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Fleurs de Tabac (1929)
by Cherigan

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Fleurs de Tabac information

Year of Launch1929
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityDiscontinued
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HouseCherigan

About Fleurs de Tabac

Fleurs de Tabac is a feminine perfume by Cherigan. The scent was launched in 1929

Reviews of Fleurs de Tabac

Fleurs de Tabac arrived in 1929, one of a handful of scents created by the firm of Cherigan. It followed Caron's Tabac Blond by 10 years and Roger and Gallet's Cigalia by 18.

The dark scent of tobacco leaves mingle with vetiver, a touch of vanilla and amber and a light jasmine overlay. There is a pronounced tarragon anise note as well.

It seems relatively simple, but the overall effect is one of great sophistication and superb blending and balance. It can stand with the rougher Cigalia (birch tar infuses this one) and the cigarette tobacco (carnation and orris blend) of Tabac Blond to hold its own as one of the three great tobacco scents of the 20th century.

Cherigan operated in both Paris and Havana between 1929 and 1949. Below are listed their ten scents, which are very hard to find, even on Ebay.

1929 – MASCARADES, CHANCE, FLEURS DE TABAC

1945 – CHYPRE, BLEU IMPERIALE, LA HABANA CUBA, OR IMPERIALE

1947 – FLEUR DE CHERIGAN, HISTORIE DE FLEURS, JUPONS

First Edit: The more I wear this the more it puts its tarragon/anise note forward until it resembles those other three tarragon/anise best sellers: Hudnut's Yanky Clover and Dana's Canoe/Ambush.
21st June, 2015 (last edited: 05th July, 2016)
There are possibly only a handful of decent articles on Cherigan Fleurs de Tabac,if you care to google them. Most of these articles are reasonably informative ,but aside from the rather romantic takes on the fragrance.For my part,I was interested in trying a 'true' tobacco based fragrance and this one seemed very interesting indeed. Of course,if you are ever discussing tobacco based fragrances from the 20's and 30's - inevitably the name of Caron Tabac Blond dominates forums. The vintage truly deserves its accolades,but I wanted to try a fragrance that instilled the essence of true tobacco,not be an adjunct to iris and floral notes - perhaps something more masculine. Unlike other reviewers,I always approach my analysis empirically,I have spend many years in laboratories you see and it never wears off.
So I have secured 2 x very rare 0.35oz bottles and a fantastic Art Deco Bottle of F de T of Brilliantine - as I have sported a full beard for many years,this can be used on facial hair as well,so I did not mind.
So the items arrived and I was full of anticipation.The bottles appear to have bakelite tops,as you might expect from 1929 - and came packaged in their original card boxes.
I decided to open the first bottle,taking care to unscrew the cap,without damaging anything - okay,so the moment of truth - when I smelt the open bottle,forget the crap about opening with citrus notes,this had an extremely astringent smell.almost acrid - best described as 'barbicide' - not pleasant,but odd.At first,it occurred to me that this might not be the genuine item - and how was I to know - certainly did not seem like the reviews I had read on google - perhaps the seller had put any old crap in there,after all its so rare,who would know.However,I thought,lets try some of this on the skin,on the wrist to be precise and see what happens.
Okay,so the opening is abrupt,as I said,a wee bit like barbicide and dare I say challenging - but fortunately,only lasts a short while - then wait a minute,something strange is happening - there is indeed a tobacco type accord in the middle notes - but this is not like the tobacco of a lit pipe,or cigar,but rather slightly vegetal,or musty,but natural and therefore not unpleasant - this is the tobacco of the leaf/plant/flower - I know,as I smoke cigars and my partner smokes as well - this is most exciting as an empirical analysis,as this appears to capture the essence of tobacco plant - it has warmth as well - but my friends,I studied Ceramic History and attribution and we are taught to suspend our modern day outlook,attitudes and prejudice and to look at things through the eyes of a person of that time - and let me tell you,you have to sense this fragrance as if you were back in the 20's and 30's - because you are immediately transported back to that time,it is so odd,it has no known benchmark ! - so back then all fragrances would have curious natural openings and pure not synthetic ingredients that their openings and development would be like someone sampling medieval food full of nutmeg and mace - for example, Tobacco absolute now is so rare that it is only sold and distilled in Grasse for private collection and very expensive perfumers - it is incredibly rare.The normal Tobacco Absolute is black,thick and tar like and as such,is not much use for perfumers - but there is a lighter distillation of Absolute that is also used - this would almost certainly have been used in this and early Tabac Blond by Caron - today,if you see Tobacco Absolute advertised,particularly in fragrance notes,it will certainly be synthetic,unless you are in the Tom Ford/Profumo di Firenze league - so I guess this is what so excites me,its like an insect caught in amber,from a far bygone age.
My only problem is this pleasant tobacco accord middle note,does not linger long,maybe 1-2 hours,but underneath and rising tide like is a very pleasant amber accord in the closing notes of this experience - its odd,it is not sweet,or sickly,but as someone said,like 'pushing your face into a mink coat" - it feels like wearing gold - I do not mean in terms of projection and silage,as the middle and particularly the closing phases of this experience are close to the skin of the wearer- and now I am back again in the 21st century !
So I open the fantastic Deco bottle of Cherigan F de T Brilliantine. There is a little grey rubber stopper under the lid and it is quite tight,I am careful,but when I finally ease the lid off,it pops like a champagne cork under pressure and I know this has never been opened before,as its hard to get back in as it has swelled slightly - and guess what,its an absolute dead ringer for the small bottles of fragrance - I mean absolutely - so I am relieved I have received the real deals.Once again,I try a miniscule amount and I am again in the weird barbicide/tobacco/amber world of the 20's & 30's
Here is something else I tried - have you ever done your own blending - I do not mean layering - I mean blending.
Well, I have a fragrance from the 7os that is similar to Hermes Bel Ami - however,for a brief spell,the opening has a slight whiff of pledge furniture polish,before it settles into a nice rich woody/amber accord - so I take a few drops of the Cherigan F de T (about10%) and add this to the other fragrance and somehow,the astringent opening notes of the Cherigan mute,or cancel out the pledge type opening and the tobacco and amber act later to soften the over all harshness of the second fragrance,complimenting it,adding class and depth,without the discord of too many notes.

So now I have a conundrum - do I keep the Cherigan F de T and only break it out when I want a strange 20's moment - it is unique for sure,but those around you today,whom are brought up on clean aquatic/sporty/lemony fragrances,will certainly find alien,possible offensive for a while - or do I blend it,or do I simply move it on for another perfumista to appreciate this rare gem.I have a bottle Rimmel Eau de Tabac from 1920 coming soon,so I am eager to compare notes first.
ADDITIONAL NOTES 09/09/2014
Okay,so I have lived with this fragrance for some weeks now and its utterly compelling. I have purchased more of this precious juice and can add some additional impressions.
After using the sample bottle a while,the initial barbicide opening is perhaps a little misguiding - on several wearings,and upon re-smelling the bottles opening head notes,it does an injustice,as it seems mellower now - it could have been as air has got to the brew,it is better. The opening is still vegatal - like rubbing yourself with a moist tobacco leaf - but the notes then descend after some 30 minutes to an hour to an accord like smelling an empty Virginia Golden Tobacco tin - in a good way like an empty chocolate box absorbs better the smell of its contents and then releases them.
Silage is moved from good to very good as the late plush musk accords easily last over 24 hours - possibly 36 hours - wow - what a gem !
10th August, 2014 (last edited: 09th September, 2014)

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