Classic Cabochard de Gres Evaluation (Bernard Chant) 1959: Embracing the Warrior

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Lady warrior Laura McBride of the Fecht Membership through The Village Voice©


Thorny fragrance, thorny matter.

The truth that I really feel drawn to perfumes of the 50s is unrelated to having been born into that period. A few of these fragrances really feel like fragrant want success and/or projection: regardless of the tyranny of long-line brassières and girdles (or probably in gentle of their existence) there has all the time been a subtext of suppressed eroticism, the managed sensuality of self-discipline akin to a warrior getting ready for anticipated battle. Clearly outlined 1950s gender roles makes this subversive high quality all of the extra fascinating; at this time Cabochard de Gres reads as good for anybody who loves the impossibly dry class of a leathery tobacco-laden no-nonsense chypre.

 Ida on Commonwealth Avenue within the snow, Winter 1984 (classic Schiaparelli Persian lamb)

I as soon as referred to Caron Poivre because the Miss Julie of perfumes; I imagine whip-cracking was concerned (enter Coup de Fouet). Former contributor Vanessa Musson had us rolling within the aisles together with her good strategy/avoidance spin on Cabochard and Mr. Turin’s concise opinions on the topic (it was clearly not her chosen cup of tea). For me, Cabochard de Gres is neither dominatrix nor bête noire: it’s warrior fragrance and most welcome. I made its acquaintance in 1972 and have blown via innumerable bottles since. It scratched an itch I didn’t understand I had and felt instinctually becoming. The title arises from the French phrase caboche, and interprets as willful or headstrong. Be at liberty to attract your individual conclusions.

Vintage Parfums Gres Cabochard review

 Lisa Fonssagrives carrying Alix Gres in Harper’s Bazaar

Cabochard was composed by illustrious Bernard Chant of IFF, famend for Clinique Aromatics Elixir, Coty Imprevu, Halston Traditional, Lauren for Ralph Lauren, Antonia’s Flowers, Aramis (a number of!), and beautiful Lauder perfumes ( Aliage, Estée, Azurée, Cinnabar and Stunning). Madame Alix Gres, haute couturière whose designs have been reduce on the human kind itself – desired a fragrance which evoked a desolate Indian seashore she had visited in her travels. “The crispness of the early morning air, the heat of sandalwood, a touch of far-off flowers, and the dry caress of sea breezes” – a relatively tall order which I think wasn’t translated into perfume because the designer had hoped.

cabochard gres perfume ad

Parfums Gres Cabochard  1974 advert through The Non-Blonde (RIP Gaia)

It’s mentioned that Madame didn’t take care of the fragrance, however Cabochard was wildly profitable on the time of its launch. Many regard Cabochard as a smoother sibling of Piguet’s Bandit, which broke via gender limitations 15 years prior (in 1944), sporting its extravagant dosage of isobutyl quinoline (you’ll inevitably come throughout this your studying). Whereas they share frequent threads, I examine them, facet by facet: Bandit is extra bitterly verdant to my nostril, with artemisia in tow alongside galbanum and there’s nothing of the cigarette about its particular person. In distinction, Cabochard smells like a well-worn bike jacket, cigarette tobacco dusted with flowers, rolled in moss and lolling about in sandalwood; it’s much less inexperienced general and an étude in aridity versus Bandit’s moister environs. Neither will go well with the faint of coronary heart. I wouldn’t wish to select between them and I haven’t had to take action – however honestly Cabochard would possibly edge out Bandit, if it got here all the way down to classic formulations. The subtle ferocity takes no prisoners in its self-aware stance because it coolly surveys the enjoying area. Bandit is for risk-takers and iconoclasts; Cabochard is for warriors.

Dr. Lilith Sternin in episode from Cheers

Warriors are fierce by nature – and it’s that very phrase which made me bristle for many of my grownup life. Ladies particularly would discuss with me as ‘fierce’. Though this was meant as one thing optimistic, I used to be horrified: how might they??? I used to be all about peace and love and acceptance, avoiding battle each time potential. Didn’t I all the time have their backs? I felt deeply wounded, offended by the oft-repeated inference. Certainly they have been mistaken.

“Properly, I began out on a grimy street

Began out on their lonesome

And the solar went down as I crossed the hill

And the city lit up, the world received nonetheless

I’m studying to fly however I ain’t received wings

Coming down is the toughest factor.

Properly, the nice outdated days could not return

And the rocks would possibly soften and the ocean would possibly burn…” ~ Studying to Fly by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne

Ida Meister CaFleureBon

 Ida’s resume picture for Boris Goldovsky 1981

What did others see in myself that I couldn’t? Deep in my DNA, even in 1972 after I first found Cabochard, there existed a spirit which wouldn’t be subjugated, sublimated, vanquished: a warrior poised on the point of endless skirmish. Light till no recourse remained however the dagger, keen to go to struggle for a noble trigger, comply with a pacesetter worthy of the duty. I don’t suppose I truly glimpsed that particular person till I had resumé images taken in preparation for an audition with opera impresario Boris Goldovsky – they usually frightened me. I averted the digicam. What I’d mistaken for ‘resting bitch face’ was pure resolve within the face of adversity and mistrust of the lens’ scrutiny.

Vintage Parfums Gres Cabochard review

Cabochard parfum and eau de parfum from Ida’s assortment ©

However life has different plans for us, and it’s only over the previous 5 years or in order that I’ve come to make my peace with my Inside Warrior. I’ve stopped cringing at having been born beneath an Aries solar (Mars), feeling compelled to clarify that my natal chart is well-balanced (if ill-fated) in response to being advised how fierce I seem. I even bought my warrior a dagger which I’ll put on till my final days, an early birthday current as a reminder of how it isn’t in my nature to surrender in opposition to the chances despite the fact that the deck could also be stacked. The warrior lady has been there since childhood, and the benefit with which I slipped into Cabochard at 18 is yet another proof.

Notes: bergamot, mandarin, galbanum, ylang ylang, jasmine, Bulgarian rose, clove, oakmoss, tobacco, musk, iris, sandalwood, vetiver, leather-based, castoreum, patchouli, labdanum

~ Ida Meister, Senior Editor and Pure Perfumery Editor


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