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  1. #1
    david's Avatar
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    Question Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    Ivīe just returned back from a trip to the UK. Whilst in London I visited Roja Doveīs plush perfumery on the fifth floor at Harrodīs. I was very impressed !!!
    I tried Caronīs Tabac Blond, (Extrait) from the fountains, and to me it smelled exactly like the old formula Tabac Blond. I have been buying the extrait since 1978 and have collected several old bottles through ebay etc.
    The extrait I smelled from the fountains smelled identical to the older formulas. Does anyone else agree/disagree ?
    Perhaps I had a bad nose day, but I could not tell any difference. Perhaps Roja insisted on having the original formula rather than a reformed version in his perfumery - and Caron obliged ?
    I did however notice that the Poivre Extrait was very different to the older formula, (the pepper and clove really toned down.......but perhaps this is due to stringent new European Union regulations concerning the use of clove in perfumes.
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  2. #2

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    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    Makes you want to go to London ...

    Was TB the same in the opening or also in the drydown? I've never tried vintage TB. I bought TB at the Caron in rue Montaigne last year. The opening is wonderful, but I'm not convinced about the drydown. Did you have the chance to compare the Paris vs the Harrods versions?

    cacio

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    I tried Caronīs Tabac Blond, (Extrait) from the fountains, and to me it smelled exactly like the old formula Tabac Blond. I have been buying the extrait since 1978 and have collected several old bottles through ebay etc.
    The extrait I smelled from the fountains smelled identical to the older formulas. Does anyone else agree/disagree ?
    Perhaps I had a bad nose day, but I could not tell any difference.
    Thank you for your report! I have yet to smell one of those dreaded Caron reformulations. I wrote a thread on the female board with regard to En Avion. I did a comparison of the current extrait, 1990s extrait and 1930s extrait.
    With regard to Tabac Blond, I think it is hugely misunderstood and a 'difficult' fragrance to grasp like Roja Dove put it in his book. I bought a vintage sample of Tabac Blond from The Perfumed Court and could actually not smell a really noticeable difference. Owners of vintage extrait confirmed to me that the only difference to the current extrait might be 'more depth' possibly from oakmoss. I'm not even sure about that. The current extrait clearly lists oakmoss as ingredient and I would simply suspect ageing makes the oakmoss seem more prominent in the vintage. IMO, IT IS A HUGE MYTH, partly stemming from the fact that spare vintage bottles sell for hilariously high prices on ebay plus I start wondering about bashing, too. Quite some perfume blogs are full of imaginative pictures and vivid associations, but that may simply distract from facts.
    I renew my request (for the third or fourth time here - so far nobody has ever replied) .... Please do sell me a small sample of your holy vintage jus to compare, if you feel it is so much better than the current, which you own as well!

    BTW david, what color was the extrait of Tabac Blond at Roja Dove's?
    Last edited by Larimar; 18th August 2011 at 09:51 PM.

  4. #4
    david's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    Thanks for your interest and your replies.
    cacio - Itīs difficult to compare the drydown. I would have to do a back to back test. Unfortunately I didnīt have the vintage with me to compare to the Extrait Roja Dove was selling. The first hour of smelling the sample on card seemed exactly like the vintage Tabac Blond.
    Larimar - I agree entirely with you re. the HUGE MYTH factor surrounding vintage Tabac Blond. I have also come to the conclusion that Turin uses `shock tacticsī in his writing/descriptions of perfumes, which is a clever strategy - after all it gets everyone talking and he is on everyoneīs lips. So by giving Tabac Blond just one star he is creating a great stir - very good marketing, but I disagree with his comments.
    Regarding the colour, I cannot exactly remember, but the colour of the Poivre was very different from the vintage stuff. My vintage Poivre is a much darker red colour. I am convinced that the Poivre Extrait was very different from the older formulations, but not the Tabac Blond Extrait on sale at Roja Doveīs perfumery.
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  5. #5
    david's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    Sorry - double post.
    RARE PERFUME DECANTS - FACEBOOK (closed group) - Hundreds of ultra rare extraits available, including Djedi and Nombre Noir.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    LT is really scary. But then sometimes it's not clear to which concentration he is referring to. Some of the edt's I've tried are indeed unsatisfactory. Narcisse Noir edt soon becomes a tame floral of no consequence.

    And there are different vintages around, perhaps the formulation he smelled was really bad, but then it has improved again. At some points a couple of years back, I do remember smelling from Bergdorf Goodman's fountains (back when they were there) a TB that smelled distinctly, to use LT's words, of Cinnabon. The current one (I don't have it with me, unfortunately) does smell somewhat too sweet in the drydown, but not cinnabon like. And, btw, LT too recognizes that the top of TB is still right.

    cacio

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    In fact, it was TS reviewing Tabac Blond and not LT. It just ocurred to me that I also have a vintage EdT sample, which the vintage aficionados referred to as very similar in feel. I could not detect any noticeable difference there either. I have mentioned this before... I have my own Tabac Blond syringe (and a scarf that will smell of it forever ) because I like to apply this in the way that half lands on skin and half is absorbed by fabric. That's how I enjoy my Tabac Blond to the greatest extent. TB is a moderate sillage extrait with great longevity (also on skin).

  8. #8
    david's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larimar View Post
    In fact, it was TS reviewing Tabac Blond and not LT. It just ocurred to me that I also have a vintage EdT sample, which the vintage aficionados referred to as very similar in feel. I could not detect any noticeable difference there either. I have mentioned this before... I have my own Tabac Blond syringe (and a scarf that will smell of it forever ) because I like to apply this in the way that half lands on skin and half is absorbed by fabric. That's how I enjoy my Tabac Blond to the greatest extent. TB is a moderate sillage extrait with great longevity (also on skin).
    Thanks for pointing this out. I did not realise that TS wrote the TB review !
    RARE PERFUME DECANTS - FACEBOOK (closed group) - Hundreds of ultra rare extraits available, including Djedi and Nombre Noir.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    Thanks for pointing this out. I did not realise that TS wrote the TB review !
    Actually, she wrote (I think) all reviews for the Carons (En Avion - two stars, ...).

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    I don't have the book with me, but I think I remember that at least a couple were Turin's (one of the Rocailles "bland for Miss Texas lineup", Nuit de Noel, which, indeed, was rated 4 star, and perhaps even Narcisse Noir or Blanc?), but I could be wrong. But you are right about TS. But LT would probably have agreed. Anyhow, not being 5 stars, we won't see any re-review in the upcoming book.

    cacio

  11. #11

    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    This is a question I'd dearly like answered.
    I obtained a sample of the vintage parfum from the Perfumed Court early this year, and it was heaven - leather was prominant throughout, with a base of smoke and vanilla that had a several-hour long sillage. (I didn't find much in the way of carnation or green notes, though.)
    Funnily enough, the leather accord was something I recognised from my (shock horror!) bottle of En Avion, purchased at Harrods four years back. On that occasion, I had tried TB too - but it came off too metallic and with little lasting power.
    Currently wearing: En Avion by Caron

  12. #12

    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    The Perfumed Court sells a vintage Tabac Blond, which is not the original formulation. The original was loaded with animalics (really LOADED) - think along the lines of the 1930s Lanvin classics minus florals - a sombre, very animalic, very chypré base. Thanks to a BNer I have been able to sample the original. The current Tabac Blond smells almost identical to the Perfumed Court sample to my nose.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    Thanks for that - it looks like I will be getting the TB then. (I've just looked at my EA and it's described as parfum, so I'm presuming Harrods carry the extrait version.)
    I quite liked EA, but ultimately it's not 'my' scent - I prefer the earthy pipe-tobacco and vanilla warmth of TB. It absolutely speaks of late night parties in flapper-era Paris or Nice, fur-wrapped adventuresses on the Orient Express, and other mysterious times and places. (I was reading Le Carres Karla Trilogy when I got my decant from the PC, and it accorded absolutely with the memorable characters.)
    Currently wearing: En Avion by Caron

  14. #14

    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    Just an update to this: I did get the extrait from Lucky Scent, and it was *completely* different from all vintage-labelled samples I'd tried before. Pretty much in line with what Tania Sanchez said in the Guide, it was merely a spiced carnation, with no leather to speak of. (Which is weird, because in my Harrod's extrait of En Avion, there is definitely leather.) What's stranger is that I have samples of both 'vintage' and 'modern' extrait from the Perfumed Court, bought around the same time, and while the modern one is clearly more floral than the vintage, both have leather in them. I just don't know with this scent.
    Currently wearing: En Avion by Caron

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    Thanks for the heads up. Sadly confirming what we all feared.

    In the interim, I'd had the chance to smell the osmotheque reconstruction (only on paper), and indeed, the osmotheque reconstruction is very leathery, the bite of the birch tar comes straight through. Totally absent from the current formulation.

    Sadly, the En Avion I bought a couple of years ago is also leather-less, more like a supercharged neroli than a leather. So hold your extrait tight.

    cacio

  16. #16
    Super Member Bonnette's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    This is just anecdotal, and in any case it's probably true of all vintage classics, but in my research prior to deciding whether to spend my whole perfume budget on a sealed 1940s bottle of extrait, I read that Tabac Blond was actually tweaked a number of times in its remote past, with marked differences in its profile. Wartime restrictions, storage conditions, sourcing of materials, all had their effects on the fragrance industry - but Tabac Blond's frequent variations seem to be more in the nature of reformulation than availability of materials. A few sellers told me that Tabac Blond was a particular gamble in terms of the prominence of its notes. Maybe they just didn't want to be liable if I hated a $400 bottle of juice, but maybe they were accurately reporting the history.

    The current reformulation is so pricey, and so controversial, that I still don't own a bottle - vintage bottles tempt me all the time, but I can't bring myself to take such a costly risk. Purchasing small amounts sounds like the best approach, although a decant seller told me that vintage extraits from the same decade can smell quite different - the notes are all there, but their prominence isn't uniform, even within the same production years.

    So…the Osmotheque's Tabac Blond seems to be the Holy Grail, and the best any of us can hope for is a personally acceptable reflection. If you find one, then as cacio says, hold it tight!

  17. #17
    Dependent saminlondon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnette View Post
    This is just anecdotal, and in any case it's probably true of all vintage classics, but in my research prior to deciding whether to spend my whole perfume budget on a sealed 1940s bottle of extrait, I read that Tabac Blond was actually tweaked a number of times in its remote past, with marked differences in its profile. Wartime restrictions, storage conditions, sourcing of materials, all had their effects on the fragrance industry - but Tabac Blond's frequent variations seem to be more in the nature of reformulation than availability of materials. A few sellers told me that Tabac Blond was a particular gamble in terms of the prominence of its notes. Maybe they just didn't want to be liable if I hated a $400 bottle of juice, but maybe they were accurately reporting the history.

    The current reformulation is so pricey, and so controversial, that I still don't own a bottle - vintage bottles tempt me all the time, but I can't bring myself to take such a costly risk. Purchasing small amounts sounds like the best approach, although a decant seller told me that vintage extraits from the same decade can smell quite different - the notes are all there, but their prominence isn't uniform, even within the same production years.

    So…the Osmotheque's Tabac Blond seems to be the Holy Grail, and the best any of us can hope for is a personally acceptable reflection. If you find one, then as cacio says, hold it tight!
    Strange you say that the current formulation is so pricey. I've found the Caron extraits to be reasonably priced, and certainly cheaper than, say, Guerlain.

    As for vintage, I've smelled several different samples and to me there was no noticeable variation (for the proper old stuff, at any rate). However, perhaps once you get into the 1980s and 1990s the likelihood of hitting a rough patch increases. Others will know better than me.

  18. #18
    Super Member Bonnette's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    Quote Originally Posted by saminlondon View Post
    Strange you say that the current formulation is so pricey. I've found the Caron extraits to be reasonably priced, and certainly cheaper than, say, Guerlain.
    Yes, you are certainly right - I should have said "relatively pricey," as in 'if you ain't got it, you ain't got it!' And I would have had it if I hadn't spent it elsewhere!

    I'm glad to know you don't detect much difference among your older samples.

  19. #19

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    Default Re: Tabac Blond, ( Roja Dove/Harrodīs ) Original Formula.

    I am also very wary of paying top dollars for a vintage extrait (or vintage anything) that come unsniffed. Some deterioration is inevitable, but often the deterioration is too bad. Which of course means that I do not have any of these classics in their original form.

    cacio

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