Cabochard (1959)Parfum

Version from 1959
Cabochard (1959) (Parfum) by Grès
Bottle Design Madame Grès
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Cabochard (1959) (Parfum) is a popular perfume by Grès for women and was released in 1959. The scent is chypre-leathery. The production was apparently discontinued.

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Perfumer

Bernard Chant

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesAldehydes, Asafoetida, Tarragon, Fruits, Spices, Sage, Citrus fruits
Heart Notes Heart NotesGeranium, Orris root, Jasmine, Rose, Ylang-ylang
Base Notes Base NotesAmber, Oakmoss, Coconut, Leather, Musk, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Tobacco, Vetiver

Ratings

Scent

7.7 (227 Ratings)

Longevity

8.0 (158 Ratings)

Sillage

7.4 (158 Ratings)

Bottle

6.5 (163 Ratings)
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 20.05.2020.
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Reviews

10
Scent
7
Longevity
8
Sillage
4
Bottle
Behmi
Translated Show originalShow translation
Behmi
Behmi
Very helpful Review    11  
After the fox hunt to the boiler hunt
Sooo, my first comment to a real classic, a stroke of luck that this apparently old and still intact original miniature fell into my hands How do I start?
The first picture that immediately opens up to me and awakens memories is, I hope, an adequate description for a hopefully rudimentary description:
It is Sunday morning and the hunters in their best loden skirts gather for a glass of port wine in a meadow in front of the manor house for a rendezvous. It is a sunny and mild spring morning, the spring breeze blows through the woods, the sun is already warming slightly and the freshly greased bridle of the saddled horses mixes with the grasses of the pasture and the aromas of the port wine.
The hunt begins and leads through picturesque fir forests, both horse and rider break into a sweat and the whole pack is surrounded by a warm spicy earthy leathery breeze.
Back at the manor house the horses are taken care of and the hunter asks to join the traditional hunt and a small refreshment on the pasture in front of the manor house. The stew is traditionally eaten outside in riding clothes. It dawns, and the spices of the wine join the smell of the horse and the woody cabochard on my neck. The atmosphere outside at dusk is relaxed and the first dances in riding clothes are performed, the atmosphere at the campfire is joyful and the long lasting smell from the house of Gres can be experienced without any problems. Even when I take off my riding boots at night when I bend down, a woody breeze swings up to me, now also delicately flowery, and I think with a soulful smile - WHAT A SUNDAY.
Rarely has a fragrance evoked such a strong association in me, strong and natural, durable and so highly recognizable. I think this classic is the founder of my love for Chypres.
10 Replies
Bigsly

20 Reviews
Bigsly
Bigsly
   1  
What more can you ask for?
I have vintage EdT but I recently acquired a newer EdP (tall bottle with bow and black plastic cap, but not the octogonal shape one). It begins in a way that's similar to vintage Knize Ten, actually, but then goes in more of a chypre than oriental direction. Still, this smells great and certainly unisex, IMO. The leatheriness is always present and the other notes do an excellent job providing contrast and balance. An incredible bargain for those who like these old school leather scents, better than most niche I've sampled recently, that's for sure (and the cost was less than $10 total for 100 ml). Note that when coconut is listed, for some reason what's meant is castoreum. I smell that here, but not coconut.
1 Replies
9
Scent
9
Longevity
9
Sillage
9
Bottle
Carlitos01

282 Reviews
Carlitos01
Carlitos01
Very helpful Review    5  
Stubborn, headstrong, persistent, undisciplined and impulsive
1959 is a year that everybody should remember. The world was polarized between Right and Left, with massive destruction nuclear tested weapons on both sides... and the Cuban revolution began, the perfect drama stage to convert our planet in a radioactive soup. The world as we know could be totally different if an atomic confrontation would begin that year. Thank god that both Jack and Bob Kennedy were clever and bold enough to prevent the 3d and final World War.
In our western World other events took place that year. The Barbie doll was born and became the playing companion of millions and millions of girls all over the planet Earth. For out of our planet purpose, Nasa presented their first bunch of astronauts, including John H. Glenn Jr, and Alan Shepard Jr. The first western rocket was launched to outer space. Television programmes included "Rawhide", "Bonanza" and "The Twilight Zone" while movies gave us "Some Like it Hot", "Ben Hur" and "North by Northwest". The Boeing 707 Jet Airliner came into service... and Cabochard, one of the most significative perfumes ever created, was launched in Paris by the fashion house of Grés.

Cabochard is a funny french word. It may be an adjective or a common name and has several meanings but all of them a bit dubious in terms of a person's character. It may be used for stubborn, headstrong, persistent, undisciplined, impulsive and many other synonyms.
Cabochard was certainly something we could call to Madame Grés. When returning from a trip in India, where she discovered a new world of aromas like the water hyacinth, Madame Grès decided to launch a revolutionary perfume in 1959: Cabochard! It was an immediate success, a true olfactory message from the 1950s, along with the visuals of red lips, filter cigarettes and black leather jackets.
It was elaborated by the perfumer Bernard Chant (from IFF) and was inspired by the stubborn personality of Madame Grès. It became a milestone as a leather chypre female perfume with world wide recognition. It was classic and innovative, smooth and intense, wild and delicate, feminine and masculine, a true scent of contrasts.
The perfume opens with an opposition between two ingredients: the green, dry and androgynous galbanum versus the voluptuous, intoxicating and seductive ylang-ylang.
Then the ylang-ylang petals are replaced by other precious flowers: the Bulgarian rose and the jasmine of Grasse, both giving a classic facet to the perfume.
At the end of the evolution, the fragrance becomes more complex and deeper thanks to the intense effluvia of moss, vetiver, musk and patchouli exuding mystery and exotic sensuality.
Along this trail some other notes are used to stress the bold and audacious evolution. It's the case of asafoetida, a spice with an odor profile between leek and onion (!), building an heavy earthy frame for the top notes. A bottom stage with very strong notes of woods, oakmoss, tobacco and a dominant "cuir de Russie" type of leather, giving a manly touch (or should I say punch) to the heavenly drydown of this perfume.
Different people have different experiences with this perfume. Overall it may smell like smoking rooms in posh clubs, expensive leather, peppery notes, warm sandalwood, enchanting aromatic flowers... You name it.
Such a clean and dirty, vibrant and sassy, complex perfume and with such a sophistication! Just enough to make me feel like a perfect badass!
Needless to say that I consider this Eau de Parfum as totally unisex.

How does this jewel cope with math?
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
- Scent opening............9.0 (almost perfect chypre with an animalic "Asa Fetida" note)
- Scent Dry Down.......10.0 (perfect oakmoss and leather)
- Longevity....................9.0 (up to 10 hours on my skin, with 2 sprays)
- Sillage..........................9.0 (sillage of 6~8 feet; it projects for 2.5 hours with 2 sprays)
- Versatility....................9.0 (extremely versatile, although not the best solution for summer days)
- Usability......................9.0 (avoid the beach, the gym or any activities where you may sweat)
- Compliments..............8.5 (people will notice you as distinct, elegant, sophisticated and sexy but not cute; above average compliments by both genders)
- Uniqueness.................9.0 (quite unique; I only remember two perfumes alike: Bandit from Robert Piguet, launched in 1944 as "Parfum" and relaunched in 1999 as "Eau de Parfum". Also Azuree from Estée Lauder, launched in 1969; The two of them are exceptional perfumes. Some people claim the classic Aramis to be similar to Cabochard as well, due to the strong note of leather in both of them)
- Quality........................10.0 (well above average quality ingredients; magnific smooth blending for such a complex perfume; It does present a correct performance because it could become cloyin, with more sillage and projection)
- Presentation ..............8.0 (very elegant and very discreet)
- Price...........................10.0 (100 ml EDP flask, 1995 edition - €19,00 in ShowroomPrivé - a huge bargain)
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
- Average:......................9.22/10.00 (wooow!)
between 7 and 8 => above average;
between 8 and 9 => recommended;
equal or bigger than 9 => don't miss it;

My conclusion: Fantastic, but try before you buy it.
NO! NO! NO! CORRECTION! Excuse me... if you don't like it, buy it anyway. You will have an inexpensive exquisite gift to offer someone with a very good taste and better than yours.
The 1959 edition is really hard to find. The 1995 edition it's easy to buy and very inexpensive. Its quality is also very good.

Music: Edith Piaf - "Milord"
3 Replies
10
Scent
8
Longevity
8
Sillage
10
Bottle
Gold

469 Reviews
Gold
Gold
Top Review    5  
The ugly reformulation of a great perfume
Since Parfumo does not differentiate between the current formula and the vintage in the case of "Cabochard", I corrected the "points" attributed to this fragrance which used to be so gorgeous in the past. The vintage would gain 100% in my book, but my new bottle from 2014 is just a ghost, a harsh, unfriendly fragrance, not as leathery and bitter as it used to be, but hollow, empty, boneless, reminding me of a cheap men's cologne from a 1970's drugstore. So even if the current "Cabochard" is available at a very low price, I can't recommend it at all. Seek out a vintage or try "Aramis".
3 Replies
10
Scent
ScentFan

327 Reviews
ScentFan
ScentFan
Helpful Review    5  
Fetid Fantasy
Bought this after reading the discussion of cheapies, sprayed it on, and fell head over heels in love. What an uncommon and powerful fragrance! I didn't at first recognize one of its notes and had to look it up: asafoetida, often called devil's sweat, used in South Indian cooking. Sweat on, Beelzebub, if this is the result! Though oakmoss reeks gloriously in Cabochard, though this perfume has the two woods I love most as well as Vetiver's hint of green--though the tobacco is mellow and easy to detect, I think it's asafoetida that makes Cobachard the take-no-prisoners magnificence that it is. It's a root described as fetid. I can see why. Remember that musky, dusky aroma hiding in your favorite Indian dal, kitchari, or fried okra, your favorite masala? It's asafoetida. Add florals and the rest of Cabochard's thrilling base and for me the result is remarkable, magnetic. Before the drydrown even finished, Cabochard went straight on my list of favorite perfumes, next to the likes of Une Rose , L'Heure Blue, Ex-Idolo Thirty Three, First, and Mitsouko--unique scents with a staggering impact. I'm in the process of sniffing through my collection to refine that list. Cabochard is on there permanently.

6/30/16
Obtained a vintage version and though it's quite beautiful in a more subtle way than the current formulation due in part to IFRA restrictions, I'm sure, I still find the current EdT beautiful principally for its wonderful use of asafoetida meant to compensate for the loss of oakmoss and counterpoint the stronger florals. It makes for a funkier perfume than the original but still so lovely I'll continue wearing it. Having tried it first, the vintage almost seems lacking in comparison, whereas I'm sure if I'd been exposed to the vintage first the current version would seem brash. As is, the current EdT closes my eyes, not the vintage.
8
Scent
7.5
Longevity
7.5
Sillage
5
Bottle
GothicHeart

87 Reviews
GothicHeart
GothicHeart
Very helpful Review    7  
Who's afraid of Cabochard?...
Little Red Riding Hood is walking through the forest.
Oak moss is hanging from every tree.
Her hooded cape is made of crude leather.
She's chain-smoking Gitanes.
She's cursing her grandma for the chore.
She hasn't picked any flowers, she's picked a thick stick.
She's thrashing everything in her way with it.
She's stepping angrily on the forest floor, squashing it under her boots.
She's pissed.
She's all sweaty and salty.
The smell she's leaving in her wake has nothing to do with a little girl.
She's not cute.
She's not innocent.
She's not happy.
I feel sorry for the wolf...

No matter how big and bad he may be, Cabochard is bigger and badder (sic) and will just swallow him whole.
1 Replies
MasterLi

371 Reviews
MasterLi
MasterLi
Helpful Review    4  
Review for the Eau de Toilette.
Cabochard is a beautiful fragrance. It’s a leathery, subtle, beautifully soft floral. I enjoy it very much. Many people say that this is reminiscent of Bandit by Piguet. I remember reading that Bernard Chant, the perfumer, took the formula of Bandit and toned down the leather whilst amping up the floral aspects. In this I think that he succeeded.

Cabochard doesn’t feel like such a typical feminine fragrance, although it is soft. It’s essentially a soft leather with florals, very subdued but beautiful in its own particular way. The notes are too long to list, and it’s so well blended to it’s hard to tell.

For me I get four main notes: jasmine, oakmoss, rose and leather, with further hints in the drydown of powdery orris, castoreum musk, vetiver, patchouli, labdanum and smooth, soft whiffs of tobacco… a beautiful combination.

To me it comes across as a fruity-leather (even though no fruit is listed in the notes). It’s subtle in that the sillage is gentle, so you can smell it and others get a beautiful leather & floral trail when you walk by, it’s in no way overpowering to those around you. It’s also beautifully blended and no note feels like it’s overpowering the other.

I would recommend this one for anyone wanting to smell different to the normal type of sweet floral generic perfumes, as the leather note is present and the oakmoss gives it a different vibe to the norm. Even though this is considered vintage, I don’t really find it dated in any way. I see it as perfectly balanced. I am not sure about the newer, current reformulations but the bottle I have seems to smell fantastic. I happily wear it and find it quite unisex. I call it “fruity-leather” but it’s actually a classical beautifully smooth and soft floral-leather chypre. I really can’t fault it in any way, it ticks so many boxes for me (mainly because I’m tired of endless generic florals and the leather, jasmine and oakmoss really give this one a unique character, plus it’s perfectly blended by a master perfumer). In any case, please do try it out if you can, you may be surprised.
jtd

484 Reviews
jtd
jtd
Top Review    14  
Some thoughts on reformulation in light of Cabochard Catastrophe.
Expectation works against Cabochard, poor dear. Many compare it in its current form to a vintage model. I’ve never smelled vintage Cabochard, so that expectation isn’t an issue. My expectation, and I’ll own it, comes from Cabochard’s family resemblance to Aramis by Aramis and therefore to Estée Lauder’s Azurée. All are leather chypres originally created by Bernard Chant. I have versions of Aramis and Azurée bought within the last five years---ostensibly current issue. They are spectacular in recipe and ingredients, and can be compared head to head (to head) with any other leather chypres, whether niche or designer. Cabochard, sadly, cannot. Not to be simply judgmental, I’ll say that Cabochard is like a grainy, blurry photo of either Aramis or Azurée. I can see that the topnotes are meant to capture the same strong, dry bitterness as found in either of the other two, but it comes off as both shrill and thin at the same time. And it falls apart so quickly! Within five minutes it becomes clear that Cabochard won’t venture down either the leather or chypre paths, instead becoming a disorganized but harsh dry woody fragrance.

I won’t flog a dead horse. I’ll just say that Aramis proves that Cabochard need not be so bad. The Cabochard dilemma makes me consider a few angles on the difficulties of reformulation. I know that reformulation has always occurred in perfumery. This current quandry, though, due firstly to restriction on ingredients and then the meanness of the companies ordering the reformulation, seems to be particular to our time.

Some thoughts.

Zombie or Ghost?
I’d call Cabochard the unequivocal zombie, dead but still lurching among us. The name is the same, the bottle is a knock-off of the original, the juice is a cheap, cynical reformulation. Cheap, since clearly no quality ingredients were harmed in its making. Cynical, as it rides on the longstanding reputation of both the vintage perfume and the perfumer, but doesn’t offer either quality or creativity in the reformulation.

There are quite a few ghosts out there, but who they are will depend on your perspective. I find the current Vetiver by Guerlain sensational. I vaguely remember Vetiver back as far as the 1980s, and while the current rendering might be different, it is still my favorite vetiver by yards. For many, though, it is fallen just enough from its former state that they won’t wear it. Vintage Vent Vert is universally acclaimed, the 1990 version by Calice Becker was apparently a welcome ghost, and the current version is generally panned (zombie.)

Quality Reformulation
Whether done covertly (Mitsouko? Chanel 5? Habit Rouge?) openly (Cuir de Lancome ) by full-on resurrection (Azzaro Couture, Robert Piguet’s Baghari) or some combination of the above (Aramis Gentleman’s Collection) quality, money, consideration and talent pay off. (Quick note, of the acknowledged reformulations that are highly praised, it is startling how often the names of Becker and Aurélian Guichard come up.) Restrictions on the use of classic components is a drag. Fortunately, though, innovations in chemistry and botany give us powerful new tools.

Maintain the Quality of your Heritage Products
Sounds like a simple strategy but I don’t imagine that it’s necessarily easy, with changing access to botanicals and year to year fluctuations. Some make solid efforts in this direction, Chanel and Guerlain being good examples. Others, less so. I’ll leave it up to you to identify these houses. Special mention should really be made here of Estée Lauder’s success. It’s heritage products (eg. Azurée, Knowing, Alliage) continue to be available and at remarkable prices (take that, Guerlain Derby.)

Die a Good Death
There are so many vintage perfumes that lived great lives, were a gift to those who wore them, and then went away, whether remembered today or not. I’m all for preservation, and recognize that the art of perfumery remains largely undocumented and without theoretical consideration in the formal sense. There should be as many institutions like Osmothèque as there are modern art museums. The Theory of Perfume should be an elective in mainstream universities. (I’m not kidding.) But I also recognize that perfumery is an art that, like dance, is experiential and temporal. In fact, this aspect of both dance and perfume is both desirable and noble. It helps me to feel alive to be in the midst of something beautiful that will in fact end.

Simply, Change
Robert Piguet’s line is a good example of the value of multiple strategies. Bandit, Fracas, Baghari, Futur---reformulate to the original specs as best you can with good intentions, quality components and creative talent. But then there’s Visa. What a simple, smartly executed notion: keep the name, allow a great perfumer (again Guichard) to reincarnate it. No deception, no lie, no marketing sleight-of-hand. Visa isn’t an attempt to recreate the original. It takes the qualities and intentions of the original and then gives us something novel. Piguet’s latest, Douglas Hannant, a straight-up new fragrance, is an equal member in the line with the icons Bandit and Fracas.

Find a New Solution
Sure, there are whole categories of fragrance that are new—candied gourmands, aquatics, transparent orientals. But there is also an attempt to reinterpret a genre that’s been stymied. I’ve never tried 31 Rue Cambon, but I respect its statement of intent: to recreate the chypre without oakmoss. Successful? Not? I’ll leave it up to you who wear it. What I appreciate is the attempt to deconstruct the chypre, step away from it, weigh its abstract qualities, and reconsider them with a different construction. There is something intriguing about this approach. The perfumer must be passionate about a form, yet disinterested in the analysis. I have faith that this will give us some great perfumes.
9
Scent
7.5
Longevity
7.5
Sillage
7.5
Bottle
LadyRogue

166 Reviews
LadyRogue
LadyRogue
Very helpful Review    7  
Holy Smoke It's Different
I love scents that have a strong identity of their own, well, Cabochard definitely does. It's not flowery, it's not herbal, it's pure leather with wood and incense smoke. It's like walking into a cathedral with a bonfire of nature burning in the middle.
It's stubborn (like the name) and different. I always compare its unmistakable character to the likes of Magie Noire or Shalimar. Not in a sense of smell, but in the fact that once you've smelled one of these stubborn and unique ladies, you instantly recognize them.
This is not for everyone. If you like cheery flowery scents? No. If you like baby powdery scents? No. If you like fruity fresh? No. But, if smoky dark scents are your thing? Yes! People who do not want to draw attention might want to steer clear from it, because the simple fact is: you may hate or love Cabochard, but you can't ignore it.
1 Replies
9
Scent
10
Longevity
10
Sillage
5
Bottle
EvaK

30 Reviews
EvaK
EvaK
Very helpful Review    8  
Belongs in a Film Noir...
I bought Cabochard EDT blind, very unsure of what to expect. Wow. It opens with a burst of leather that almost knocked me out. So so strong, not like a leather bag or a pair of new shoes, but a real leather workshop. More masculine that anything I've ever had.So different, and so "huge".
The leather note goes on all the way, even all through the drydown. Actually the drydown seems to develop too constantly during the more than 8 hours it lasts on me. Impressive longevity! Good sillage as well.
This is not for any mood. I find no sweetness, only little tenderness when it dries down.
I know it's from a later decade, but it gives me associations of 1930'ies nightclubs, gamblers and bootleggers, big cigars and hidden guns - arrogant mafia mistresses with a dark aura of mystery and class. Or a film noir based on a Raymond Chandler novel.
A very adult perfume, not old, but with a sense of experience and strength.
Cabochard is magnificent. Not to be worn with airy, romantic outfits imo.
Love it.
1 Replies
Show all reviews (13)

Statements

Carlitos01Carlitos01 21 months ago
9
Scent
9
Longevity
9
Sillage
9
Bottle
Such a clean and dirty, vibrant and sassy, complex perfume and with such a sophistication! Just enough to make me feel a perfect badass!

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