Teo Cabanel sample set first half

So, as I write this I just really want to take a nap.

I’m now officially on holiday for a bit over a week, the first real time off in more than a year. I’m sort of astonished at how my body reacted once I’d finally finished editing the last note: the first really deep and restful sleep in ages.

Anyway, this is the ‘stay’ in ‘staycation’ – ie, I’m at home just doing fun and restful things. I’m still on track to retire at the end of this calendar year so just trying to get the financial ducks in a row etc.

Anyway, Teo Cabanel. This is sort of a new-to-me house in that while I’ve known about it for ages I hadn’t sampled anything, even the much hyped Alahine. But Portia included Café Cabanel in the last thunk post and it really piqued my interest. So, I had a look at the website and low and behold, they offer a really good sample product: 14 samples in a nice sack, with a stack of blotters, and you get a €30 off certificate as well.

Launched in 1893 by chemist Théodore Cabanel. In the early 2000s, Caroline Ilacqua inherited the house (at age 22) and revived things. I’m not going to go through the whole story. The website does it nicely.

So, I ordered and here we go on the first half of the samples.

Déjà vu. Bubble gum. This is a fun fruity floral, with musky notes and faux leather. Notes list: bubble gum, citron, raspberry, iris, jasmine sambac, orange blossom, imitation leather and musk. It’s a playful, cutesy thing that dries own to vanilla (not on notes list)/musk. I found it to be cute (that’s the operative word on this) and fun, but a bit head-ache-inducing in the middle because it was really sweet. Lasts well for around three hours on me. This is a no, but I still found parts of it enjoyable. More sophisticated than the usual for this type of perfume.

Ça Boom. “Solar vanilla”, per the website. Notes: solar vanilla, iodized notes, sand lily, rose, jasmine, green vanilla and immortelle. Opens salty jasmine, maybe pepper and lily; fruity aspects (but no fruit notes?). Then, salty vanilla and that’s that. The top is a bit freaky (in a good way) but the drydown is a slightly weird aquatic musk. Decent lasting power. Again, not for me, but interesting and, IMHO (and I feel this about all the TCs I’ve sampled so far) well worth trying.

Peau Salée. Coconut water and salty flowers. Notes: coconut water, fleur de sel, frangipane, jasmine, driftwood, tonka cream and mineral notes. Opening is salty coconut water. A bit green and verrrry refreshing. But then it gets aquatic and a bit sour (not my fave direction for a perfume). That recedes to some nice scratchy florals. Uh, no.

Oh Là Là. No, not Ooohh, just Oh. Sweet cardboard up top (we know I sort of like cardboard aspects). Notes hazelnut, saffron, tobacco, iris, tonka, sandalwood and white musks. As this warms the sweetness recedes and the cardboard gets a bit of saffron and then moves into saffron/sandalwood which is quite good. This isn’t terribly long-lasting, but I really enjoyed that less sweet cardboard period.

Kasar. “A bold manly leather”, per the website. Notes bergamot, rose, geranium, cloves, saffron, cedar, patchouli, musk and leather. Opening is citrus leather – nice, straight-forward, not a birch-tarry leather. The rose and cloves emerge, and maybe a bit of saffron. Scratchy but not sour. It feels more of a gentlemanly leather to me – make of that what you will (ie, not Dark Lord or Lonestar Memories). The problem with this for me is the drydown, which features a weird, spicy bacon aspect. It’s nice till then. I would hope it doesn’t do that on other people.

Je ne sais quoi. Per website, “inspired by Genmaicha tea … tea and grilled rice grains with sesame hazelnut notes”. Notes puffed rice, maté, violet leaf, matcha tea, guaic wood, tolu balm, vetiver and sandalwood. Opens slight chemical vanilla cereal or Necco wafers. No feeling of tea. Alas, this really was a scrubber from the get-go on me. Just weird and sweet and had to be washed off fairly quickly.

Finally, the fragrance that set all this off and the one, so far, that really got my heart doing the pitter pat.

Café Cabanel. The website calls this an oriental gourmand. Yeah, maybe, but really a lot more going on than such a pat description. Notes: tangerine, coffee, cinnamon, rose, heliotrope, milky and buttered notes, vanilla, tonka bean, caramel, sandalwood and musk. This is a ‘you had me from hello’ perfume. The opening is coffee, as in really really good ground coffee beans. There is some tangerine but all it does is keep those ground beans from going in a sour direction. This is what you want your coffee beans that you grind yourself etc, etc, to smell – and potentially taste – like. Then, we’re into brewed coffee, with some great spice notes, maybe even those florals and surprising butter and milk notes. This is perfection. It smooths into that totally great cup of coffee with floral, spice and sweet notes. Eventually, this is more milky coffee with a big dose of vanilla and sandalwood. It has that soft sweet drydown you get with some ambers but with coffee. It has reasonable longevity on me but I wouldn’t care if it did the couple of hours thing. I’m still buying it.

Cabanel offers different interations with regard to bottles: 30ml (another reason to love the house) and various 100ml. The 100ml for CC refer to EdP ‘Clean’ and EdP ‘Premium’. Prices vary, but Café Cabanel is €75 (£64/$81), €135 (£116/$145) and €160 (£137/$173). It’s currently Sold Out on the website.

I am looking forward to the next seven entries in the sample kit but that is going to wait a few weeks. It’s a bit intense getting through seven perfumes to review them.

In any case, a 30ml Café Cabanel goes on the want list and given I have that €30 off voucher this might be my gift-to-self for the holidays this year.

So, know any of these (and own them)? Taking yourself off to buy the sample kit?

Pics are mine

  • Dina C. says:

    These all sound like a big nope nope nope for me. But their descriptions are great fun. Thanks Cinnamon.

    • cinnamon says:

      I think I’ll be doing a few more of the older ones in the next post. Most of these felt very new and modern.

  • Tom says:

    I love that they have the sample set and that it’s ever pretty reasonable (and the whole amount is credited to our next purchase) So far though only Cafe Cabanel really seems like it would be me.

    I haven’t had my tea yet so the whole “join the movement” thing on the website hits me as somewhere between becoming a moonie and “Come play with us Danny.. Forever.. and ever.. and ever..”

    But my tea hasn’t kicked in yet.

    • cinnamon says:

      It is a very good offering. As ever, however, the marketing guff is … sigh … seemingly drug-induced witterings.

  • March says:

    Man, I’ve really got to dig out my Alahine … I loved it so much. There was another one I liked but I can’t remember the name. I feel like I tried the Cafe Cabanel and liked it very much, I should get a sample of that one!

    • cinnamon says:

      I’m sort of looking forward to Alahine. We shall see. The leather one is interesting (without the dry down on me) and most of the ones so far are, if nothing else, fun.

  • Portia says:

    LOVE that you grabbed the sample set Cinnamon,
    Hopefully Café Cabanel will be back in stock when I’m in Paris in December.
    Portia xx

  • Musette says:

    I am having SUCH fun reading these reviews, especially when the Marketing Lolapallooza is included. Now I really want to know what ‘solar vanilla’ smells like – not the perfume, but… vanilla grown on the sun? Other possible descriptors?

    and… did the website define ‘clean’ v. ‘premium’?
    and to answer your question: I don’t believe I’ve ever tried House Cabanel, not even Alahine, which got a huge amount of press on the blogs.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Musette,
      ‘clean’ v. ‘premium’ is the bottle printing type. The premium is gold embossed.
      Portia xx

    • cinnamon says:

      I’m starting to get weirded out by the marketing guff. It’s not that I hadn’t noticed it before — I guess for unknown reasons I’m now paying more attention to how outlandish some of it is. I guess the copy writers get their brief and then have to … do something with it.

      • alityke says:

        The perfume world already send bloggers & influencers samples to write about but who writes the guff for small houses in the first place?
        I know at least a couple of bloggers/influencers who write the guff as well, makes me giggle

  • Tara C says:

    I have Alahine and Café Cabanel, have also had Oha and Julia in the past. I think I tried a few of the newer ones but they must not have made an impression. I do love Café Cabanel and Alahine though.

    • cinnamon says:

      I’m looking forward to trying the other seven in the kit. Julia is gone but Oha in the next tranche for trying. But, indeed, Café Cabanel is calling to me. And so pleased they offer a ‘travel’ size.

  • Maya says:

    The Teo Cabanel perfumes in the newest boring bottles never interested me. Thank you for trying them. Café Cabanel sounds lovely. I do like Cabanel’s older perfumes very much though and have decided to get Lace Garden. It’s still available at a good price.

    • cinnamon says:

      I’m particularly looking forward to trying Alahine, but also the other six. I really do appreciate that the house wants to make it easy to try things etc.

  • Filomena says:

    I have quite a few of Teo Cabanel fragrances, including some older ones, but none of the newest ones. Cafe’ Cabanel is the longest lasting one on me, while most of the others are fleeting.

    • cinnamon says:

      Café Cabanel was the longest lasting on me so far. The others feel like you’re meant to respray half way through. There are some fun ideas in the new ones but they simply didn’t work that well on my chemistry.