Perfume Directory

Cabaret Homme (2004)
by Grès

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Cabaret Homme information

Year of Launch2004
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityDiscontinued
Average Rating
(based on 32 votes)

People and companies

HouseGrès
PerfumerPierre Bourdon
Parent CompanyDenz > Art & Fragrance
Parent Company at launchDenz

About Cabaret Homme

Cabaret Homme is a masculine fragrance by Grès. The scent was launched in 2004 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Pierre Bourdon

Reviews of Cabaret Homme

Before I get into the whereto's and whyfor's I just need to get this out of my system: Cabaret Homme is an ode to original Coast deodorant soap, at least in the opening. I often jokingly refer to Moustache Rochas (1949) smelling like Safegaurd soap in the dry down, but the reality is Safeguard soap came afterward so it's just the chemists of a major health brand mimicking their favorite designer fragrances. On that very same token, people liken Rive Gauche Pour Homme (2003) to a can of Barbasol shave cream, so I don't know if creating designer masculines that mimic every day household toiletries was a thing in the early 2000's, but it would sure seem so. The original Cabaret composed by Michael Almairac was a woody rose scent that consequently smelled balanced enough for either cisgender to wear or literally anyone that appreciates a good subtle rose, much in the same fashion as Azzaro Acteur (1989). The Pierre Bourbon-composed Cabaret Homme goes in an entirely different direction and sticks to strict fougère convention, probably because the early 2000's saw a resurgence in traditional masculines thanks to the LVMH products under direction of the retro-minded Tom Ford, leading to new green aromatics, barbershops scents, leathers, and even a chypre or two from different designer houses, cutting a traditional swath through the sea of ozonics, aquatics, and gourmands that dominated the Y2K era. Cabaret Homme wasn't quite as celebratory in it's tradition as some of it's peers, nor did it have the budget to truly be extraordinary, but such is the way of Gres masculines anyway, and those who have smelled Homme de Gres (1996) already know that the house operated in it's own timeless yet low-budget bubble outside what other designers were doing. Pushing the Coast soap comparison of the opening aside, a full wear of Cabaret Homme reveals a scent that reminisces with the soapy subgenre of 80's powerhouse fougères a la Laroche's Drakkar Noir (1982), Avon's Féraud Pour Homme (1985), and Givenchy's Xeryus (1986). Cabaret Homme brings to the table a 2000's lightness that it's source inspirations do not possess, but the same squeaky clean transition from top to bottom exists throughout.

Rosemary, basil, coriander, juniper berry, bergamot and pineapple... all opening notes listed and reliably I can smell them all here. Maybe this is the exact combination of notes used by Proctor & Gamble chemists when they launched Coast soap in 1976, but regardless, they don't last terribly long before comparisons to Drakkar and Xeryus surface. Lavender, jasmine, and muguet creep in to give that classic clean musky fougère accord that gives it these comparisons, but Cabaret does grow a pair of it's own legs in the end. Base notes consist of tonka, amber, patchouli, musk, cloves, oakmoss, vetiver, and sandalwood, although out of all these I'd say the musk, moss, sandalwood are most prevalent. The cloves don't really peek out of their hiding place, making this no Rive Gauche Pour Homme despite the comparisons it gets to that contemporary. The overall scent trail here just remains clean, light, with a fougère underpinning but careful attention to remaining light and amiable from a 2000's perspective, since the target market for this was younger guys, despite it's traditionalism (just look at the rippling abs of the old adverts if you don't believe me). Grès budgetary limitations also manifest here, despite the great nose behind the scent, so expect only maybe 6 hours at best on skin and over-application needed in colder or inclement weather. I also get hints of that weird plumeria accord of Avon Far Away for Men (1998) floating throughout here, but it's likely a ghost note caused by the juniper and pineapple interplay. It's an overall pleasant and safe scent that borderlines on "fresh" but never quite makes it there thanks to it's traditionalism. Cabaret Homme could almost be considered boring and could easily substitute as a daily office scent for the guy considering himself too conservative or mature for the ozonics of the day but too young for the stiffer office fougères still in use at the time.

In conclusion, Cabaret Homme is nowhere near the greatness of it's universally-appealing feminine counterpart, which explains it's discontinuation. Vintage collector nuts tend to go crazy over anything that's discontinued and might try to tell you this is some underappreciated, unsung, and forgotten gem of the early 2000's, but don't let them spin you right round like a record player on this one: If you already own Drakkar or Xeryus in any formulation, you really do not need this and are better off with the feminine if you're looking for an underdog gem with versatility. Prices have also gotten comparatively silly on this due to the eBay scalpers all wanting to capitalize on the obsessive batch code-hunting and oakmoss-measuring fervor of the vintage fragrance community, who seemingly want something -more- when it's no longer made than when it's freely available on amazon.com or in stores. The simple truth is it's not amazing, and since it quite literally opens like a bar of commercial deodorant soap before melting into a lighter and lower-budget interpretation of powerhouse fougère ideas, you have to really want this Hell-or-high-water to pay those prices. It's not an evil price for Cabaret Homme, but definitely comparable to designer scents a few pegs higher than most Grès creations. The bottle design and it's Art Deco appearance are easily the best part of this fragrance, and actually go counter to what's inside, since the red fluted glass and vertical lettering make me think something sensual or gaudy is inside; so much for that, I guess! Another way to look at Cabaret is this: it has a little bit of everything from a design standpoint in the 2000's: it ropes in the mature guys with it's appearance and drydown, brings in the young crowd with it's overall lightness, and even smells immediately familiar for mass-market customers thanks to that damned Coast soap accord, but it's this "buffet table" mentality that made Cabaret bereft of a market identity. This is an interesting piece of recent history, but I don't know if "interesting" is enough to add a full bottle to a well-stocked collection, especially at it's dwindling availability and inflating price. There are just far superior discontinued scents even from this very same time period one could spend the same money on buying, so I give it a neutral rating, all things considered.
09th April, 2018
Stardate 20170817:

If you ever wanted a perfume equivalent of video clip that goes through masculines of late 20th century, look no further.
It has all Drakkar Noir, Cool Water, PRPH , Rive Gauche PH among others.
You get them at different phases of development. I have no idea why it was discontinued as it is bound to have something that pleases you.
Oh well. Get it while it is still available for cheap.
17th August, 2017
Thumbs WAY up on this one! Quite difficult to find anywhere offline, Cabaret Homme is a lush, long-lasting scent with a tastefully muted citrus-musk character that doesn't become cloying over time. I bought my bottle from a Lord and Taylor's store back in 2004, and it still smells as fresh as when I bought it! Great scent, highly underrated, and worth a if you like scents like Calvin Kelein Eternity and Lise Watier Neiges.
08th December, 2016
So after YSL came up in 2003 with that fantastic time-machine called Rive Gauche pour Homme, here’s Bourdon composing one year later another decidedly old-school, completely non-fashion fragrance for Grès. The quality isn’t really comparable in my opinion, but neither was the price, as I guess Cabaret was way more cheap; the inspiration though, that was quite similar. Cabaret pour Homme is basically a sort of fruitier, slightly more “contemporary” take on Van Cleef & Arpels' Tsar: that same type of formal aromatic fougère structure, played with a couple of added or, say, “renovated” chords – notably fruits, a floral-green whiff, also something like amber or labdanum “warming” it up a bit, with also a subtle sort of tobacco-incense aftertaste. At once fresher and warmer. Take Tsar and imagine it sweeter, a bit younger and more “informal”. Basically like putting a baseball cap and a Supreme t-shirt on your grandpa. Openly “uncool” and slightly naif: I love that. The quality isn’t really top-notch for me, but it isn’t totally bad either; Cabaret smells nice and versatile, “manly” in a slightly dated way with just a hint of warmth and modern tints.

Also, it has a sort of really well-played feel of “luxury” which is as much fake as enjoyable, like a well-made counterfeit Rolex replica. Actually it’s fascinating as it smells at the same time heavily cheap on some nuances, but somehow the overall look is good and the composition seems clever enough to “disguise” the cheapness. Anyway I can see why this is overlooked, as it sits right in the grey nowhere halfway a classic aromatic fougère and a more modern “office-safe” woody-spicy-fruity-smoky scent for contemporary men; but it’s at once too modern and too sweet for fans of classic fougères, and surely still too outdated for the average contemporary taste. And there’s the “appealing-to-nobody” trap. It’s a shame because it is instead a really decent and enjoyable blend of these two inspirations, which makes you feel wearing something mannered, classy and mature enough but with a more relaxed, playful, less “austere” vibe. Miles away being a creative piece of art or a “compliment getter”, but give it a chance if you stumble upon it.

6,5-7/10
22nd May, 2015
Genre: Fougère

Cabaret is a very well executed, finely balanced woody rose scent that's as comfortable on a man as on a woman. Cabaret Homme is a "fresh" fougère so banal that without its label I couldn't possibly distinguish it from any of its myriad and ubiquitous brethren. Grès would have done better to bottle the original Cabaret under this name and let the men enjoy the good stuff, too.
11th June, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
rosemary, pineapple, coriander, On me the opening blast is mainly made of juniper, coriander and bergamot. Berry nice and rounded, a green lavender-rosemary drydown follows. So far, so good. Alas then it collapses and remain very close to my skin after the first couple of hours, and the base - a mild amber with patchouli, a hint of moss, and vanilla - is too weak in silage and projection to really make an impression. This is why am reluctant to give this an overall positive score, although the first hour or so would deserve it. Overall longevity about three hours.
09th April, 2014

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