Tabac Blond 
Caron (1919)

Average Rating:  79 User Reviews

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Caron
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Félicie Bergaud (Vanpouille)
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Reviews of Tabac Blond by Caron

There are 79 reviews of Tabac Blond by Caron.


I wonder, why Basenotes says that Tabac Blond gender is feminine? According to Caron web site, Ernest Daltroff created this scent for men in 1919. Men were apparently not very keen on this then novel scent, so Daltroff turned his ad campaign to women, and hit the jackpot; women were craving for this scent. So,all you men out there, Tabac Blond was originally created for you, and there is no excuse not to try this ethereal concoction yourself. You might be surprised,to find this over 100 years old parfum truly ageless, divine, dandy, and manly. Highly recommended.
Sep 16, 2021


I recently acquired the extrait of Tabac Blond (2021) and it doesn't feel the same. For me, it's instantly recognizable when you are familar with it. It's instant rush of carnations and a powdery leatheriness. This recent edition has scaled it back further. At first, I thought I smelled lily of the valley and there is NO predonimant note of LOTV in Tabac Blond, NONE. But I think it's something else now, I'm not sure what it is, it's maddening. It smells kind of contemporary like there was ambroxan or something?! I'm just not sure. And using ambroxan would be WAY TOO SACRILEDGE!
Well, I'm familar with older versions of TB and they are much more beautiful than this. I have some older Eau de Toilette from the mid 2000s and an older eau de cologne version circa 60s as well as the early 2010s Eau de Parfum, all of those smell fairly consisent with Tabac Blond. But this version, not so much. It's a bit of a drag since I did buy the 100 ml. Extrait and IT IS NOT CHEAP. I'm figuring to just wear this extait and spritz some of the beautiful Eau de Toilette I own to round it out.
Final chapter, a really sad way to make a 100 years old classic scent and deface it once and for all. I wished it were otherwise. I'm not holding high hopes on the future of Caron with this output.
Tabac Blond is officially dead.
Aug 1, 2021


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.
Jan 17, 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.
Oct 2, 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.
Aug 9, 2018


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.
Apr 5, 2018

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