Thursday, September 08, 2011

Parfums Grès- Cabaret

This is a redo of an old review I wrote about Cabaret by Parfums Grès. Some  years ago I found a bottle for less than $20, bought it, wore it and ended up highly unimpressed. I thought Cabaret was too simple, too soapy, quite boring and it just didn't ring my bell. I'm a bit rose-shy, which probably played a big part in this. I've always maintained a strong feeling that Parfums Grès should have stopped with Cabochard and fought to the death to keep the formula in all its original glory. Despite all of that, I somehow managed to use nearly the entire 1.7 oz bottle and when I realized the juice level has reached the very bottom of the bottle I panicked and got another one.

How did that happen?

Apparently, sometimes a rose-incense-soap is not a bad thing at all. When Michel Almairac composed Cabaret for Parfums Grès he was more in tune with the classic cheekbones of the house (definitely more so than whoever is responsible to all the Cabotine flankers one can still find at some drugstores). Cabaret (launched in 2000) is a rose-patchouli chypre, dry and firm, not very flirty or girly (Luca Turin suggested it as a masculine option). Cabaret smells timeless, a rose perfume that could have been around for several decades, long before the fruitchoulis, roseberries and watery roses of the last few years. As such, it can be worn by people, men and women, who might not be quite taken with the whimsical jester bottle or the much degraded label of Parfums Grès. It's one of the best cheap thrills one could find nowadays.

Notes: rose, lily-of-the-valley and peony, violet, blue orchid, incense, patchouli, oleander, Indian sandalwood, amber and musk.

2000 Cabaret de Parfums Grès ad from


  1. I agree. I was swayed by raves about Cabaret and bought a bottle online, and ended up initially - meh! - but it then slid very quickly into the yawn category. Rose is a very difficult one to get right. I have every top rose fragrance out there in my collection, and none of them is totally delightful. My favorites are currently Amouage's Lyric and Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle, but I can't cope with either as everyday go-to fragrances. So the search continues.

  2. glad you came around on this one. it's also one of the more sunny and spicy rose chypres out there - it has a happy quality to it. and it always wins compliments.


  3. I'm a fan of Cabaret too. (More and more you appear to be my blogger scent twin, Gaia!) The combination of wood, salt, soap, rose and chypre does it for me. I'm not a big fan of straight up roses or florals, but this is just so easy to wear. And as Minette says, it gets compliments.

  4. I'm still in the disappointed phase - it's autumn now and I might put it away until spring. I was recommended Cabaret as a rose-incense (I often layer Fille de Berlin over Incense Avignon, but was looking for a single fragrance that combines both notes). But all I get with Cabaret is a cheap tea rose that smells like shampoo, no incense or patchouli at all. Oh la. Maybe it will grow on me...


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