Vintage Cabochard Parfum by Bernard Chant for Gres 1959

Hey Vintage Fumies,

Recently I was lucky enough to find a 2/3 full bottle of the vintage Cabochard parfum in its gorgeous black & white pedestal box. It wasn’t cheap but it wasn’t outrageously expensive either and I had long wanted to own a bottle for myself, having sampled earlier in my fragrant life.

Vintage Cabochard Parfum by Bernard Chant for Gres 1959

Cabochard Gres FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, spices, tarragon, fruity notes, sage, lemon, asafoetida
Heart: Orris, jasmine, geranium, rose, ylang ylang
Base: Tobacco, vetiver, oakmoss, coconut, musk, patchouli, amber, sandalwood, leather

Bernard Chant: Cabochard 1959, Aramis 1966, Aromatics Elixir 1971. A trilogy or family of fragrance. His three masterpieces, all similar but riffing different elements. If you want to know what a car looked like then, below is a 1959 Cadillac.

Cabochard Parfum gres 1959-Cadillac WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Now my top notes are slightly rusty, not in a big way but they have changed from the sample I had worn. I will have to use this up in the next year or so and I don’t think that’s any great hardship. The fruity sparkle is herbaceous, aromatic and dense. Imagine being in the storeroom of an Indian bazaar, the spark and buzz of faulty electrics, fruit and veg in waxy cardboard boxes, sizzling spices, bitter herbs, and the scent of dozens of boxes of sandalwood soap. That’s as full on as you can imagine, heavy, hectic, psychedelic scent that manages to be all this and warm & classy too. That is quite a feat to keep something so big from flying out of control.

Cabochard Gres Mary_Tyler_Moore WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

The flowers are a bouquet and I can’t pick any of them out, not really pick them out though I get flashes of ideas of flowers. It doesn’t matter anyway because already the base notes are coming through: sandalwood, tobacco, patchouli, leather and oakmoss are the ones I can detect but what I really smell is Cabochard. It’s the base of Cabochard that IS Cabochard to me. A gravel voiced granny with a fabulous high end leather handbag, a cigarette, hair done and nails painted and attitude. She’s lived and loved her life, and is reveling in her twilight years. A little bit creakier but mind as sharp as a tack and still ready for fun, a drink and a laugh.

Cabochard Gres granny YourStyleJourneyPhoto Stolen YourStyleJourney

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Perfume Shrine
My bottle from Ebay
FragranceNet has modern EdP $28/100ml before Coupon
Surrender To Chance has Vintage Parfum $6/.25ml

Do you have a vintage you love? Something that has changed in its newest form or is it gone altogether?
Portia xx

20 thoughts on “Vintage Cabochard Parfum by Bernard Chant for Gres 1959

  1. I LOVE Cabochard. I have had 2 vintage parfum bottles. The one I currently have is ravishing with a strong, smoky, cigarette opening. The other bottle I used to have was missing that punch at the beginning and instead was much softer and pretty. I like the punch! 🙂 And I love your descriptor… I want to be that old lady. OK, since I’m a man, I’ll be a Paul Lynde type in a caftan!


    • You will rock that look with aplomb Steve.
      I’ve just redabbed mine and not a strong, smoky cigarette. Much more balmy and sweet but I can see that with some very minor changes it could definitely be that.
      Portia xx


      • I just went and looked Paul Linde up. Uncle Arthur from Bewitched! You can be him and I’ll be Quentin Crisp Steve.
        Portia xx


  2. I’m a fan of Cabochard as well. I only have a vintage mini floating in The Sample Sea, and I’ll admit I have no intention of rousing myself to find it as that’s just too daunting a task at the moment. I’m not a big wave surfer. Yet:) I used to wear it quite a bit in the seventies and eighties, and when I purchased my mini a few months ago I found I still love it.

    When I was around twelve, my mom took me to a department store to pick out a perfume. I chose Caron’s Fleurs de Rocaille. In the nineties, I went to buy some and was dismayed. It smelled completely different! I chalked it up to changing taste, but I couldn’t let go of the thought of my first love. Then I saw a magazine article about Parfumelle, and I called. The charming French gentleman informed me that what was being sold was Fleur de Rocaille. I have been briskly admonished on another blog when I mentioned this story, as obviously Fleur is not Fleurs. Well, okay! All I know is I asked for the fume by name, and I was presented with what they had in the store. Reformulation? Different perfume altogether? No clue. Anywho, Parfumelle had the original, and I bought it. Then from time to time, the owner would call me to let me know he had some more, and I bought ever version available. Now things are different, and with the internet you can find almost anything. Caron is rarely mentioned these days, and I loved many of their creations. I saw the recent article about Bergdorf’s collaboration with Paris Perfumes to release some of the vintage Carons. I wonder how that will go …


  3. o.k. I need to try this lovely now! I adored your description of an Indian store with all the scents swirling around – and the gravel throated granny loaded down with all her finery. This sounds like an interesting perfume to try. Great descriptions Ms. P!


  4. Hi Portia,

    I am a fiend for vintage. Most of what I have is old or very old. Like Holly I love the old Carons and have a couple bottles of the vintage Fleurs (with the “s”) still in their boxes, the larger one with the cute paper doily still intact.

    One of Brad’s vintage favorites (and mine too) is the original version of Aramis Devin. Devin is another beautiful Bernard Chant that, unfortunately, has been reformulated.

    The crazy old lady? I am there now. I have everything I need to look the part too, but just can’t bring myself to wear all of the “finery” outside of the house.

    Azar xx


    • Azar,
      WEAR THAT SHIT! Who the hell cares. Be who you want to be 100%, it’s easier than fitting in and you get a grudging respect from all the fit-in-ers. If you scratch yourself as well you get whole seats to yourself on transport!!
      Portia xx


    • Azar, please put a picture of yourself in your finery on APJ! I have a lot of discreet jewelry and one big necklace that I dearly love but am too scaredy-cat to wear outside the house, and I’ll wear mine if you’ll wear yours!


      • OK FJ! Let’s do it!
        This will be fun. I will wear the biggest necklace I can find and earring too. Someone else will have to take the photo, though. My selfies are pretty sorry.
        Azar xx


    • Azar and Feral Jasmine, I’m there too! Now I understand the Red Hat Society and Jenny Joseph’s poem “Warning”. I’m drawn to sparkles and sequins and glitter and everything that is NOT APPROPRIATE for a “woman of a certain age”! I can’t explain it! I also have yet to strut my stuff, as my mother’s pearls are hissing and shouting at me from their velvet nest.


      • Portia, Holly and FeralJasmine,
        How about a dress-up post – with perfume comments, of course! Portia, I feel you are drawing me out of my shell!
        Azar xxx


        • WOO HOO! I LOVE the idea. Though for me dressing up is a way of life, a business and (hopefully) a cause célèbre.
          Glad you are all thinking to have some fun.
          Portia xx


      • Azar, Feral Jasmine and Holly,

        Get yourselves over to Advanced Style blog and gather some courage from the fabulous women (and men) over there.
        Look forward to your pictures 😉


  5. Way back in the late 70s I was a teenager and wore the original Cabochard as my signature scent. It was glorious. I was a bit on the quiet side, and Cabochard did the show-offy part for me. It was a balance that worked out well. A few years later, in my early twenties, I changed to Opium, and that one still speaks for me when I don’t feel like talking! I have not found a bottle of vintage Cabochard that smells exactly like the scent that I remember, but vintage Opium is the beauty it always was, and I have a drawerful of it and I tend to wear it clear through my skilled-nursing years.


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