I think about perfume altogether too much. In one of my most recent ruminations, I decided that it’s somewhat uncool to admire certain perfumes created between 1985 and the present unless they’re from infamous houses like Guerlain or Chanel or unless they’re niche.
There are lots of great mainstream fragrances created between 1985 and today that just don’t get much respect. Take for instance, a perfume launched in 1989; this was 20 years ago, its too recent to be considered classic yet far enough in the past to seem dated, and it potentially reminds us of high school or of some other person or time in our lives. There are so many fragrances that I feel slightly ashamed of adoring that were created during this time period. For instance, Amarige (shame), Byblos (shame), Diva (shame), Poison (shame), Rochas Byzance (shame), Cristobal by Balenciaga (shame) Dior Dune (shame)...you get the picture.
Cabotine de Gres, 1990, is one of these shameful perfumes for me. But I’m coming out and admitting that I love Cabotine. Even in the face of LT’s review in The Guide, which gives it 1 star and a 2 word sum-up of “nasty floral.”
Cabotine de Gres actually reminds me of LouLou. No, it doesn’t smell anything like LouLou, but it has that “LouLou style,” a certain unmistakeably potent and dramatic femininity. Cabotine is a bright, green, fresh, gingery floral. I’ve read that Cabotine is and ode to ginger lily, though I have never smelled an actual ginger lily flower and an online search confused me more than anything as to exactly what a ginger lily looks and smells like.
According to basenotes, Cabotine's listed notes are the following:
Top – peach, plum, cassie, tagete, green notes, coriander
Middle – ylang-ylang, rose, tuberose, jasmine, heliotrope, orris, carnation
Base – cedar, vetiver, musk, tonka bean, amber, vanilla, civet
After reading this list of notes, I don’t find Cabotine particularly sweet or fruity, nor do I think it smells like a sum of it’s parts. Cabotine is a synthetic (as opposed to realistic & natural) perfumey aroma – it hits you like a wall of Cabotine. To me, it’s a green floral with a slight ginger and carnation-spice quality. Cabotine is abstract and linear, it starts off exactly the way it ends up, 18 hours later or at the point of your next shower. Cabotine was created by Jean-Claude Delville and as I scan his list of work I think Cabotine is probably his best. Delville also created Clinique’s Happy (surely a best-seller) and Paris Hiltons’ Can Can (sigh). Admittedly, Cabotine does have an element of “fabric softener clean,” but I love it nonetheless. It’s still a unique fragrance even if there’s a hint of fabric softener.
So, there you have it – I love Cabotine. It’s fresh, it’s green, it’s unique, and it’s cheap. I even have 3 tubes of the shower gel, which makes for a zesty shower, and the body lotion.
And the bottle is fantastic, which is, apparently, a green afro-head of flowers.