Baccarat is a French luxury brand, a well-known maker of high-end, exclusive crystal products. The bottles in the picture above were made for Dior by Baccarat.
Ironically, in the modern perfume world, the name of the famous crystal empire, Baccarat, is more known for the eponymous perfume rather than for its own refined products. Baccarat has become more than a perfume and is now a popular olfactive profile based on an overdose of evernyl and ethyl maltol – a mixture that is not only super long-lasting but also enormously diffusive.
It was only a question of time, when Dior would join the others in making its own version of Baccarat. After all, Dior is not as scrupulous as Chanel that hasn't yet produced a single oud perfume. The main perfumer of Dior, François Demachy is very responsive to trends and does not hold on to the brand's glorious past, otherwise, he would have reissued Edmond Roudnitska's masterpieces, like Diorella, a long time ago. How wonderful it would be to relaunch it as extrait de parfum, not as its modern pale shadow – if you've smelled the perfume from Les Creations de Monsieur Dior, you understand my frustration.
Perfume Francois Demachy
Dior's reaction to Baccarat was very much expected. At first, people suspected Rouge Trafalgar to be Dior's Baccarat, mostly because of its name (in a manner of Baccarat Rouge).
This reminds me of Hitchcock's famous idea of suspense: the director plunges the viewer into an atmosphere of tense expectation, and you wait until the end constantly on your toes, horrified and wary of every innocent thing. The same happened to Rouge Trafalgar, which is absolutely nothing like the great and terrible Baccarat. I suggest you read Elena's review of Rouge Trafalgar – All Attention to Red!.
But Dior did not keep us waiting for too long, and finally rolled out its very own version of Baccarat named Tobacolor!
In February 2021, Dior introduced Tobacolor, which after Rouge Trafalgar entered the Private collection of Maison Christian Dior. Francois Demachy dedicated it to the fragrance of fresh tobacco. The perfumer reinterpreted the classic warm tobacco accord, adding paradoxical cool elements to it. As he explained, he wanted to re-create an olfactive experience of hookah with ice. The result is a powerful charismatic composition, which has truly adorned the Private collection mostly consisting of lightweight floral fragrances.
Tobacolor smells for 24 hours on my skin. On clothes the fragrance smells indefinitely long – I accidentally sprayed the sleeve of my jacket, and it has been smelling ever since for the past two weeks. Tobacolor is strong and diffusive even if not applied on warm skin, it smells from a paper blotter laying on a counter 10 feet away.
Tobacolor is very similar to Baccarat. Its strength and sillage are achieved here with the same means: evernyl and other related substances. Evernil is responsible for that very cool hookah with ice. In Baccarat evernyl is opposed by sugary ethyl maltol, in Tobacolor, evernyl is balanced by the natural absolute of tobacco leaves.
Tobacco absolute, from my experience, is an incredibly complex material: in it you find sweet hookah smoke, dried fruits, honey, spices, and leather. This is the kind of multifaceted, rich tobacco you find in Tobacolor. Evernyl shines through all of its multiple layers.
Natural tobacco absolute includes terpenic compounds, pyrazines, and quinoline derivatives, they form the tart leathery aspect of its smell. Beta-damascenone is also very important, it adds a honey-sweet and dried fruit nuance. But Demachy didn't stop there, he added other fruits, fresh ones – peach, prune, and citruses. Needless to say, the tobacco accord based on natural tobacco that is enriched by smart modern materials, smells much more interesting than an overdose of ethyl maltol.
Dior managed to successfully ride the Baccarat wave without risking being accused of copying. Yes, Francois Demachy borrowed the idea of opposing evernyl freshness with something dense and sweet, like ethyl maltol, or better tobacco. He went for tobacco and improved the original idea. Tobacco is simply more appealing and sophisticated than ethyl maltol.
There is no doubt that Tobacolor will become a bestseller. And I will welcome it, because, despite the notorious baccarat trend, this fragrance is very, very good. I note that I recommend this perfume to all lovers of tobacco in perfumery.