Perfume Directory

Tabac Blond (1919)
by Caron

Advertisement

Tabac Blond information

Year of Launch1919
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 379 votes)

People and companies

HouseCaron
PerfumerErnest Daltroff
PackagingFélicie Bergaud
Parent CompanyAles Group

About Tabac Blond

Tabac Blond is a feminine perfume by Caron. The scent was launched in 1919 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Ernest Daltroff. The bottle was designed by Félicie Bergaud

Tabac Blond fragrance notes

Reviews of Tabac Blond

Caron Tabac Blond (1919) is easily the stuff of legend among collectors and worshipers of "the old guard" in perfume: The Guerlains, the Carons, the Houbigants; the early Cotys, Ardens, Danas, Myrugias, Lanvins and Chanels; the golden-era perfume names like Schiaparelli and LeLong that didn't survive into the current day and are only spoken about or traded between the deepest pockets and most committed of vintage enthusiasts. For all intents and purposes, a fragrance like Tabac Blond is extinct in the consciousness of the greater fragrance buying public, but the perfumers who still serve that public whisper its name like godhead between themselves and endlessly cite it as part of their education or inspiration for their modern works worlds apart from it in every way but the medium. Caron itself has had mixed success staying alive (let alone relevant) in the century or so since this fragrance launched, and among the original works by house founder Ernest Daltroff, Tabac Blond is the best fragrance of his that you just cannot feasibly buy. Part of that is likely the materials used, although at least up until the 70's most of what went into this perfume remained in it, and part of that is also just a lack of care in preserving legacy on the part of the various owners who have come and gone from Caron. Like most Daltroff compositions, Tabac Blond is built on "broad stroke" principles, with a few standout materials supported by minor players, all blended and blurred together until they vanish into a dance of big bold accords that take turns making their presence felt, but also collapse into each other making a "whole". This technique is pretty opposite to the endlessly filigreed method rival Jacques Guerlain used, placing a kitchen sink of materials and sometimes entire complete perfumes into other perfumes (a la "Guerlinade" to make something impossible to pick apart.

Tabac Blond was made as a "smoker's perfume" when launched in 1919, because at that time, smoking filter cigarettes (usually unfiltered cigarettes on long plastic filter stems) was considered a fashion statement for women. Naturally, the perfume had to be able to appropriately mask and blend with the smell of burned tobacco, accumulated nicotine and tar in hair or clothes, and still smell good. Tabac Blond was Daltroff's answer to this need, since other early chypres, fougères, florals, and orientals of the day were decidedly not focused on that, so they either clashed with the smoke or died within it. The structure of Tabac Blond is at its simplest a near-fougère, containing everything but lavender from a proper fougère accord, but it's really more abstract than that. The opening contains notes later perfumes would have in their bases, like an early use of coumarin to simulate tobacco, since tonka was used to flavor cured tobacco (and the note is still used to this day to simulate tobacco in modern fragrances). A carnation/clove-backed leather note (based on eugenol) also joins a lovely linden blossom note in the top, with a puff of aldehyde. The heart gets a bit creamier and more floral, with ylang-ylang providing musky indoles along with powdery iris and smokey vetiver. That last note is likely there on purpose to help convey the tobacco "smoke". Base notes are also of the bygone-era type, with sandalwood, breathy ambergris, oakmoss, and patchouli rounded by vanillin, then a new aromachemical toy (created by Haarmann & Reimer, now a part of Symrise). The overall effect is sweet, dusty, a bit spicy, and profound yet quiet; an assertive but soft-spoken confidence with all-day wear. Best use for those lucky enough to own Tabac Blond is as a precious special-occasion scent, but in a perfect world, likely a postmodernist signature that reads unisex to my nose.

Tabac Blond inspired Habanita by Myrugia (1921), and perhaps to an extent Knize Ten (1924), which when combined with early "Cuir de Russie" fragrances, in turn later inspired orientals like Dana Tabu (1932), Shulton Early American Old Spice/Old Spice (1937), then leathers like Piguet Bandit (1944) and MEM English Leather, finally leading to the modern aldehyde leather and/or tobacco oriental/chypre genres that gave us Tabac by Mäurer & Wirtz (1959) and Grès Cabochard (1959). Smelling Tabac Blond in it's pre-revival form, you can even see echos of it in cheap "plebian" men's colognes or aftershaves of the 60's and 70's like Avon Bravo (1969) and Swank Royal Copenhagen (1970), meaning it would take quite some time for the impact of this prewar ultra high-end perfume for socialite smokers to finally trickle out of the common DNA of Western fragrance design. Yet, a modern nose might find something like Tabac Blond overly floral, powdery, or cloying for something meant to be a cover-up for tobacco smoke, especially since tobacco fragrances have gotten increasingly rich with overdoses of tonka and other sugary materials a la Paco Rabanne 1 Million (2008). Still, the bloodlines are there, and there is an undeniable gorgeousness of design that belies the "butch" appeal this fragrance may have had with flappers of the roaring 20's. In conclusion, Caron Tabac Blond is indeed every bit the masterpiece its remaining fans claim it to be, deserving the praise heaped upon it by writers of perfume reference guides and trusted personalities within influential online taste spheres. Even if this stuff were somehow in production and attainable at prices a bit more down-to-earth, I don't know if I'd be up to the task of actually pulling it off, but that's okay. Maybe I'll grow into a person fit to smell of (let alone afford) Tabac Blond. Thumbs up.
17th January, 2021
Modern edp, like the bottle pictured above.

This is an Old Spice killer. I know Old Spice well from youth, and there were spice versions of deodorant sticks from other brands.

This takes that scent profile, and makes it a sparkling fragrance. For someone who just wears Old Spice, but would like a special occasion fragrance, this is my vote.

This modern version (long ingredients list) still has a touch of oak moss, I think. It's nicely done. It's light, but it smells and feels like the real stuff. And it has an incensey sandalwood note - it's delivering on multiple fronts, but still more of a 4 stars out of 5 fragrance than a vintage masterwork.
02nd October, 2019
My ultimate unobtainium. I love this fragrance so much it hurts because, of course, it is the vintage, rare-as-hens-teeth extrait which makes my heart sing. I care not one whit for the current version (which should be called, as one perfumista noted, Tabac Bland). But the vintage--holy moly--what a gorgeous thing, and tailored so wondrously to my own particular tastes. Carnation (my favorite flower), pipe tobacco, smoke, and leather, all drifting by in a wondrously warm and woody cloud of scent. Sophistication, sex, and rebelliousness all rolled into one. I have owned two small bottles of the extrait, the contents of which I doled out in the most minute and careful dribs and drabs. And if I had a cool thousand to toss aside without a thought, I'd go online and snatch up the biggest bottle I could find and wear it mindlessly, while sending out my servants to gather up another bottle. And another. Ad infinitum.
09th August, 2018 (last edited: 01st November, 2020)
Vintage cologne...

I had not smelled this in 28 years. At first spray, I remembered what I loved about this. I wore this sparingly, only at night, when I was younger. Now, I would wear this any time, with abandon.

The first blast I immediately smelled carnation, tobacco, and leather. Rich, smoky, and dark. After some moments iris and mild vetiver kick in.

When she settles on my skin I get smooth musk, a hint of vanilla, warm patchouli; earthy, dusky, ambergris and oak moss accords. I am enjoying this trip down memory, with this sample I've been given. What a fine masterpiece Tabac Blond "was". I write was, for I have not tried any modern, more recent versions. I doubt I will. I cannot imagine it is better than this.
05th April, 2018
Caron Tabac Blond Eau De Cologne Vintage

With all the wonderful praises of the EDP and Parfum I expected to be wow-ed by this. I have been, however it is in quiet contemplation of the structure, balance and non linear composition.
This opens with a splash of the Peppery Aspect of Carnation. Camphour of the same is subdued. Citric or Acid are minimal. Sugar, of which there is a careful balance, is counterpointed by a tannin, perhaps the Lime Blossom.
The scent takes on the Leather aspect of comparable perfumes,in my memory and direct comparison, to first Shalimar without the Guerlain-ade,Habit Rouge without the Incense,the Vibrant Contemporary lipstick of Cuir Cannage and the Godet Cuir de Russie with a little oomph and sexiness. Deep down is a little growl not unlike the Leather of the earliest Bel Ami.
A petroleum lilt is provided which I would guess would be Jasmine.
Iris is blended delicately and provides(for me) a gentle rigidity beautiful and I suspect a waxiness in background, which then blends with Vanilla to provide a semi-dry Talc in drying. I feel the light breeze of Ambergris and volume-nizing of the Oakmoss. Castoreum?
Is that what makes this so smooth and comfortable on my Masculine skin?
In spite of the Eau strength, I have, a three hour longevity, with a beautiful dry Tobacco nuanced accord and non-stuffy powder.
Although I pick up no smokiness in the scent proper, I played, by applying a light spray of a very smokey, linear Contemporary scent, to one of my girly's Leather jackets,(I'll pay for that later)sniffed and was brought back to moments of High School 70's and friends, who were girls.
At 15, as like most,I a boy, viewed girls, largely from a position clouded by sexual desire.
A girl wearing the Caron, smoking heavily, wearing glossy Lipstick and perhaps a Leather Jacket, the Caron would have added an intoxicating, "Womanly" scent to the mix. That would have had me... tormented.

Vintage Extrait

Ah Yum! The Feminine Knize Ten. Halo of scent that is sumptuous, with the sliver of Leather Whip. While the Cologne suggests fetish, with this I can hear the snap and feel the sting.

Contemporary Perfume.
While pleasant and balanced it carries little of the drama of the Vintage.There is an overall accord of Clove oil. Leather?
Maybe. Tobacco? Yes, Indonesian perhaps with it's scenting of clove.

On to the Vintage EDT soon.
17th March, 2018 (last edited: 30th March, 2018)
I love this classic scent. This is a perfume with history, rather like Habanita but perhaps with a bit more carnation or clove in it. And like Habanita, I love it.
It sort of smells like the inside of an old leather shaving kit I have....nostalgic, sweet, a bit dusty and spicy.
I love the notes of leather and tobacco that are there but very much in the back of the scent.
At first I get much carnation and clove but if you wait, the floral aspect quiets and then you have a wonderful skin scent.
I totally see why this was so effective in complimenting or covering up the smell of smoking on a woman in the 1920's.....it actually works and goes well with the lingering smell of smoking that will stay on you....
A beautiful scent that has been harmed in reformulation. Most of the Caron reformulations are not done well....if you can, get a vintage sample from TPC and enjoy it. On comparison to the Tabac Blond available to purchase today, there is no contest. Go for the vintage perfume or EDP.
03rd April, 2016 (last edited: 26th June, 2016)

Add your review of Tabac Blond

You need to be logged in to add a review

Shop for Tabac Blond products online

Some of the links we use are affiliate links, meaning if you click the links and make a purchase, we may receive a commission, which helps us keep the site running

Shop for Tabac Blond at online perfumeries

Search on ebay

TABAC BLOND BY CARON PARFUM 0.50 OZ / 15 ML

US • Buy it now: USD 240.00.


Caron Tabac Blond EDP Spray 50ml

US • Buy it now: USD 299.50.



Member images of Tabac Blond

There are no member images of Tabac Blond yet. Why not be the first?

You need to log in or register to upload images

Private Notes

You need to be logged in (or register here) to use Private Notes.

Advertisement

Advertisement