The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.

Vintage Review: Cabochard by Gres


Cabochard2How can a pretty little girl wearing a bow be so menacing??

WHAT I SMELL: Cabochard opens quite skanky, biting and strong, with a strange mix of floral and leather that creates this harsh, yet weirdly pretty in your face fragrance.  The base is rather tarry, like the bottom of a dirty ashtray.   And it’s like the florals are pushing out of the tar, like they are reaching out using the tar as a base like a potted plant.  The tar is not thick, but instead is sharp and unrelenting.  After a while add to the tar, a coating of dust, like you were just riding a motorcycle down a dirty unpaved road and the dust was filing your nostrils.  I know I hardly make this sound enticing, but there is something very primal about this fragrance that hits my perfume sweet spot!

Top: aldehydes, bergamot, mandarin, galbanum, spice

Heart: jasmine, rosa damscena, geranium, ylang-ylang, iris

Base: patchouli, leather, vetiver, castoreum, oakmoss, tobacco, musk, labdanum, sandalwood

Kitten With a Whip_01WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Kitten With a Whip…sexy with a dangerous side.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE CABOCHARD:  indiscreet, racy, unrepentant

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT CABOCHARD: Yesterday’s Perfumes, Perfume Shrine, Bois de Jasmin

BOTTOM LINE:   Wow, this little gem took me by surprise.  I wore this at the gym the other day and combined with a raised body temperature and a little sweat I found myself falling in love with myself.  I only have a little bottle of this, but I want more!  Cabochard is as masculine of a fragrance that is meant for a woman that there is,  which means that this is supremely unisex and I plan to wear it a lot.

  • Bone Rating: 5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Leather
  • Nose:  Bernard Chant
  • Classification: a very masculine feminine fragrance
  • Expense:  Review based on Parfum Extrait.  Various prices and vintage concentrations can be found on eBay and through other sources.

Author: The Scented Hound

Just a normal guy with the nose of a beagle!

28 thoughts on “Vintage Review: Cabochard by Gres

  1. Kitten with a whip? Hillarious comparison!
    So, you’re back, all healed and with a clear nose? I hope so!


  2. I have the teeniest little bottle of vintage Cabochard parfum and it will probably remain almost full as long as I have it. I just haven’t been able to love it – it’s just too “dry” and raw for my liking. But then again, I’m also probably the lone voice in the wilderness as I don’t care for Bandit (gasp) either. I think it’s the galbanum. BUT I haven’t tried it in a good while, and noses change so I shall give it another whirl.


    • I keep seeing the references to Bandit which I have not yet tried myself. I think I really need to…it sounds like it might be a bit creamier. Just what I need another to obsess about and fall in love with!


  3. Dearest Hound
    Ah. Cabochard.
    Where it all started for The Dandy and ‘women’s perfume’. It’s everything you say and then some.
    Liberated, lusty, vampish, bestial and beautiful.
    I adore it.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy


  4. I adore it as well. Vintage Cabochard parfum – you can’t beat it. The dry down!


  5. Yay, your honker must be back! A 5 Bone Rating…rare indeed and sounds like something I should try and seek out…EXCEPT that “skanky” scares me!


  6. I’ll be applying my mini today to re-sniff it after a long time.
    I know I love it but as I only have a mini, I keep it safe (unworn). 🙂


  7. I am stunned by every word you wrote about Cabochard Parfum Extrait! Thank you! I have only tried edp and I own edt – one vintage, one new. Both edt/s behave smoothly on my skin – smokey flowers, mainly geranium, layered with soft leather and a touch of the chief chypre-defining note of moss. However, the vintage turns a bit more leathery and bitter than the new one, which I prefer to wear in cold spring due to the clean soapy sillage it has then. Maybe I won’t be able to tolerate the strength of Parfum Extrait and its skanky naughty nature…


  8. Houndy, I’ve horaded enough vintage Cabochard extrait for this lifetime and perhaps for a few more incarnations. Thank you for the lovely review!


    • I have the feeling I’m going to be doing some stockpiling too! I’m sure you’ve tried Bandit, or own it too. Do you have a preference?


    • Where do you recommend looking for a vintage bottle of Cabochard? I’ve just about finished off my first bottle. (Purchased about 10 yrs. ago – inherited from Mom – so not sure if this qualifies as the vintage formula! (?) Always preferring men’s fragrances to those intended for women, I instantly took a liking to Cabochard and appreciate the erudite descriptions which beautifully evoke what this scent does, or how it ‘lives’ once applied. I’d love to try a vintage bottle, but wonder about a trustworthy source…



      • Greetings Margaret – I wish that I could unconditionally tell you where to go to get a good source, but I can’t guarantee a fail safe source. I have two bottles of Cabochard, one mini and one large bottle of extrait. I purchased both of them on eBay. The small bottle I have was never opened and it is incredible. It’s so smoky, dirty and supremely floral. There’s not much left and I keep it like a jewel. The larger bottle I purchased was already open and it is not quite as potent as the mini, but still is wonderful. I have purchased a lot of perfume on eBay and have to admit that I have not yet been disappointed. You just have to watch to see if there are bargains and then go for it. But I would start with a smaller bottle and see what if that works for you. Good luck!


      • Hi Margaret!

        Thank you for stopping by.
        I found my two bottles in a very old fragrance shop here, in Buenos Aires. Both are similar: the square bottle with a grey velvet ribbon.

        I am sure there must be bottles aplenty in e-bay. I never purchase online because it is a bit risky, not because of authenticity matters but because they will likely get lost in the mail.

        Maybe you can get more precise help about finding them in your area in a fragrance fórum. I also assume they could be easily found in some garage sales?
        My other favorite leathers are Vero Profumo Onda and Chanel Cuir de Russie, both in extrait version. none of those are too classically feminine. Puredistance M is also gorgeous. none of those three are cheap but if you haven’t tried them, I suggest you get samples. They are worth their price.

        Best of luck in your quest!



        • Thanks for following up! As I mentioned to the Scent Hound, I’ll be looking around at the local Thrifts & Garage Sales first.

          I appreciate your sharing the names of the other leather fragrances that you think I’d like. By the way, some other scents – not just leather – I’ve worn in the past include Fendi, KL (by Karl Lagerfeld – about 25 yrs ago), Sonyia Rykiel’s 7 sense (30 yrs ago), Eau Sauvage, Coco (Chanel), Bulgari’s Tea Vert Extreme (green tea), and Cristal (Chanel). I enjoy the thought that this paints a sort of portrait of my personal spirit. I always appreciate knowing the variety of scents people I admire have worn with any degree of regularity. Each of the scents I mentioned had been a favorite and worn exclusively for about a yr. or more, so I developed a relationship to the fragrance’s nuances and lived within its aura with a great deal of pleasure. I never wanted to leave home without my fragrance on, as I considered it an expression of my identity! I think I’ve thought of it as my own personal sphere that radiates (discreetly) and communicates something non-verbal instantly readable by others on the same wavelength!


          • Dear Margaret, those are exactly my thoughts: one should develop a relationship with her fragrance and it should also be a means of self expression.

            The original Donna Karan signature (preferably in parfum) is also a very interesting take on leather…and, of course, vintage Diorling.

            I hope you can find the beautiful Cabochard or another leather that satisfies your soul and speaks about who you are.

            Have a fun search!



  9. It is one of my favorites that is for sure. Kitten with a Whip meets Ride The Wild Surf if you ask me! Fabulous review!


  10. Am most interested to read about the vintage version of Cabochard, only being familiar with the later one that Luca Turin described as having been ‘ravaged by accountant moths’. I must say I still like it – the more floral drydown especially – but would be game to try the real McCoy in his eyes, which you have also given the thumbs up. Cabochard was invented in the year I was born, so I feel a sort of affinity with it. And someone gave it to me on the occasion of my 50th, as a nod towards that fact.


    • Well, I guess that makes you a classic as well Vanessa. I can’t speak to the current version, but I am wanting to get my hands on a big ole bottle of the vintage as I only have about 5ml left of what I have. Unfortunately prices are rather high!


  11. Pingback: Cabochard by Grès EDP Perfume Review | EauMG

  12. Pingback: Bandit by Robert Piguet | The Scented Hound

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