Perfume Directory

Cabochard (1959)
by Grès


Cabochard information

Year of Launch1959
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 323 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerBernard Chant
PackagingAlix Gres
Parent CompanyDenz > Art & Fragrance

About Cabochard

Cabochard is a feminine perfume by Grès. The scent was launched in 1959 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Bernard Chant. The bottle was designed by Alix Gres

Reviews of Cabochard

Ive been looking for this frag a long time. I like the old, heavy frags. Very intense, dusky, heavy, and as mentioned in some previous comments, even could be offensive and headache inducing for some others. The smell of someone carrying flowers, wearing leather and having a cheeky fag at the same time

30th March, 2019
Since that great actress Rosalind Russell was a lover of chypre fragrances, I wonder if she wore Cabochard. Anyway, it is a beautiful fragrance. Since Bandit has been reformulated and isn't as strong or leathery/petrol-like, I think I'll be wearing Cabochard EdP now. I have the original Bandit EdT and the newer EdP, and the EdT lasts longer than the EdP and the sillage is a monster for the EdT. I've got two bottles of the vintage Bandit EdT left, and I will be using those very sparingly and on special occasions (or a night of partying on the town). Although Cabochard may not be the sillage monster that Bandit EdT is, perhaps it will become more concentrated with time and will reach that level after spending a few years on the shelf. That's why I bought 11 bottles of Cabochard EdP.
27th March, 2019
This is for the EDP. A beautiful aldehydic leather. The notes are very similar to Aramis obviously, but with a sweeter opening. I get the fruity notes on application along with a hint of dry tarragon.
I'm a bloke btw, so it may seem different on my skin, or not. But either way, I deem this to be, as all 'fumes will soon be, completely unisex. Truth be told that's why I got it (along with Tabu, Aromatics elixir etc.). Reviews here and elsewhere from experienced perfume lovers tell of how well these reacts to male chemistry and that's what I'm finding. For what it's worth, I'm in the camp that believes fragrances have no gender they're just marketed toward one or the other, and often bought so 'I' can 'be that'. So it's down to money (for the manucaturers) and identity (for the end-user).
Anyhow, Cabochard smells great on me. Lasts well too. There's quite a floral mid to it, but the spicy leather/tobacco vibe is prominent throughout, as is the sparkly/soapy aldehyde buzz, even into the mossy cream drydown.
A lovely perfume for us all.
07th February, 2019
I owned this decades ago. I liked it then. I haven't tried any modern version, nor will I seek it.

I recently tried it again, from a vintage sample. It has time-travel, top notes. I definitely remember this. Big galbanum and sage take the spotlight. Green, and nearly bitter. Dirt-dark jasmine and musty ylang in the heart. Orris and rose play old-fashioned games. Geranium is the wallflower here.

The base has a moss, woody, slight green, and leathery tinge. Slight musky, animal accord. Get your hands on vintage, to experience this. I'm sure the reform versions suck.
10th December, 2018
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United Kingdom
Dusty leather, white flowers and an extinguished cigarette after the rain. It has a kind of fresh/damp/wet feeling to it. Different and unisex at a bargain price tag. EDT and EDP are almost identical albeit the latter has a stronger punch including better sillage and longevity.
07th November, 2018
There's a pretty big story behind Cabochard de Grés (1959), which is appropriate given this is a big, big perfume. Alix "Madame" Grés herself returned from a trip to India and imagined a perfume that captured her memories of the experience. Her first concept was assigned to Guy Robert, who came back with a light and airy tuberose scent that Alix loved, but her advisors said wouldn't sell in the mid-century market of strong "liberated women" chypres like Piguet Bandit (1944), and Estée Lauder Youth Dew (1953), so a second fragrance composed by Bernard Chant (future unofficial Lauder house perfumer through until the 80's) was commissioned with these bolder trends in mind. Alix Grés initially decided to release both fragrances under the names "Chouda" and "Cabochard" respectively. The former is Hindi slang for copulation (shortened from "bakachouda") while the latter simply means "headstrong". Suffice it to say that Chouda de Grés never saw market, but a lifetime supply was produced for personal use by Madame Grés herself, while Cabochard de Grés was the one everyone else was able to buy. I think this was probably for the best, as despite Cabochard following conventions of the day, it's specifics would later open a whole new door for men and women scent-wise, being a green-topped floral leather chypre that inspired nearly all of Bernard Chant's future output with Estée Lauder, and similar green things from Chanel, Givenchy, Dior, Jacomo, Revlon, Avon, and so many more. Cabochard was made for the smoking and drinking woman, the commanding woman that couldn't be tied down by a husband because she had things to do in her life, and wasn't afraid to crack a whip. Guys in modern times who love leather could certainly love this too, as it's of surprising quality given the palty prices it commands.

The smell of Cabochard really wasn't super ground-breaking in the leather chypre realms, as Caron Tabac Blonde (1919), Knize Ten (1924), Chanel Cuir de Russie (1924), Lanvin Scandal (1933), Alfred Dunhill for Men (1934) and MEM English Leather (1949) had all infused various degrees of nostril burn from light tanning aldehydes to full-on gasoline depending on the scent, but what Cabochard did differently from the rest of them was add a dollop of androgynous sharp green galbanum, a grassy top note that would come to dominate designer fragrances in the following decades, and mixed with aldehydes and leather, galbanum packs quite a punch. Much like we see with ambroxan and norlimbanol in the 21st century, the galbanum and leather combo was on display with moderation in Cabochard, then subsequently dialed up in a loudness war little by little as competitors emerged, but here, the hefty petrol green combo is at harmony with the rest of the composition. Galbanum and leather is obviously joined by hesperidic citrus notes which were also gathering favor at the time, with herbs like clary sage and tarragon finishing out the top. Rose, jasmine, geranium, all notes Bernard Chant would continue to abuse in future works are here in the heart, and despite this being marketed as a feminine for Grés, by the 70's it would be clear that Cabochard was more of the Ur-Aramis "Laudernade" accord than anything else. Ylang-ylang and orris also make a show here, but by the base we're moved into familiar chypre territory with mossy layers of dry woods and vetiver ontop a re-asserted leather note with just a smidge of castoreum. Cabochard still had to appeal to the ladies, so we're not drowning in the animalic castoreum like in Bogart One Man Show (1980) or Chanel Antaeus (1981), but it supports the moss bite and leather crackle nicely. Cabochard wears well almost year-round like most green leathers, but probably best in extreme heat or cold, where different sides of it's wild dynamic will show through.

Cabochard is a must-buy for fans of petrol leather from any part of the gender spectrum, and wears rather masculine in the 21st century but likely seemed unisex even in 1959 due to the high amount of green notes. A CIS-gendered heterosexual woman can still very much pull off Cabochard given that she's the boss in the office or head artist at the local tattoo parlour, but otherwise this is way too butch for the "fruitchouli floral" mall scent crowd associated with modern perfume concepts of femininity. Guys who own Aramis (1965) will get a kick out of knowing that it was a re-tooled Cabochard with rounder florals and moss, with a higher dose of aldehydes, and wearing Cabochard side-by-side with Aramis will reveal it to be stiffer, greener, more bitter, and ironically more intimidating, so therefore more "masculine" than Aramis outside of the higher presence of rose and jasmine, which these days are stuffed into a lot of masculine fragrances from the niche segment anyway. Eau de toilette is the way to go for a more terrifying top and greater sillage, but the eau de parfum will last longer whilst glowing closer to the skin with a heavier floral bass riff. Vintage will have higher animalics and oakmoss, but modern is tamer but still damn good. Like most virile leather chypre scents, there's no "right" time to wear Cabochard, so headstrong ladies, gentlemen, and kind folk will just have to take their chances with it. If the 60's through 80's green chypres were a bordello, 1959's Cabochard de Grés is the head mistress. She may not be as spry or loud as those under her keep, but she's the one you should fear most. Absolutely riveting stuff!
21st September, 2018

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