Reviews of Tabac Blond 
Caron (1919)

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Tabac Blond by Caron

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Reviews of Tabac Blond by Caron

There are 81 reviews of Tabac Blond by Caron.


Few fragrances stir me up into nostalgia and reverie as Tabac Blond. Maybe it's the languorous linden blossom, honeyed, mildly sweet, somewhat tart, or its the room-filling carnation, or perhaps the cool and musing iris. It could very well be the usage of the De Laire Mousse de Saxe base to full effect: this accord combines geranium, anise, isobutyl quinoline (IBQ) for a leather effect, heliotropin, vetiver and vanillin. The base makes fragrances such as Tabac Blond open an arresting, anisic green leading to a dark, somewhat sweet, woody and powdery, dry down.

The heart has a heady ylang ylang accompanying the carnation, shaded with a cedar and rendered somewhat smoky through the vetiver in the base. You may ask, where is the tobacco? Well, during the early 20th century, the impression of tobacco was a matter of "trompe le nez," a summation that results in the impression rather than any usage of materials deriving directly from tobacco. What matters is that it feels like tobacco, and I'd argue it does so even more so than many tobacco-centric scents of today that will use dollops of Nicotania Virginiana absolute and lots of modern materials to build an often blunt or obtuse accord.

Truly, I cannot do any more justice than my friend Ida Meister in highlighting Tabac Blond. I recommend you read her marvelous article on Cafleurbon. I am a bit envious of her vintage; however, the EDP bottle I have in my possession from I'd say, maybe 15 plus years ago, blows out of the water many modern releases that barely manage to capture the same spirit.


If it’s true that Jacques Guerlain used Coty’s Emeraude as the template for Shalimar (1925), Coty didn’t take the moral highground for long, he went and did the same thing to Ernest Daltroff.
He took the flowers and leather of Tabac Blond,
he had Vincent Roubert tart them up with strawberry,
and he called it Knize Ten (1925).
As in the previous incident, the outcome was an improvement on the original.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Much has been written about the differences between the vintage and modern reformulation of Tabac Blond. This is a review of the current extrait, which - if not identical to its predecessor - is a beautiful fragrance in its own right. It smells very much like Habanita to me, albeit with more tobacco in the opening; in the drydown, they are almost identical twins to my nose.

Note: I'm editing this review of the current extrait because I just received a 1940 sealed bottle of Tabac Blond extrait, and the differences between them are striking. The vintage perfume is every bit the "angular, dykey leather" that Luca Turin says it is - it's one of the best leather-and-tobocco scents I've ever smelled. The opening is sharp, distinctive, in-your-face, and its floral notes provide a muted backdrop for the atmospheric top and heart notes. It's exquisite, a masterpiece of the perfumer's art.

The current extrait, by comparison, is more about the florals, with leather and tobacco subdued; some people will like it better than vintage, for that very reason. The Tabac Blond DNA is there, but in a very polite and genteel form. It's quite beautiful, but missing key elements in its character.


Words fail me...

What an incredible masterpiece this is! Like gold or pearl necklaces, and dresses made from finest black velvet. This is a perfume which has to be not smelled but rather experienced!

Tabac Blond (I'm reviewing the Eau de Parfum here) was released in 1919 (same time as the legendary Mitsouko by Guerlain) as a perfume for women who smoked! It was a revolutionary concept, and also a revolutionary perfume in many ways because firstly, it was the first time that leather had been used in a woman's perfume and secondly, this was one of the very first tobacco fragrances! I think it's more revolutionary than Mitsouko though.

It's a hard one to explain but I'll try to. What you get is dry, soft tobacco, like the paper which lines a pack of cigarettes, rather than the cigarettes themselves. Spicy carnation dominates, along with a gorgeous leather-iris combination and a hint of animalic notes. Damp cedarwood and dry, dark vanilla mixed with creamy ylang-ylang complete the base.

This is unlike anything I've tried in a very long time. When I smell this I get two images, elegant balls and women dressed in black with white gloves and cigarette holders, marble floored ball rooms and the golden aura from crystal chandeliers. The other image I get is the women of the 1920's, androgynous women (this was reportedly a favourite of Marlene Dietrich). I don't get "flapper" or "loose woman" out of this. I get "rich woman who smokes"... and yes it's a lot like the smell of makeup and tobacco but at the same time is so deep and luxurious that it really deserves a few tries to really see the elegance in it. It really gives of an aura of gold and black and luxury. I can't explain any better than that. If you can, please try and experience this. A legendary perfume.


A beautiful Caron classic! Tabac Blond is one of my favourite perfumes for autumn and winter, and one I have worn for many years. I have seen numerous reviews that call it a masculine fragrance (or at least having "masculine notes"), but I really don't get that (having said that, the line between what are classed as masculine and feminine scents is becoming more and more blurred). On my skin, Tabac Blond becomes a heavy, though soft and slightly powdery perfume; it is slightly syrupy and chypre, with the merest hint of leather, and no tobacco or smoke that I can detect. For a long time I knew Tabac Blond reminded me of at least one other perfume, but I couldn't place what it was: finally I have realised that it is like a mixture of Shalimar and Dioressence, and perhaps a touch of Jicky. Far too heavy for warm weather, but perfect for the colder months!


The current EDP iteration is a faded leather with very little throw. Why bother?
The top is a bit better, a brisk carnation and leather combo, with an ‘I mean business' demeanour. Underlying it is the kind of smell you get on a coat when the wearer has worn the same perfume for a long time and there is a build-up of the drydown and staleness. Still, not bad in a fuddy duddy fashion. However, minutes in, the dry vanilla joins in to leave one with only a reluctant leather with the occasional powdery waft of the now somewhat wilted carnation. It's not unappealing, it just refuses to project.


Just bought a 1970's Lotion Tabac Blond version and I have to say it reminds me a lot of the recent formulations of Knize Ten big time, which although I own, I still don't really like it until the very end of the drydown and Tabac Blond is following the same path. Perhaps the Knize is a little harsher as another reviewer puts it. I cannot see what all the fuss and astronomical pricing old bottles fetch is on this item.


Some says that it has nothing to do with good ol' days... Maybe.

Though, that's a knock-off. A very subtle fragrance suitable for women and for men. "Tabac Blond" is a metaphor as it does not contain any tobacco in it. Figurative & complex, it is the first perfume that does not try to copy/paste natural stuff.

I wear it for very special and formal situations...


Vintage or nothing This was a perfume I knew I'd love immediately, both from its backstory (flapper girls discovering cigarettes and Charleston-ing till dawn) and its notes (leather, vanilla, smoke and sandalwood). So I managed to get a sample of the vintage juice from the Perfumed Court - and indeed, it was love. At the time, I was reading a lot of John Le Carre novels. And more than anything, Tabac Blond occurred to me as the perfect spy scent - it was sophisticated and clever, had a history, and carried notes of dusty books and opulent leather that I could imagine in the London men's clubs where diplomats and agents would meet to talk of world affairs. However, when I tried the newer version, I found it a very different animal - it has some smoke and vanilla, but is overpowered by a sharp floral note, and it has none of the dusty leather that I had recognised in the vintage. If you have to buy a new-version Caron, I would go for En Avion, which seems a bit more interesting.Pros: Smokey, dark, but softCons: The new version is not worth it."


Vintage Tabac Blond is Habit-Forming Tabac Blond is a Gasoline Blast going in. No mistake about it. From that addictive top-note aura on through the compelling nicotine of it's namesake, Tabac Blond spins a habit-forming distraction. Women started publicly smoking cigarettes shortly before1919. Ernest Daltroff created Tabac Blond as an elegant companion to their status symbol of tobacco. Vintage Tabac Blond's initial top-note blast subsides into a "marshmallow" note reminiscent of those in vintage Shalimar and L'Heure Bleue. Not a sweet, cloying marshmallow. Dry and woody, it recalls marshmallows roasted over an Autumn bonfire, with a slightly sharp edge. That could be due to the combination of leather and lime, with carnation lingering softly in the background. The projection seamlessly transitions into a refined, buttery leather. Towards the end of the topnotes, it's the flawless calfskin leather of an elegant lady's glove. Steady and mesmerizing, vintage Tabac Blond reaches its confident potential. The first six times I wore Tabac Blond I detected no tobacco. Or rather I detected only the "idea" of tobacco. But amazingly, during the seventh time, there it was. It wasn't a cigarette type of tobacco. Nor was it the tobacco of a curing barn. But rather I caught the heavenly scent of a faint and aromatic pipe tobacco, softly emanating from a wooden cabinet. Vanilla, Cedar and Patchouli lend Tabac Blond its perfect aromatic and spicy dry down.Pros: Unique, Refined, ComplexCons: None


The Vintage Extrait Perfume:
The begin is a full onslaught of phantastic leather with a bright tobacco note, initially showing a touch of gasoline Knite-Ten-like harshness that quickly evaporates and is replaced by a rich spiciness. A beautiful combination that lasts about two hours. Then a floral tuberose middle impression emanates to give it a gentler, rounder touch, with a creamy clove component. At times a metallic vanilla-based dryness appears that then goes and gives way to a gentle sweetness - not unlike Creed's Royal English Leather but less sweet - the Caron is never really sweet and never cloying. After about seven hours the vanilla moves into the foreground to compete with the leather, but never is as strong as, for instance, in Creed's Royal Delight. In the last couple of hours, a nice lean powderiness finishes the long and sensational drydown. Blending and ingredient quality are perfect, silage and projection are superb, and - a true old-style high-quality perfume - longevity on my skin is over eleven hours. A grand classic and one of the most amazing leather-tobacco fragrances I know.




When I first reviewed Tabac Blond I did not know I was reviewing a re-formulation. The current formulation is a remarkable carnation transformation, suggesting the slightly acrid aroma of cigarette tobacco and its ash. It is sharp and striking and totally original. I loved it and still love it very much. I have owned a 50 ml edp and now slowly refer to my 50 ml bottle of parfum.

Recently I was able to sample the original release from 1919, via a bottle circa 1960, which is completely different. It most resembles Knize Ten, a sweet leather scent, one that is light and floral, without any of the animalic leather notes found in Chanel's Cuir de Russie or Lancome's Cuir. The tobacco note is likewise light and sweet, not at all sharp or acrid. This lovely light combo of sweet leather and pipe tobacco is astonishingly fine. I wish I could afford a vintage bottle, but alas it is out of my range.

I encourage those interested to sample both, asking of your supplier exactly which version you are buying. I continue to love both. A true classic and the embodiment of ultra sophistication.


I get a beautiful floral, with a hint of herbal tablets thrown in. There's *no* 'tabac' that I can identify, and I've tried it three times now. It's still lovely, but it's not what I expected at all.


The opening is smokey, leathery & slightly spicy, with a hint of the floral notes to come, & an animalic growl beneath. Over the first half hour, the florals become more prominent; mainly iris & carnation to my nose, with a hint of something bitter & medicinal. Two hours in, the ambergris begins to take over, & takes on the "doughy" aspect that l noticed in Vol de Nuit & Dans Tes Bras, although here it is more subtle. lt is joined by musk in the base, before fading out after around eight hours.
l don't really get the tobacco note here, though perhaps as a smoker l don't notice it in the way that a non-smoker might. This is undoubtedly a classic scent & easily unisex, but for me it is a little too dark, bitter & austere. l did try layering it with my modern EDT of Narcisse Noir, & the two scents together actually fit beautifully, the light of one complementing the shade of the other, like two halves of a whole. l think l will enjoy using up my sample in this way.


There is a noticeable amount of tobacco and leather within this fragrance. There is also an element of smoke at the beginning, which is maintained but to a lesser degree throughout the rest of the duration. The leather stays quite prominent however.

Overall, it's quite affable, but the drydown is a little bit too sweet for me, and generally I can tolerate a lot of sweetness. Unfortunately, as the top notes fade, an entire box of those white chocolate mice, the ones which cost a penny each in the sweet shop and aren't really made of chocolate at all, begin to show their little faces.


Ohh but I love Ernest Daltroff perfumes, here was a man who knew how a woman should smell , not of fruit and synthetic flowers but of , dare I even say it ,no, I dare not so I will substitute the word I should use for this : a scent of stolen moments, stolen kisses and stolen hearts.
Tabac Blonde stole my heart years ago but it's not a scent to wear in the height of summer ,it's too dark, too leathery , just too much for everyday use.
Excellent sillage on my skin which despises most aldehydes to the point where they do not linger for more than a few moments.
I don't expect young women to like this but the animalaic quality certainly turns the heads of young men caught in the waft of it's trail.
Daltroff had a signature, so evident in Tabac, En Avion , Can Can and Nuit de Noel that I can wear any of these wonderful concoctions and feel quite illicit and singular - everyone else is welcome to smell the same if they want to, I need Daltroff to feed my inner Goddess.

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