It’s the middle of The Great Depression and I imagine it’s rather difficult to sell a luxury French perfume. Or is it?
Caron French Cancan was made just for an American audience; hence, the corny name that conjures up Parisian gaiety. I can’t speak too much on the history of the fragrance but I would love to read an essay about this one. I can say that for many of us, even our mothers and grandmothers, that perfume has been a form of escapism. Many writers want to speak of nostalgia and marketers want to talk about attraction and intercourse, but for many perfume, like any other attainable luxury, is about escapism and sensual gratification.
When I wear French Cancan, I can tell that even in 1936 that it’s an over the top stereotype or how exhausted American women perceived prosperous Paris. It’s a big floral with heady white florals like orange blossom and jasmine dancing with powdery, spicy spring florals (or what I call “purple florals”). French Cancan toasts to excess and abundance! It’s layers and layers of florals shaking their tail feathers! It settles into an almond-heliotrope floral that brings to mind soft, supple skin. And the base is very Caron – mossy amber (you know it when you smell it).
French Cancan is as stereotypical French as Inspector Jacques Clouseau but that’s why it’s lovable. They shoved as much glamour and gaiety as they possibly could into one perfume. And the final result is this lovely escapism from mundane, Conservative American life. I think of French Cancan like “The Wizard of Oz” or the “Gone with the Wind” and other popular feature films of the late 1930’s. Wearing it is a luxury, something you don’t need and maybe it doesn’t fit into your budget, but it takes you away to a place that you wish you were. It may be only for a few hours but it brought you joy during those few hours. During those few hours so much is going on, you can relate to what you want to relate to. Rhett Butler was a dick, but he was Clark Gable…some women (and men) went to see the movie to be Scarlett and to be kissed by Gable. Others went for the bright colors or the luscious wardrobe. With so much content, you related to what you wanted to relate to. And that’s how French Cancan is. It’s filled with everything. I relate to the “purple florals”. You’ll probably relate to something else.
Notes listed include jasmine, lilac, violet, lily of the valley, rose, orange blossom, patchouli, iris, sandalwood, amber and oakmoss. Launch date 1936. *What I’m sampling is a current version that is about 3 years old.
Give French Cancan a try if you like older fashioned smelling classic fragrances. Or if you like perfumes like Rochas Femme, Molinard Habanita, Jean Deprez Bal a Versailles, Lanvin Arpege, Givenchy Organza and/or any of the other older Carons.
Sillage and projection is above average. It’s a perfume-perfume that was probably designed to wear with furs and opera gloves…
The parfum retails for $100 at Luckyscent. It’s also available at Caron boutiques.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Bouquet of florals over a classic Caron base. It was carefully calculated to win over American women in the 1930’s and it still wins over women today. Big, French perfumes will always be in vogue.
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9 thoughts on “Caron French Cancan Parfum Extrait Review”
Sounds wonderful to me for the cooler months.I do love lilac! My new favorite. Yesterday i snatched up a mini vintage L’interdit by Givenchy for 4 dollars. I love the old fragrances so-I will hop over to lucky scent for a tester to try a purple floral (great name). Thanks for the review, i have never heard of Cancan.
Me too. I love lilac, heliotrope, hyacinth, violet!
What a deal! Wow. L’Interdit is a beauty.
I think if you like L’Interdit, you should try Cancan (and any of the other Carons that jump out at you). They’ve been reformulated and all of that, but I think they are still great – much better than current mainstream launches. I also love how cozy the Caron base is in the cooler weather.
Oh gosh Victoria i went back to the antique store today and scored big time! I got VINTAGE HOUBIGANT QUELQUES FLEURS PERFUME
like the one pictured here. I payed 4.00 for it. can you believe it? It smells devine too. Best perfume i have ever smalled in my life, i kid you not. They knew what they were doing back then thats for sure!
Holy cow! This is your lucky week. What will you find tomorrow? 😉
This is one of my favorite fragrances. I’m sure that the vintage is more-than-amazing.
I still can’t get over that you got this for $4. You need to go buy a lottery ticket the next time you’re out.
Going to buy a ticket today. I still need to try the cancan. Can’t use the vintage everyday. I also found a mini Estee lauder private label.Tuscan for men vintage and opium mini vintage. 5 mini vintages total. They just didn’t know what they had-truthfully i didn’t either until i got home and googled them. The Quelques smells the best-i would send you a sample if you want. I need an empty vile though.
Wow. Those are great.
Thanks for the offer but I think I will hunt for one on eBay because I know that I would end up hunting for one after trying it. I may as well skip the first step.
Very smart-please let me know if you like it-i’s soft,powdery and floral.
I love your review of Cancan, Victoria. Your thoughts about it are so insightful … yes, I can see how its over-the-top Frenchness and fullness would make it the perfect escape fragrance for a woman living through the stressful times of the Great Depression. And I agree with you about the Caron base, it’s just so rich and distinctive, always makes me think of old fur muffs worn by ladies of yore in winter.
Thanks for the link.
I think with today’s economy, it’s still relevant. Sometimes we just want glamour and to feel special. And for many of our budgets, a bottle of Cancan is as close as we can get to a Parisian vacation.
Oh, yes, that Caron base is so “furry” to me as well. And that’s why I love it.
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