Cabochard by Gres 2019

Hey Posse. I do love a leather and up till my meeting of Le Galion Aesthete and Bottega Veneta EdP I thought Bernard Chant was the undisputed king of leather. Seeing that he did a few fragrances with much the same story but each a refined version of the original. Cabochard was the original in 1959. Recently I bought a brand new EdT tester in the renovated bottle. In one of my purges I sold all my Cabochard except a parfum and was reminiscing about layering the EdT over the extrait. The extrait is rich and gorgeous but the EdT adds so much throw and sizzle.

I can’t remember where I was talking about perfumes being a Kitchen Sinker, maybe Liz Taylor’s Diamonds and Emeralds a couple of weeks back, but here we have an archetypal one. Is there any note in the history of perfumery left out of this list? Asafoetida is from the very stinky root of a herb that is used in cooking for its strong onion flavour, thought to stop flatulence. Sadly not an upside of Cabochard.

Cabochard by Gres. 2019 reformulation.

Cabochard by Gres

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes Sage Spices Tarragon Asafoetida Lemon Fruity Notes
Heart: Geranium Orris Root Rose Jasmine Ylang-Ylang
Base: Leather Oakmoss Tobacco Vetiver Patchouli Sandalwood Musk Amber Coconut

I love the spicy green opening. It’s not a pretty start. Dark, mysterious and portentous in the early few minutes, Cabochard opens up as a witches brew. It’s transportive. Every fairy tale seems to have a wood full of dark magic, this is what it would smell like.

Even as the flowers join the party Cabochard remains a bitter brew. Already, through the heart the leather, birch, oakmoss and vetiver speak of a dangerous, exciting course. Flowers are trodden into the darkness. This modern EdT is bloody excellent, I’m enjoying it immensely.

Interestingly, as we reach the dry down Cabochard 2019 takes a left turn towards comfort. The leather is now a very expensive, supple suede and is joined by amber, sandalwood and a dry tobacco note. The note list says coconut but I get none of it. This final stage stays linear but fades to nothing in the coming hours.

Tonight, after wearing my EdT most of the day, it was time to refresh. This time after a few blasts of EdT I added a couple of decent swipes of parfum to the backs of my wrists. OH BOY! Next level gorgeous. The parfum is infinitely more honeyed and sumptuous, none of this witchy shit, glamour all the way.

Cabochard by Gres

Did you ever or would you ever spritz some Cabochard?
Portia xx

  • Kathleen says:

    I love the looks of the new bottle! And of course your vintage parfum bottle.
    I have the tall thin bottle of EDT from perhaps a decade ago, clearly one of the reformulations. It is not a love for me; i find leather fragrances challenging and this one is more masculine than I like to wear. I imagine the original is much more interesting.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Kathleen,
      Yes, I can see that Cabochard might be confronting if leather is not your jam. this new one might be a lot less leathery for you.
      The original would probably give you a real face punch. It was dark and dreamy.
      Portia xx

  • matty1649 says:

    Hi Portia
    Thank you for this review. I’ve seen Cabochard mentioned on other blogs. I’ve toyed with buying it but never got round to it. As you know I’m in the Uk. I’ve looked on All Beauty and it’s a really good price so I might take the plunge.
    Do you recomend the EDP or the EDT?
    I’d also like your views on Cabotine. That’s a good price as well.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Matty,
      OMG! I used to LOVE shopping at All Beauty when they still sent to Oz. Such bargains.
      I’ve got the modern EdT. I like that it has a lovely throw and wafts off the skin.
      My memories of Cabotine are that it’s a very pretty fruity floral with a vanilla heavy, soft amber base. Personally I like the Shower Gel in it better than the perfume. YMMV.
      Portia xx

  • Pam says:

    I have some cabochard but have not tried the new one. Love the version I own.

  • SpringPansy says:

    Portia! Congrats on post #601. I haven’t tried Cabochard, so I’m going to answer last week’s question since I didn’t get to join in then. (You know, like the way politicians answer any question with whatever they want to talk about, relevant or not!) Fragrances with meaning for my life as a perfumista:
    Worth Je Reviens – vintage only, the beginning of it all back in the 70s
    Fendi Theorema – just so good: orange and spice and everything nice.
    Malle Iris Poudre – I’ve finally decided I can live up to its elegance
    Pierre Guillaume Bois Blond (now d/ced) – an all the time/any time favorite. Hay, woods, amber, musk
    Narciso Rodriguez Musc Oil for Her – 2008 version, now d/ced – It just smells good.
    And last but not least, CJ Scents Vanilla Incense. Myrrh and vanilla. I love it.
    I’d love to find some more vintage – I have a little vintage Fendi and Coco. Would like to find vintage Mitsouko and believe it or not, Old Spice.
    Have a great week! Thanks for the posts.

    • Portia says:

      Hey SpringPansy,
      What a stellar list of beauties.
      Me too on the vintage Coco & Fendi.
      I wish you lived in Australia, I have some very vintage Mitsoukos that need to find new homes. Sadly with the post being weird over the last couple of years I won’t trust it to precious cargo.
      Portia xx

  • March says:

    This is one of those “difficult” perfumes that used to be … sort of normal back in the day? It’s a marvel to me how much tastes have changed, broadly. It makes me think of what a punch in the face frags like Bandit and Vent Vert were when I first tried them lol. And vintage Femme which is nothing like the new. Can I say how glorious I think the Cabochard bottles are, something about them — classic but timeless rather than fussy. I bet layered the edt and extrait are glorious.

    • Portia says:

      Hey March,
      Yes, if Bandit was a punch in the face then this modern Cabochard might be one too, though in very different ways.
      Yes, this was not considered a dark lady fragrance at all back when. This was kind of prim. Tastes have really changed. I’d love to know what you though if ever you get a spritz on you.
      Portia xx

  • Musette says:

    Holy cats & crackers! This review made me snort with laughter and LUST – I had (and maybe still have) a sample of a vintage Cabochard and it’s coolAF out there today and I think I’mo hunt it up and try it. You know I love me some leather! 😉


  • Tara C says:

    Never tried this one, I wore the mild-mannered Cabotine back in the early 90’s. I do like leather though. 🙂

  • rosarita says:

    I have wondered how the modern edt smells. Someone sent me a tiny sample of an older version early on in my fall down the rabbit hole and I don’t remember what I thought of it, I was sampling everything I could get my hands on back then. I could see picking up a bottle to wear when leaning into a bitchy mood.

    • Portia says:

      HA! Withy and BITCHY! Sounds like a fragrant recipe for fabulosity Rosarita.
      I remember those heady days of new discovery!
      Portia xx

  • Leigh says:

    I bought this unsniffed this year looking for an old fashioned chypre and have been wearing it regularly. It smells edgy again to me.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Leigh,
      Yes, in comparison to so much else on the market wearing a witchy leather chypre is tantamount to subversion. Going against the grain in the best possible way.
      Portia xx

  • Chris Hartnett says:

    Portia I own and have owned several versions of Cabochard over the years…bought my first bottle when I was 20 in 1983 loved it!!! guaranteed there was NO ONE my age wearing it at the time ?

  • cinnamon says:

    I have never had anything from Cabochard. It seems like the sort of thing that pops up on the discount sites or in charity shops here. I will look out for this though as the opening sounds glorious.

  • Morgana62 says:

    Loved Cabochard way back in the ’60’s. Such a cheeky bottle with the velvet grey bow. It was my first Forresty oakmoss vetiver femme fatale red lips stiletto perfume. I have a modern spray from a few years ago. Yours looks like a new design bottle. Would live to have a vintage bottle and the perfume too.

    • Portia says:

      Yes Morgana62, This is the newest 2019 bottle and reformulation.
      The old stuff is still floating around eBay affordably sometimes.
      Portia xx