Cabochard is a perfume classic made for talented and mysterious Madam Gres by Bernard Chant, the maker of famous perfumes such as Aramis by Aramis or Aromatics Elixir by Clinique. Inspired by her journey to India and her stubbornness, the perfume got its name – “headstrong”. It appeared on the market in 1959. In a time when lifestyle magazines were launched and the main question before every night out was: what perfume to give to your loved one? Middle-class men and women began working on their scent wardrobes and the perfume finally got the place it deserves, not only as a means to smell nice, but also a way to express personal style and identity.

When I talk about perfumes I often talk about character. That particularity is seen in fragrance notes from top to bottom and it clearly states who it is with every minute or hour on the skin. I’ll say it right now, Cabochard has character. And lots of it. Actually, to say that Cabochard has character is like you said the sky is blue, and the best cake in the world is cheesecake. That is a given.  It was built like that, from the very beginning.  Cabochard’s basis is the classic chypre base of oakmoss, patchouli, vetiver, and musk. Then come floral essences of jasmine and rose, enriched by upper notes of green galbanum, juicy ylang-ylang. But above it all is the leather. That dark, dominant, animalistic leather that harmonizes other notes and enthralls them the to its will. The beauty terrifying and seductive at the same time. I immediately thought of Galadriel from Lord of the Rings saying “In place of a Dark Lord, you would have a queen! Not dark, but beautiful and terrible as the dawn! Treacherous as the sea! Stronger than the foundations of the earth! All shall love me, and despair!” But the magic of Cabochard comes with a price. When you get used to chypre leather perfumes, you will never wear anything else. All other perfumes will lose its appeal.

The perfumerists of that time loved to experiment with isobutyl quinoline, the scent note of leather. Their experiments gave us top perfumes like Bandit by Piguer or Cabochard. When I have isobutyl quinoline on one tester and Cabochard on the other I realize how magical the perfumist job is. Yes, I feel isobutyl quinoline in the perfume but there it has a completely new character. Soft, rounded, almost eatable. Like cocoa – creamy and a bit spicy. Different from Bandit. Different compared to anything else. Its own and stubborn. Completely Cabochard. So, don’t let the trend of fancy perfumes that offer nothing and want everything get to you. Defend your right to top quality stubbornly. When novelties disappoint you, you’ll always have perfume classics like Cabochard to return to and who will never fail you. The only question is….will you fail them?

[Fragrance notes] top notes: galbanum, ylang-ylang; middle notes: rose, jasmine; base notes oakmoss, leather, patchouli, vetiver, musk.

[Fragrance group] chypre. More on Gres perfumes can be found on their official website.

Perfume creator is Bernard Chant.

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