I think I’m still whirling from that miasma of hazelnut from smelling Chocolovers, but I’ve this drawer full of vintage perfume samples and by George, I am going to have a marathon. Starting with this beauty right here, Tabac Blond by Caron. Long dead and been replaced by a pale imitation toting itself as Tabac Blond. I believe my sample is from the 50s, though I cannot be sure when this was made. All I know is that it bears very little resemblance to the present day Tabac Blond EDT and EDP, though people have also noted those two forms are no good and the parfum that I have is the way to rock it.
In Bottle: Not at all what I expected. Might be cause I’m used to perfume from the more modern times. Tabac Blond opens with a roaring leathery, viscous petrol note that threatens to punch you right in the nose just because you aren’t manly enough for its opening. And it’ll do it.
Applied: This smells like a garage. A place with motor oil, diesel, and bitter smoke. The leather note is beautiful, full and rich. The opening smokey oil scent takes a bit to give way to the equally smokey and rich, deep spices. Cloves are there in large numbers blended with that rich leathery scent that gives this fragrance a sophisticated feel. The carnation lends further to the spiciness already noted in Tabac Blond but also gives it a very, very slight clean feel to the fragrance. The spices and leather revolve into the base as well as Tabac Blond kicks up with a touch of florals, keeps the spice, and takes on an even warmer quality with a golden amber note at the bottom to finish things off.
Extra: No modern men’s fragrance smells like this as far as my knowledge goes and it is a shame because what’s billed as masculine today pales by comparison to Tabac Blond. And the best part? Tabac Blond could be worn by both men and women back in the day and was primarily marketed towards women. But because of how sweet and fruity we’ve gotten with women’s perfume in recent years, Tabac Blond would probably be labelled as, “Hyper-masculine”.
Design: Tabac Blond has been redesigned over the years and what bottle it now comes in is a mystery to me. Perhaps one of you can help me out in this regard. I recognize its old classic bottles, rectangles with beautiful accents. Simple but so dramatic and classic. If I were to purchase Tabac Blond on of these days, it’d be in a classic vintage bottle with–hopefully–well-preserved vintage juice inside. Pictured above is what I assume is a recent bottle design. It sort of lacks the elegance of the classic bottles but it is not a bad design. Actually, the more I look at it, the more in reminds me of Britney Spears’ Fantasy series thanks to those little bumps on the glass. Never mind.
Fragrance Family: Spicy Classic
Notes: Leather, carnation, linden, iris, vetiver, ylang ylang, cedar, patchouli, vanilla, amber, musk.
If men want to smell really manly instead of woodsy and aquaish, Tabac Blond will do it. But good luck finding the vintage. The recent version is a pale imitation. So pale that I would be tempted to say it’s a completely different scent. It’s like they took the classic then neutered and left it in a bath for weeks.
Reviewed in This Post: Tabac Blond, ~1950, Parfum.