Reviews of Tabac Blond by Caron

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    only_me!'s avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    In J. B. Priestley's play, "Time and the Conways", it is conceivable that the vivacious, outgoing, character of Hazel Conway, would have worn this devastatingly risque perfume.

    Set between the Wars, both Acts I and III of this challenging play offer the audience a window in to the lives of an upper-class family just after the close of the Great War and the mood of optimism that accompanied the year 1919.

    In this context, we view the Conway's household as a sort of big game of charades, exemplified by their frivolity, indulgence, and improvident spending.

    Priestly presents the opinionated, vital, Hazel as a woman who appears to know exactly what she wants from life, and I would argue that she would have 'died for' and worn this exquisite and radical creation released by Caron in the same year.

    A massive 'leather' fragrance; the entrance of "Tabac Blond" is like that of an on-stage Matador: muscular, masculine, and saturated with vivacity. Devoid almost of a classical citrus top accord, there is a dry, almost bitter and 'sweaty', animalic edge to the moments after the perfume explodes that hypnotises the perceiver with a continual sense of movement and control: a torrent of floral tuberose and sweet tobacco creating a dramatic, almost visceral, unforgettable effect on one's senses. There is no doubt as to its authority, focus, and the sexually implied statement of 'come hither'.

    More delights follow. Vanilla, amber and musk emerge from this richly choreographed perfume and perform an almost animated dance alongside the powerful tobacco notes, reminiscent of the Paso Doble. As minutes become measurable as hours, the sweetness of the vanilla shifts the axis towards the feminine, although this is, in the author's opinion, a 'masculin/feminin' perfume.

    'Old-fashioned'? Well, maybe, though this is a perfume experience to explore and treasure rather like the poignant themes within Priestley's play that remain apposite today.

    'Expensive'? Yes, however, this is one of the truly great achievements in perfume history and arguably both the birth of, and the epitome of 'Noir'.

    only_me!

    20th February, 2010

    JessicaGrace's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is for the reformulated version, EDT: For the first ten minutes after dabbing on my wrist, all I could think of was a little old lady with a gruff voice whose been using L'Heure Bleu to cover up her pack-a-day habit for the last 30 years. I can't imagine this as a masculine at all. Too much powder, too much orange blossom, too much carnation and iris. As with L'Heure Bleu, I feel I'm sinking into old, scented face powder and drowning. This is the silage; close to the skin, the sunnier, grassier notes emerge -- much more bearable. This warm hay & vanilla stuff is alright, but the icky sweetness of the top notes lingers. Overall it feels hopelessly dated -- not to the 20's, sadly, which would be nice, but to the Big Perfume era of the late 70's and 80's. Not dykey, not daring, not dark, not any of the things I wanted it to be.

    12 January, 2010

    Louslice's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    I thought this would be a unisex scent, but it isn't. It is a very feminine, powdery scent with a subtle, sweet tobacco in the background. Really, it is not interesting to me and I am sorry I was mislead by the many reviewers who said it was unisex. Any scent can be unisex for the right person, under the right circumstances, but not for me, not this one. Powders don't work for me. I would give it a thumbs down but that wouldn't be fair, considering it is sold and marketed as a female scent so I had fair warning. Sometimes basenotes reviews are helpful, and sometimes they really aren't.

    07 November, 2009

    Diamondflame's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    TABAC BLOND by Caron is immediately stunning, even chic when I smell it off fabric. Not surprising considering it was released by such an esteemed house at the very cusp of a golden era in perfumery. But on my skin it turns rather butch and stays that way for the next 30 minutes, the smoky masculine leather slowly softening to a more gender-neutral, buttery yet dry floral-tinged amber and musk. And as the vanilla gains in strength so does its feminine appeal. But just when I think this is turning out to be another musky amber vanilla, a glowing tobacco note arrives to give this gem an entirely new facet.

    I must say this is by far one of the finest scents I've had the pleasure, no, privilege to sample; I feel so lucky to have stumbled upon this hobby. Words suddenly feel so inadequate for Tabac Blond is truly out of this world!

    *** This review is of the extrait ***

    02 November, 2009

    Eliza's avatar

    United States United States

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    I think I love it almost as much as L'Origin. I love the current one , but the vintage one is much better because I detect a motor oil scent in there that Iove. Is it castro something? That animal scent? I don't know. The "motor oil" smell is so rich and beautiful that I could just inhale this for a full hour.

    01st November, 2009 (Last Edited: 10th January, 2010)

    montmorency's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    It is said that if a Barbie doll's proportions were translated into living flesh and blood, she'd be 8 feet tall, her eyes would be the size of dinner plates, and her cervical vertebrae would snap with the weight of her head if her chest didn't completely unbalance her first and send her face-down onto the floor. That's how Tabac Blond feels -- a gorgeous, unsettling, hugely proportioned monster whose exaggerated presence - all swaggering leather and throaty vanilla, the volume on each turned up to 11 - makes me feel I ought to seek cover immediately.

    I can see that even in what's apparently a greatly debased formulation this is still a remarkable composition; but it's a period piece it reminds me that there was still a large chunk of the 20th century that needed strong perfumes to cover the week between baths and the ponk of wool clothes that were sponged down instead of washed. Some reviewers have said that Tabac Blond is about the liberation of women; but, kind of like Barbie, this ancient specimen reminds me instead of all the roles and chores women don't have to put up with any more. As with some of the modernist art with which it is coterminous, I admire it but I could never love it.

    26 October, 2009

    Esanena's avatar



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    Too spicy and too much carnation.

    14 September, 2009

    woolheater's avatar

    United States United States

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    Goes on fresh, somewhat light, lots of powder from the getgo, tobacco is not very prominent, a mild pipe tobacco if any, powdery and creamy seem to be the dominant notes, seems rather simple and middle of the road, doesn't go out on a limb. To its credit it dries down gently and lightly, very little tobacco ever comes to the fore, only a dark, mildly tarry creaminess prevails. Seems a bit one dimensional in construction. It's one of those mildly suntan lotiony kind of scents. I can smell tobacco in the sample phial but it in no way transfers to the skin. Maybe better for a woman, but a bit boring and safe in my opinion.

    29 July, 2009

    msleslie's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    My sample of the Caron Tabac Blond extrait smells like a sharp old potpourri with some concentrated Old Spice thrown in; plus the warm tobacco for awhile. Disappointing after all I've read. I am beginning to wonder if there is not an aspect of 'the Emporer's New Clothes' in perfume reviews. Or at least a Rorshach test of the reviewer's frame of mind more than anything else.







    12 April, 2009

    Zowiee's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    This is truly a stunning fragrance from which one can never escape from it's hold over you!
    How this fragrance vividly reminds me of a long-ago youthful love of mine, Katie. Stunningly beautiful and enjoyed life to the fullest. Her love still lasts, after all these years...
    This review is for the pure parfum

    21st February, 2009 (Last Edited: 14 November, 2009)

    PigeonMurderer's avatar

    Finland Finland

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    I am giving my opinion on that supposedly reformulated (extract) version.

    There was a time when I wasn’t a fan of these kinds of balsamic vintage leather scents. But who hasn’t had their own change of hearts with perfumes?

    Everything changed when I fell in love with Knize Ten, after I had dismissed that one too for quite some time.

    Anyway….Although Tabac Blond shares obvious similarities to Knize Ten, it isn’t nearly as magical. In fact, it is very lame comparing to that one. Tabac Blond pales in comparison with few other scents as well in this category, but yes, especially when it comes to Knize Ten the contrast is very sharp.

    Tabac Blond is androgynous ambery leather scent with balsams and hint of flowers. It is quite much sweetened up by vanilla. Only slightly smoky and surprisingly thin and wimpy. It is not particularly rich or mysterious. It is not romantic or captivating. Simply put, the magic is very much missing.

    Not too that bad this, it has its moments after all, but considering the fact that I like to review these scents with the value for the money in mind too, I must take my thumbs down on this one.

    I would love to smell this in original formulation. I presume it would be quite an experience.

    03 February, 2009

    soirdelune's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Today, I am having a life-affirming experience, one so happy and complete that I feel I have been re-acquainted with a lost part of my soul. I am wearing Tabac Blond for the very first time. It is so perfect for me that I am emotional, could truly cry. I've always known just from the reviews that this would be my kind of perfume: on the dark side, unconventional, idiosyncratic, gender-bending. It's also beautiful in the extreme: golden tobacco warmth, liquory leather, clovey carnation, balsamic, the prettiest, most ladylike, of patchouli bases. So denigrated in its current fomulation by Luca Turin, I can only wonder with reverent awe how its antecedent must have smelled.

    12 January, 2009

    mrclmind's avatar

    United States United States

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    I'd like to bathe in this intoxicating magic philter. Tabac Blond is a supreme accomplishment. Even the reformulation is a masterpiece. To call Tabac Blond a leather scent is like calling Beethoven's 6th Symphony pretty. Tabac Blond rises above all stereotypes and labels as to scent gender. It is beyond merely being unisex; she is a lion of a scent who does not discriminate among any of her pride. Tabac Blond chooses you; you don't choose her. Once you are one of her initiates, you may never return again from whence you came. I wouldn't go so far as to say that Tabac Blond is without peers, but she is definitely in a very small club indeed.

    02 September, 2008

    taliaseki's avatar

    Turkey Turkey

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    Feels like entering a dusky shrine after all dark ritual is done. Incense smoke settled, some rough cut tobacco for hashish rests in a wooden chest, worn our dirty leather carpets... inspirations about the dark side of human... really impressive... But after half an hour all mystery of smoke incense tobacco and leather dissolves and comes the carnation amber musk of the old style. it is a kind of smell that any one with a moderate nose would tell you that it is old, and anyone over his forties can tell you that it is a kind of frag that around 1950 many men on the world, governors soldiers and the Persian merchants and Chinese barbershops used to smell... The one i have tried was the extrait and i wanna try other forms in the hope for a more acceptable base because the leather incense top note is really very charming. It is masculine and i would rarely find a place to wear but i would have it only to wear on wrists to enjoy myself, if only it is not followed by an old spice type chubby guy entering the shrine loudly...

    07 July, 2008

    Ms Rochambeau's avatar

    United States United States

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    I would love to have a vintage versions of Tabac Blond, Habanita and Bandit, but so far I've only experienced the Habanita EDT (I've had a 33 year love affair with this one ever since I discovered an ad for a sample in the back of a Vogue magazine at age 17) and the pure parfum sample of Tabac Blond that I recently aquired. Of the 3 scents previously mentioned, Bandit has the reputation of being the real badass, but I wouldn't know as I have yet to smell it (I have a sample on the way as I write this).

    As with Habanita, I have fallen in love with Tabac Blond. Tabac Blond opens spicier (like lots of cloves) while Habanita moves quickly to a more dry, peachy, powdery place with the leather emerging much later. The tabacco in Tabac Blond is more evident from start to finish. Both scents are dark and mysterious, but of the two, Tabac Blond is smokier. Both are femme fatales, but while Tabac Blond lets you know right from the start that she's aiming to do you in, Habanita first seduces you with "innocent" powdery softness, drawing you closer, then she whips out her pistol.

    I may edit this review once I receive my sample of Bandit.

    05 July, 2008

    Kaern's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Top- Leather -- Middle-Leather -- Base - Leather/smoke. Nothing really that softens -- amber will just intensify -- this is the edp version. I think you would need to walk through a mist of it to make it tolerable. I can appreciate the innovativeness, but is really much too potent for me and as stated, very linear.

    Kaern

    29 April, 2008

    mademoiselle_nicole's avatar

    France France

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    This is all about class, it is so chic that it stands out.
    I feel I put on the courage of the flapper girls of the 20th when I wear it. It's comforting and audacious at the same time. Dark,unpresentable,overly and overlt chic.It is that tipe of fragrance that tells, well Baby I am who I am, like it or leave it, but if you like it, we could be...
    nonchalance brought to excellence. Tabac Blond is perfection in balance but with that little touch of neglection that doesn't permit it to be overdone. It is like the french mentality. They do a marvellous coat with the most delicious hand-embroidery you have ever seen... and then let one button hang lose...
    is is all about doing something extraordinary and then leave a touch of it hang lose ,just as if sth too precise would disturb the grandeur. if it all was perfect, it would not be chich any longer.
    I adour this

    19 January, 2008

    drvrs's avatar

    United States United States

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    I appreciate the history of this scent... but...it wore me, and wore me out. I felt smothered and choked by a leather-clad biker in a sleazy bar, tables and floors stained with decades of spilled booze...

    17 January, 2008

    couch's avatar

    United States United States

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    Tabac Blond is not discontinued; it's just only available now in the EDP from the urns at the Caron boutiques:
    http://www.parfumscaron.com/FR/les_parfums_et_poudres/les_parfums_fontaine/tabac_blond.html.

    I would go further than saying this is unisex--it is of course very sensual on the right woman, but it is a classic gentleman's scent for autumn. Made for damp leaves and tweed (or black tie and Plymouth martinis), and just as sexy, if the responses I've received from women are any indication, on a man. I know several men of taste who wear it in season. It's too heavy for warm weather, which also brings out the sweetness too much, but in the right circumstances it is simply without peer. In very cold weather I shift to Bel Ami by Hermes, which in absolute terms can't challenge TB, but whose spice notes create a compelling feeling of warmth for wearer and intimate both.

    21st November, 2007

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    **This review is of the EDT**

    Notes:

    Top: Leather, Linden, Carnation
    Heart: Iris, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang
    Base: Cedar, Patchouli, Vanilla, Amber, Musk

    Said to be launched to celebrate the liberation of women in the 1920s a movement which allowed them to vote and mate without male consent, wear skimpy bikinies and take care of that ever growing bikini line, and ofcourse smoke in public. The name might be a misnomer, but there's not an iota of smoke in Tabac Blond's performance - this is a crystal clear display of excellent perfumery skills.

    Tabac Blond opens with a fresh blast of a sweet citrus note conjoined witha bright floral spicyness of carnation tinged with the barest hint of leather. Its an inviting opening and only hints at whats to come next. And that hint only grows more and more obvious over the next few minutes. The castoreum-based leather heart of Tabac Blond grows in prominence and starts dominating...and what a leather note it is! It shares some similarities with the turpentine-like leather note in Knize Ten, but unlike that motor-oil mechanic juice note, is never harsh or overly chemically (probably due to the iris and ylang ylang, which smooth out any rough leathery tones). Its smooth and as well-balanced as a leather note can be, and although I don't smell much tobacco or smoke, there is a general underlying smoky feel enveloping the heart notes. The leather is impressive in its longevity - this sublime note lasts for a good 4 hours, before the fragrance transitions to a smooth resinous vanilla-amber base, which surprisingly smells cool (is it because of the enduring musk and cedar notes?) compared to the leather action in the heart notes.

    Tabac Blond is Carons' flagship perfume, and even in its EDT form, is a fragrance which very few, if any, leather fragrances can claim to compare to. The movement between the three notes phases is dynamic, the leather note is substantial yet never overbearing, and the vanillic-amber-cedar-musk base finishes off the leather powerhouse display with a rich melange of temperate and sensual notes which provide a frore contrast to the leathery warmth. Tabac Blond was a fragrance way ahead of time; its time though has come. The time is now. This is a fragrance for bold women, women who find the fruity florals littering the malls insubstantial, inchoate and insulting to their driven motivated interior. Women who have had enough of the vanilla-amber-laden sweet bombs. Women now lead Fortune 1000 companies, are career driven, and play an equal hand in marriage. I can easily see such independent women do Tabac Blond justice. Its also a clearly unisex juice, although Mr. Moms might be better off with the generic aquatic. Tabac Blond is smokin'.

    04 August, 2007

    touti007's avatar

    France France

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    Mysterious and very "class"
    anticonformist,modern,unique,
    when you are bored sometimes
    with too much flowery an sugar ferfumes

    intellectual sexy YES I agree !!!

    unisex and decadent masterpiece!!!
    UNIQUE


    10th June, 2007

    Oud Man's avatar

    United States United States

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    There is something dark, uncanny, and almost diabolical about this fragrance. Imagine being in a 'new age' cafe, full of vegan homosexuals and pagan lesbians. It is a witch's poison potion, reeking freakiness and portending evil.

    If you do not want dark thoughts and disturbing emotions to be conjured in your heart, steer clear of this one.

    25 May, 2007

    Lisaandtheword's avatar

    United States United States

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    1st try, Nice warm leather & incense, the smokiness is cool, not sure if fave yet. confidant sexy feel tho. 2nd try, Love it! Vol de Nuit was a bit soft & boring, this is soft and Wow! It opens sultry & smoky, warm & ambery, smoke softens and woods come thru along with a touch of sweetness. Interesting & confidant. Not too heavy, would be fine for casual wear (applied lightly). It's not blatantly sexy.. but the sexiness it hints at is va-va-rowr.

    13 April, 2007

    pookerella's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is definitely class in a bottle. You can smell history. They do not create perfumes like this any longer. I can't stop smelling my hand...It does have a leather tinge to it (definitely not harsh) but as someone said, it is a natural smell. To me, the dominant smell is of pipe tobacco...deep, smoky, warm, sweet, but not sickly sweet. Used sparingly, it is plenty provocative. You won't "smell" yourself "coming and going," for sure. Not for the faint of heart or the conformist. This smell demands to be worn by someone knows who she is!

    13 February, 2007

    Caltha's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Oh glorious skank! The extrait is like Muscs Koublai Khan or L'air de rien with a metallic edge to it. Utterly decadent. A few months ago I'm sure I would have wrote it off as soapy and old lady-like but now I think modern perfumes, even the really good ones, are newly bathed babies in comparison.

    05 February, 2007

    Eluard's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    Like some others here I get no leather from this fragrance—none at all. But it is full of dark smoke, as if one had walked into an underground jazz joint in 1920s Paris and been enveloped in layers of cigarette smoke drifting up from the fingers of predatory call-girls and their attentive, bookish, clientele. And somehow “bookish” defines this scent—because you cannot rid yourself of thoughts of Stein, Hemmingway, the Fitzgeralds, and other writers of the time, drinking themselves into a state where they can see eye to eye with the times. And this scent is the scent of those times. There is nothing opulent about this scent, but I can imagine it on a young Bette Davis or Barbara Stanwyck (pre-code) and it conjures up murder and burlesque and a world recovering from a great war. I wouldn’t say that the scent has a great beauty to it, but it has character — like layers of shadow. I suppose it could be said to be a film-noir scent, some twenty-five years before that genre properly emerged. But it were a painting it would have to be Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, painted 12 years earlier — or perhaps those sepia cubist paintings of Braque and Picasso.

    Whatever Daltroff’s original intention, this scent can now be worn by both men and women. It is more masculine than many male scents that are on the market today. But it isn’t unisex in the way that has come to be interpreted by L’Artisan and others. Rather it somehow transcends gender. One could say it is for sexual intellectuals of either gender.

    19 January, 2007

    purplebird7's avatar

    United States United States

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    After the initial slap of leather, the animalic notes recede and a spicy aroma combines with the leather. (I smell a bit of clove, which must actually be carnation.) This fragrance is gently enveloped by sweetness until it succumbs completely to that lovely Caron base. Naughty enough to turn heads, the tobacco and leather notes are nevertheless courteous and approachable, and yes, even feminine. Much more of a "real" leather scent than most that are marketed today. Totally enjoyable. Lovely, a must-try.

    05 December, 2006

    squiggy241's avatar

    United States United States

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    oh I love this! It smells just like what I ordered

    25 October, 2006

    Ensoleille's avatar

    United States United States

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    I just purchased a decant, and after using sparingly and waiting patiently for the drydown, all I can say is WOW!!! I agree with scentmad01, it is sublime, utterly sublime!!
    Not your everyday sort of fragrance though, so I must make plans and find someplace special to wear it.

    12 September, 2006

    themeglet's avatar

    United States United States

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    Oh, no no no no no. I should have told myself "no, no more Carons for you, Meg" before ordering the samples from a very wonderful seller on ebay. The experience of owning a 1ml sample of Tabac Blond is much like test driving a Lamborghini and then having to go back to the real world of your Toyota Paseo. Why did I do this to myself? I feel as if I have purchased a remarkably addictive (and EXPENSIVE) drug, and now crave it like I've never craved a scent before. ARGH! Will the gods of ebay *please* send me some wonderful seller who wants to rid themselves of Tabac Blond for a relatively sane price? Is there a decent dupe to be found? I'm a grad student, and can't for a moment justify spending upward of $65 for a tiny 10 ml bottle... (It hurts us, Precious!)

    The leather (rubber?) or suede note is key here; other notes: blond/light tobacco, amber, insence/smoke, vanilla, carnation, linden, iris, vetiver, ylang ylang, cedar, patchouli, musk. Amazing opening and delightful drydown. Thumbs WAY up.

    10th September, 2006

    Showing 31 to 60 of 70.