If I had to chose only one fragrance that should reveal and explain the European perfume history, herritage and style to an alien (from outer space or a person totally blanc of associations towards perfumes in general), I would chose Caron´s Tabac Blond.
From the first time I tried it, it had me. And I was intrigued, repelled, fascinated and very much attracted. Tabac Blond is to me the perfume of the perfumes. It´s so close to what perfume is all about (to me) that I call it an archetype.
Everything you might want from a real high class perfume, you got it in Tabac Blond. Even thoug I have more expensive perfumes in my collection, nothing makes me feel as proud being a perfumista as Tabac Blond. Living without knowing Tabac Blond would be a great loss. Greatness beyond words really...
Oh, but oh... how does it smell? The opening is very sharp, like a lot of old school perfume openings are and I´ve learned to love those harsh, a little repelling openings, if the medicin isn´t bitter, it won´t work as well, right? It´s bursting with almost oily carnation, underscored by equally oily, slightly bitter lime and a raw, rugged leathery note. Love it.
The smokey character from vetiver reveals. Some softer notes from florals. It warms up, it meltens in to my skin, creamy yet still harsh, mysterious and dark. The dry down is all about golden creaminess, woody patchouli, soft vanilla (not the eatible kind), regal amber and animalic musk. Love it even more (if possible).
If you´re usually in to fruity florals, you´ll proably hate Tabac Blond. It´s far from a modern scent, yet I find it timeless and ageless, and I hope Caron will continue to keep it this way, as far as I know they´re still having the original formula (or at least as close as possible). I do not find the eau de parfum so different from the extrait. Not as long lasting, and you need to apply more of course, but the esscential fragrance seem very close to my nose.
If you don´t have any fancy clothes or golden jewelry, not worry, Tabac Blond will be happy to wear you for a while even if you´re dressed in jeans and t-shirt.