Lust in a cold climate…Tabac Blond by Caron The Perfumed Dandy’s Classic Collection

I tempted fate rather when I claimed winter in July the other day, for the weather changed almost instantly here. So whilst the winds blow and the rain falls, let’s be transported once more to the other end of the year…

The Perfumed Dandy.

The winter comes in early and hard to these northern ports where France ends suddenly and the blank-faced Atlantic begins.

In storm surges sideways rain slams the little parade of quayside shops. At night all are battened down except for M. Caron’s, the red cedar stained exterior lit by one lamp. It casts its beam across the familiar sign ‘bar-tabac-bierres blondes’ and Pelforth’s pelican looking on.

Inside, cutting a swathe through the thick sweet cloud to reach a table, the scent is not of the acrid shavings smoked by sailors, stokers and stevedores but of the honeyed, clove-infused, golden hued stuff of the officers’ mess. Imbibed through pipes not papers.

Defying the sign you order a bierre brune: dark amber in a glass, brewed from English yeast brought over to the conjure comfort of home for soldiers on their return from the front.

Long stemmed carnations in clear glass carafes…

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11 responses to “Lust in a cold climate…Tabac Blond by Caron The Perfumed Dandy’s Classic Collection

  1. beautycalyptique

    oh it’s same here – suddenly the temperatures dropped by 10 degrees and I feel civilised again now that all those people in underwear are gone.

    this review is soooo beautiful, and since I’m new here, it was a delight to perform a little time warp 😉 thank you!

    as for the scent, I must say, I would be soooo tempted to try TB, but… several months ago I *have* worn TB to test it (because it smelled so heavenly on testing paper), but it simply didn’t become friends with my skin. they hated each other, and TB developped a rather dry-ish, almost dusty kind of smell and instilled the urge to wash my wrist in a dishwasher to get rid of it. “best forgotten”, truly…

    • Dear Calyptique
      I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the review and your and other comments form folks who missed this in the very early days of The Dandy, mean I don;t feel quite so lazy for having re-blogged.
      Isn’t it just the saddest thing when a perfume that is entrancing on paper falls to pieces on the skin?
      As you say, best to move on…. and perhaps catch a waft of it now and then on someone who can wear the thing (all the time trying not to jealous of course!).
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • beautycalyptique

        oh, no time to get jealous – so many wonderful juices around! but I do get sad from time to time when they discontinue great scents (cristobal by balenciaga; forever by patou, j’ai osé + fidji by guy laroche – I’m especially fond of things that were “born” in my year 1977, such as j’ai osé, or – other things – the bvlgari bvlgari watch… )

      • Dearest Calyptique
        Sad and a little annoyed, even Caron have been known to do such things… most recently to Poivre, on which more is to come.
        Cristobal is such a sad loss… but there are so many others from Chypre do Rabanne’s La Nuit.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

      • beautycalyptique

        dear dandy, I haven’t really found a replacement for for ever though.
        maybe you can think of one?

        it was a very fine, cologne-like, zesty fruity chipre – crisp and juicy notes of a ripe pineapple, soft melon, sweet raspberries, quite carnal heart of white flowers and a rich amber/woody bed. some considered it “too fruity”, but it was announced as a 20ies/30ies tribute.
        still own an EdP bottle bought at the KaDeWe in 2003 (by total chance!) and it hasn’t “died” yet.

      • Dearest Calyptique
        ‘Zest, fruity chypres’ are the holy grail of modern scents, so many of the great ones are gone and until very recently no one seemed to be making new ones.
        I will get my thinking cap on to see if something comes to mind…
        KaDeWe, just the name fills my heart with a sense of fun an of afternoons wiled away smelly perfume and hanging out in the food halls… ‘The Chese Bar’ was my undoing that winter’s day!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  2. Lilybelle

    It’s always fun to revisit a great review. I get more out of repeat reads than I do the first time (as my attention span has deteriorated with age). I still haven’t tried TB but it’s on my Caron short list.

    • Dearest Lily
      Do you know, even though I wrote them, some of these reviews come as something of a surprise to me when I return to them.
      It’s an odd feeling like catching up with an old friend after a long absence.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  3. Alice

    As a latecomer to your blog, I am pleased you are re-posting some, otherwise I might have missed them. Thanks for the great review of one of my favourites. I’ve never smelled the original, but I enjoy wearing my 10+ year old version of the edt, especially in the evening. (mine has survived very well, unlike some other niche purchases which have developed very ‘off’ top notes). So it may not be what the experts admired in the original, but its still an excellent perfume!

    • Dearest Alice
      I have a dear friend who has some Nuit de Noel approaching 40 years old (she wears it strictly at Christmas only).
      Breaking her rule she let me smell a little and it is divine.
      Perhaps Carons like fine wines improve with age.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  4. Dear Mr Dandy

    Sorry I’m late. I adore Tabac Blond. It was a new direction for me and it always reminds me of those ancient bookshops in Hay on Wye with a creaky bell ringing as you open the door. Old paper, old leather and unlit cigarettes. Fabulous.

    Your friend
    IScent

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