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Friday, May 04, 2007

Needle in a Haystack. Perfume Review: Cherigan Fleurs de Tabac

My random sample pick of the day is Fleurs de Tabac by Cherigan. Finally I have unearthed from the dark depths of my samples chest a scent of utter obscurity. So obscure is Fleurs de Tabac that not only have I not been able to google up any information, but neither my H&R Guides nor Osmotheque have it, or the company that produced it, among their listings. The only proof that it has in fact once existed was an image on a carte parfumee from some long-ended listing on eBay. For a creation so obviously vintage, the fragrance in my vial, received from a fabulous fellow perfume lover, seems absolutely untouched by time.

The initial accord is very intriguing. From afar, the scent at this stage smells of sweet pipe tobacco, a warm, enveloping, supremely comforting aroma. However, when I put my nose right to my wrist the smoky-floral, appealingly pungent scent of tobacco flowers becomes very apparent. After a while vetiver appears in its green-earthy glory, and when it does, Fleurs de Tabac becomes not altogether unlike Guerlain's witchy brew, Djedi. When the dry greenness subsides, the floral and tobacco overtones reappear, accompanied by amber, and the scent acquires a pleasantly powdery quality. Fleurs de Tobacco is a satisfyingly rich, opulent creation. If it were a fabric, it would be heavy, dark brown-green velvet with golden ornaments depicting intricate heraldic flowers. It has the kind of warm, nocturnal depth of which an old Guerlain scent would be proud, and the kind of bewitching strangeness that would not be out of place in a Serge Lutens collection of scents. In other words, it is absolutely gorgeous, and it makes me sad that this smoky and luscious beauty is so very hard, if not impossible, to find.

To read about Ina's random sample pick, please visit Aromascope.


Blogger Unknown said...

Mamma mia! What a pick! I must confess I've never even heard of this before! But how good it sounds...
OK, I'll let you keep the Title of The Most Obscure Sample Pick So Far. My vintage Fragonard doesn't even come close. ;D

11:18 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I will proudly wear the title :-)
Fleurs does smell very, very nice.

11:20 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, no, another heartbreaker. "Witchy brew"--how irresistible. Smoky nicotiana. Aaarrrggghhhhh! I hope a dear reader will know where we can get cases of this one.

11:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I think we have to stalk ebay for this one. It is bound to appear there, everything ends up on ebay, sooner or later :-)

11:47 PM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Oh, this sounds fabulous! Must try. Off to stalk Ebay now!

7:30 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Deary me.
Never hoid of the jus... but it DO sound goood.

Gracias por nada, mi amor...

7:34 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

What does it say about our era that aquatic fruity florals are pumped out every 12 minutes, but scents like this are lost to the past? Thank God for ebay.

7:49 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good thing I'm not a big fan of tobacco scents these days, or else your review would have me salivating for this in vain.

8:04 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I looked yesterday, there were none :-(

8:43 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are welcome, tee hee *evil grin*

8:43 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It says very bad things indeed. And the thing is, this scent smell absolutely contemporary, not out-dated in any way.

8:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are so very lemming-proof. I try and I try, and I can't find a lemming for you. I will try harder :-)

8:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh, aces on obscure scent of the year! :)

This does sound lovely. Would that modern perfumery were cranking out dozens of these a year.

9:36 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Wouldn't that be great!

10:02 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Wow, truly obscure, I've never even heard of the brand, much less the fragrance. Wonder how old your sample is?

12:28 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

No idea. Smells fresh...well, not fresh as in clean-aquatic...but you know what I mean :-D

12:30 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope this link works!

2:50 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh wow!!

2:51 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's one more link to a prettier picture from an old auction. I love hunting for mystery fragrances:)

2:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

What a gorgeous bottle, thank you, Amy!

2:58 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Sounds wonderful. Of course, it would be discontinued..

4:29 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Of course it would. All the bests scents are discontinued or will be discontinued. :-(

4:45 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amy beat me to it. Fleur de Tabac has indeed been available from this seller for a long time - as long as I've been stalking eBay!

5:48 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh the temptation! Have you tried FdeT?

5:56 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This scent was also sold in a parfumerie chain named "Dans Un Jardin" in Southern California between at least 1978 and 1984. they had stores in Lido Island and Beverly Hills, both now gone. I do not know whether those stores were connected to the French and Canadian chain now operating under the same name.

"Fleur de Tabac" was my everlasting favorite men's scent. I could tell some lovely and romantic stories, one in Paris on May Day, 1981, at the Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower ...

I only wish I had purchased a 100-year supply so some might be available today. I am now conducting a search to see if any can be found. If you know of any, please write the historian at

1:09 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can find a perfume sampler of a tobacco flower scent here:

1:35 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:47 AM EDT  
Anonymous Ron said...

I was reading this blog and the comments regarding Fleurs de Tabac, and at first I thought you were taking about a women's perfume. This had me non plussed because I bought a bottle of it way back in the mid-sixties, I believe at a small Abercombie & Fitch store on Hollywood Boulevard, in Los Angeles, California.

I believe this was the second bottle I had, the first being a gift from a relative at Christmas, some years earlier. I was beginning my dating period in those my teen years, and found that the ladies I courted went wild about the fragrance, so I endeavored to keep a supply on hand, and because of its potency, I used it sparingly.

I had that bottle until I went into the Army in '67, and my two brothers decided I probably wouldn't make it back from Viet-Nam, so they divvyed up many of my treasures, this being one of them.

I never found it again, but another fragrance, simply called "Tabac" surfaced, and I took it to be a newly titled version of the earlier scent, and I have used it ever since, garnering accolades for it as well. I wonder if it is indeed the same or at least a resonable facsimile.

7:02 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wore this perfume (Iam female)and met a man who wore it also...smelled like talcum powder to me...I loved it...I bought it in Cuba before Castro...

6:30 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

My goodness! What you have stumbled upon! This was my husband's dear dear favorite, and back in 1983, with only one bottle remaining (that he carefully guarded), my son, 2yrs old at the time managed to climb up on the dresser and - you - guessed - it! My husband never got over losing his treasure and we tried to replace it but no luck.
If anyone knows were this elusive elixir can be found or a reasonable fascimile formula, please let me know. I am a beginner at home perfumer.
All the best,
Isis G.

12:35 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Bob said...

And here I thought I was the only one!
I, (male) wore "fleurs de tabac" eau de cologne, distributed by Parfums Branel (NY,NY) throughout the 1960's. Once I discovered this fragrance I never wore anything else. The scent is absolutely wonderful, romantic, intriguing, alluring.... well, you get the idea. Now for the best part: I saved two empties. They are with me now as I type this. One 2 fl.oz., the other 4 fl.oz. By the time I'd finished the latter, production had stopped. Oh, how I searched. I'll confess here that a couple of times a year I'll unscrew the gold lid just for a whiff of the incomparable fragrance which, amazingly, hasn't faded in the least after some 45+ years. The bigger bottle still has a few drops remaining that will forever remain untouched. Exquisite.

9:27 AM EDT  

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