My original plan was to do a general overview of the entire Chabaud Maison de Parfum line, because all of a sudden I realize that there are about fourteen of them (I was familiar with five. Maybe). However, I've been wearing Chabaud 's Vintage quite frequently, over the last couple of months, enough so to dedicate a post to this odd floriental. First, this is not a vintage perfume. While I couldn't pinpoint its exact launch date, it's somewhere between 2002 and 2014, probably closer to the latter.
The "vintage" in Vintage refers to an attempt to evoke the olden days, whatever that might mean to any of us. Is it classic beauty and classic perfumery? Or maybe the comfort and security of some people's childhoods? Perhaps it's the fantasy of a long sunny vacation during an endless summer, when no black clouds of dread and worries ever appear on the horizon? I vote for all of the above, plus my own vague and utterly misguided ideas of 1970s glamour. Please humor me for a bit (you too, mom).
Three elements give Chabaud's vintage its unique character. There's a very elegant and French-smelling floral bouquet that steps forward with a piercing dianthus-carnation note. But before you get the chance to say Bellodgia or L'Air du Temps, a modern blend of rich femme fatale white flowers burst out of a cornucopia that includes the juiciest and sunniest bowl of ripe fruit, and you are totally invited and allowed to bite into them. Tubersose, jasmine, and ylang-ylang can be forbidding and dangerous, but this is not a mysterious visitor dripping Fracas. Instead, the bog pitcher full of vanilla-flavored almond milk with a side of caramel candy is more like Stacy's mom lounging by the pool wearing Shalimar Parfum Initial. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with it.
The white floral bloom with gusto when you apply Vintage and leave the house into a hot summer day. Doing so and enjoying every minute is also a vintage-like practice. Personally I enjoy it more outdoors than in a climate-controlled room where the flowers, milky almonds and lashes of dulce le leche can't really meld and melt into each other to form the seductive concoction that Vintage should be. It's too fragmented and sugary if the blend doesn't envelop you evenly, showing that it's sexy as all get out, only with a wink.
Chabaud seems to be an OsswaldNYC exclusive in the US. Vintage ($135, 100ml eau de parfum) is out of stock right now (I swear I didn't do it), so I'd suggest contacting the store to inquire when it'll be back.
Photo of a Balenciaga cocktail dress by Gordon Parks, 1950.