Tabac Blond by Caron

Tabac Blond by Caron is often referred as The Leather Scent, a monster fragrance, “weird and edgy”, “dark and totally unpresentable” (Ch. Burr). What else can you expect from a creation that was meant to honour those daring woman who smoked – a shocking habit in the begin of the past century. Created in 1919 by Ernest Daltroff it was the only feminine perfume with the tobacco notes.

The modern version of Tabac Blond created by Richard Fraysse seems to give a different interpretation of femininity, according to Tania Sanchez. In Perfumes, the Guide written with Luca Turin she gives it one star, calls it woody floral and regrets the reformulation. Well, such a frustration is easy to understand when a very good fragrance looses its character. I never smelled the original version of Tabac Blond. And may be I am lucky – I have nothing to compare and to regret about.

The modern version of Tabac Blond is a perfume with character, although is easier to approach than Knize Ten. It starts with dark deep spicy leather surrounded with herbal notes of angelica. I recognize neither smoke nor tobacco there – just smell of leather of old books, travelling bag and woods mixed with drying herbs in a room of lonely hermit. A transient apparition that fades giving place to a spicy carnation note, a smell of glorious flower. Supported with violet-iris note (that probably comes from ionone) it sounds loud and persistent for a while and slowly gets softer turning into a smell of oriental rose. This one is a difficult accord that mostly doesn’t open well on my skin and turns into a rosy smell of cheap incense sticks. Unfortunately… It looks like Tabac Blond is not my perfume – the leather note is too short, carnation is too loud and persistent and the rose is too cheap. Although on feminine skin of my perfumery fairy Tabac Blond opens much better. Well, no problem, I still have Knize Ten. What I have written above is about perfume extrait. The EdT version has a fresher and sharper start with more prominent herbal notes and less deep leather accord. Carnation stadium is shorter and you can easily smell the rose through.

Image from Perfumes Caron

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