeliers. The other image I get is the women of the 1920's, androgynous women (this was reportedly a favourite of Marlene Dietrich). I don't get "flapper" or "loose woman" out of this. I get "rich woman who smokes"... and yes it's a lot like the smell of makeup and tobacco but at the same time is so deep and luxurious that it really deserves a few tries to really see the elegance in it. It really gives of an aura of gold and black and luxury.
I can't explain it all any better than that, really. If you ever get the chance, please try and experience this. A legendary perfume.
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.