Cabotine by Gres

 I have to say, I am a bit biased with Cabotine, as it takes me back to my teens when I wore the heck out of a glass vial sample I was given by a boyfriend.
It was a time when we thought anything was possible.  Life was so simple, our love was going to last forever and we made plans for a fantasy life that would be perfect. We couldn't understand why adults and the world around us couldn't share this attitude. Adults and authority were the enemy, and Under The Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers was #1 on the charts. 

 Over the years, everytime I saw the name Cabotine, I would recall in my mind how it smelled to me back then, not really having the words to describe it, instead having only a feeling that scent memory invoked. I remember it was simply beautiful, it made me feel grown up, it made me feel beautiful, worldly and confident. It was definitely a step up from the manky bottle of Jontue I got from a thrift store. It was symbolic of the woman I thought I had become. To be honest, I was afraid of smelling it again after all these years, thinking that the regard I held for it all these years, may have been built on sentiment, and that it would actually turn out to be a disappointing mediocre perfume when my more worldly nose came to find it again. I wasn't willing to destroy that memory with maturity so avoided it. But....curiosity got the better of me and I simply had to try it again, and crossed fingers, legs, toes and eyes in the hope it would be all I imagined it to be.
Flash forward almost 20 years, and I am reunited again with Cabotine, and the memory of boyfriend past.

So, did it disappoint, or did it live up to the fantasy I carried for almost 20 years?

Well, it didn't disappoint, and not only did it live up to the fantasy- it brought that era back to life with the first sniff. I almost had tears in my eyes when I recalled that familiar scent. Not only did it unlock the scent of that perfume, but all the smells of that time in my life. The smell of his skin, his room, the trees, grass and water when we spent one morning watching the sun rise by the river. The smell of the shampoo I used to wash my hair in the morning, the trashy teen magazine we read together, the cassette we played in the stereo, and even the beef flavoured Instant Noodles we ate for dinner.

The awkward first handshake with Cabotine was met with the familiar honeyed aspect, rich and sticky amongst the loud, heady full-bloom florals. So loud in fact, its hard to hear anything but her screech that you remembered her and that you have grown so much since she last saw you. At this point, I risk it all and go in for the hug, but its too late- shes pulling me in and squashing me up against her fantastic-smelling bosom. An all enveloping scent of white flowers overwhelm the senses, theres so much going on, yet its all so familiar and welcome. As we pull out of the hug, I can see shes had some work done over the years. Almost like a hybrid jasmine flower. It smells like jasmine, but is somehow green and fresh. Engineered to stay preserved, this flower wont be wilting and turning brown in the heat. The honey lubricates and naturally sweetens the hybrid white florals, the spices, ever so gentle, like a sweet, milky chai tea. They are not easily discernible as individual notes, but they provide warmth and dimension. In particular, the ginger gives it a subtle zing as it mingles with a  whispery touch of clean soapiness. The soap whisper rounds the fragrance out, giving it a refined and mature air, without smelling old or stuffy. It remains feminine, clean and utterly raucous. She is not  a delicate composition, she has backbone and impressive staying power, bright fuscia lipstick and a leopard fur coat. Her sillage is incredible, almost as if she has had to fight tooth and nail to stay in the game all these years, her sillage trailing back to the early 90's and reaching far beyond the 2000's with those claw-like hot pink nails.

It really is quite a unique scent, I still haven't come across anything that comes close to Cabotine. She has the the promise of legendary like Chanel No.5, and the tenacity of Fracas. She isn't the belle of the ball, but she leaves everyone talking about her the next day craving her company again.

Cabotine could easily by a signature scent, and if you ask me on the right day what my favourite perfume is, I might just say...Cabotine.

As for the boyfriend and our fantasy life?
I dumped him 3 months later, for the hottest guy in the next town over. My relationship with Cabotine however, is forever.


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