Café Tabac - A hedonistic scent that celebrates the undocumented moment.
A sumptuous party that goes on for days. Endless dinners and all-night merengue dancing under charcoal skies. Smoke meets flower and spice settles in for the next inhale. This is CAFE TABAC.
Before Aedes de Venustas’s newest scent was realized in a bottle, it had a name: CAFE TABAC, inspired by the iconic 90s bar in the East Village. Upstairs at Cafe Tabac was where Kate met Johnny, Madonna picked up the phone, Leo picked up supermodels. It was a place where the truly glamorous could be truly off-duty, an unselfconscious, pre-cell phone era that feels so far away as to be longed for again.
“It’s the deep mood of a place to be, creating its own legend,” says perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. “The deep blue smoke of cigarettes, cigars, weed … whatever. We’re exploring other paradises: laughs, desires, and pleasures, again and again.”
That spirit was also present when Duchaufour and Gerstner went to visit the Dominican Republic last year for another scented project. “It was an explosion of vibrant and chic people from Mexico, France, Rio, New York; different cultures and conversations and ideas and opinions,” says Gerstner. “We went from a tropical forest to the coast together, but it wasn’t until we were standing in a cigar factory that I looked at Bertrand and said, ‘Can you put this in a bottle?’”
The result is as dazzling, sexy, and complex as the trip: It opens with sparkling notes of expected (bergamot) and unexpected (apple, tamarind) fruits but the overall perfume is an homage to tobacco in many forms. Dry leaves, humid flowers, and a cigar lit by fire are represented thanks to herbal clary sage and davana, a tint of mango with dried fig and date, and a rough smokiness using tobacco absolute, tar, cade, and cedarwood. An amber accord of secretions and sugars from cistus and labdanum, ambergris, oakmoss, vanilla, cacao accord and Peru balm at the heart gives way to a darkly rich and resinous base. There is no saccharine here. Instead, distinctive burnt sugar and fresh clove and cardamom are infused with vapors that keep CAFE TABAC multilayered instead of perfectly round. It is blended at a twenty percent concentration made in the old school haute parfumerie style, including a month-long maceration in France.
With CAFE TABAC, there is a mad sensuality that feels like the olfactive equivalent of a twist of orange atop a demitasse of espresso—rich with a touch of freshness and tang. To wear it is to maintain a state of heightened emotions that are sooner remembered than they are recorded.
Notes: Tobacco absolute, Peru balm, cardamom, clove, bergamot, tamarind, tar, dried date, dried fig, cacao accord, burnt sugar, mango, beeswax absolute, apple, davana, clary sage, vanilla, oak moss, cistum-labdanum absolute, tonka bean, cedar wood, ambergris, cade.