eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Living on the Edge: Caron Tabac Blond

Long before I tried Caron Tabac Blond Pure Parfum, part of me knew it was going to mean something to me. There are those perfumes that we have hyped up so much in our minds that it's next to impossible for it to live up to our imagined standards, but sometimes, there is an instinctual patience that kicks in. It's like meeting someone that you know will be your lover at some point, it's just a matter of when. Here I am today, about a year after I decided that I needed to try Tabac Blond, in the midst of my tryst, emotionally satisfied, mentally stimulated and plotting and planning how I'll get more.

Tabac Blond starts out brusquely, with a lot of spice (garnered mainly via the stunning carnation note), linden, and a very metallic edge. The heavy dose of raw leather quickly emerges and remains throughout most of the wearing. There is a beautiful surprise here: the cool edge of iris, and it really adds sophistication to the blend. A touch of vetiver, ylang ylang and lime tree leaf round out the heart notes. This is not a perfume for good girls. This is a perfume for women who wear leather jackets with studs, are not afraid of tattoos, have a lot of expensive black eyeliners and even more expensive shit-kicking boots, but it's not quite that simple. This is an energizing fragrance that has a distinctly feminine cast to it. I think this could work for the right man, but my guess is that that is a rare occurrence. The smoky sexiness of Tabac Blond lends itself well to a woman who is confident, comfortable with her feminine wiles and doesn't shy away from masculine tactics.

Tabac Blond appears as a carnation made of caramel leather, planted in dry tobacco leaves and cedar chips. With a steadfastly rich amber, patchouli, musk and vanilla base, it lasts forever on the skin. I wish I had worn  Tabac Blond on my wedding day six and a half years ago;  in lieu of a traditional wedding dress, I wore a tailored black Ralph Lauren tuxedo suit, black leather Givenchy stilettos with white contrast stitching, winged black eyeliner and my trademark black hair with short, blunt bangs. This would have been the perfect finishing touch.

[my small decant was purchased from The Perfumed Court. I wish I knew how/where to get a bottle, anyone have any suggestions?]


  1. Great review. I adore Tabac Blond but I'm much too intimidated by to write a review, so cheers to tackling it!
    I've always thought of Tabac Blond as a black pantheress (is that a word?) perfume. Tabac Blond has this power and aggression but it is so beautiful and stylized, like those Deco statues of fierce wildcats, black and glossy, sleek.

    And your wedding sounds awesome. We eloped. I wore a dress I picked up at a department store for $20.

  2. I have no suggestions where to get a bottle, and even if I did, I'd use them after your review to get my own bottle. :)
    Sounds absolutely perfect to me. Great review!

  3. I have a vintage 70's bottle of parfum I will swap you !
    There is only about 4 ml left in the 1/4 oz bottle ...but it's good stuff !
    A rare bottle from when the company was NY based .

  4. What an incredible review!

    I think you had me somewhere around the mention of 'leather', or was it 'black'? ;) I'm always on the lookout for the Next Great Leather, and Tabac Blond sounds like a cousin of Bandit, with tobacco and amber instead of the green and galbanum. So I'll put this on the leather list...(along with Knize Ten, and I wonder if I'm brave enough for that one?)

    Incidentally, I seem to remember that Marlene Dietrich wore Tabac Blond, as well as Bandit...and Knize Ten! No shrinking violets need apply!

    And isn't it interesting...I was married in a black YSL ripoff pantsuit á la Bianca Jagger (sans floppy hat) , and can you believe it - I wore vintage Cabochard? ;)

  5. Mmm, you make this sound so good. I wasn't that impressed with the recent sample I tried, I guess I should have tried some vintage.

  6. Victoria: Thanks for the props on tackling the review. Whenever I'm moved by a fragrance in one way or another, the review just sort of writes itself. It's when I don't feel very strongly about something that it becomes laborious. I know exactly what you mean about those panther statues, that imagery works very well!

    Ines: I hope you get a chance to try Tabac Blond, it's a stunner!

    Carol: I have emailed you, thanks for your offer!

    Tarleisio: You and I seem to be scent opposites in many ways, but we do have some things in common scent-wise, and one of those things is definitely leather. On that basis, I couldn't recommend Tabac Blond enough for you. Lately I've found out that carnation fascinates me... I love it when flowers act like other things (like spices), or when cats act like dogs, etc. I have not been brave enough to try Knize Ten yet, but I am very curious. You and I made a couple of bitchin' brides, didn't we? :)

    Krista: It's not the vintage that I have as far as I know, it's the modern pure parfum. I am VERY into the idea of trying the vintage, though. I bet it's amazing. If I can cut a deal with Carol, I may find out how amazing it is soon!

  7. What perfume did you actually wear on your wedding day?
    I just saw a bottle in London, if only I had known!
    Fabulous review! You inspire me to revisit it, although I know it is not my kind of thing. ;)

  8. Thank you Birgit! On my wedding day I wore Dior Addict, which was appropriately carnal, though Tabac Blond is a bit more romantic.