As far as perfumes go, this one has been around the block a great many times. Introduced by the house of Caron in 1919, in my mind it straddles a line between Edwardian propriety and modernist ideals. So sue me if the Edwardian period actually ended several years earlier – one sniff of this immediately evokes the Belle Epoque. It is edgy and decidedly improper in a delicious way.
In today’s market, this would undoubtedly have been introduced as a men’s fragrance. However, on a woman, it is both bold and mysterious. Unlike some tobacco fragrances, this one smells of smoke, not just the unlit pipe.
In addition, this brings up the wonderful partner that tobacco fragrances often have: leather. In fact, this is like being slapped in the face with a soft leather glove while having cigar smoke puffed in your face. I mean this in the most reverent way possible. There are other basenotes and supporting players: vanilla and amber, which lend the sweetness to the otherwise acrid tobacco/smoke, and powdery florals like carnation and iris (which along with their powder have also a hint of pepper or cardamom). This is a fragrance to be used very sparingly at the extrait parfum concentration. But like many things that have an aspect of danger, it is also thrilling.